It very well might be - perimenopause can show up as skipped periods, more frequent periods, very irregular periods, heavier or lighter -there seems to be just no end to the permutations. The only way to be sure that this is periomenopause is to have your hormone levels checked, however you are the right age to begin your Menopause journey.
When I went through perimenopause, I had 2+ periods per month with heavy bleeding, cramping and clots for a year and a half. My MD checked me out with ultrasounds and ultimately an endometrial biopsy after a year to ascertain that it really was only Menopause.
Below is a reprint of a blog entry I wrote on this topic on my Menopause Goddess Blog:
Heavy or Prolonged Bleeding in Menopause - Dangerous or Normal?" Posted on Dec 04 2008
Recently on one of the health websites where I am privileged to be an “expert” on Menopause, www. wellsphere. com, a member raised a question about bleeding for over a month solid. Of peri- menopausal age, she was under- standably worried. Most of us think of menopause as a time of skipping or diminishing periods until they cease altogether. Because this question comes up frequently and because it was the case in my perimenopausal transition, I’m reprinting my answer to her for all concerned goddesses.
“Actually, it CAN be normal. Heavy and/or prolonged bleeding during perimenopause can be a normal variant. I had my period every other week (and heavy flows) for a little over a year. Because prolonged bleeding (called dysfunctional uterine bleeding) can be a symptom of more serious conditions, it is important to be checked out by a physician. A pelvic ultrasound and/or endometrial biopsy can rule out pathology. Even if no serious condition is found, you must be monitored for anemia. Regular red blood cell and hemoglobin counts are recommended. I simply increased my intake of red meat and took iron supplements and was never anemic.
Even in the absence of disease, if bleeding persists, your MD may recommend a “simple” D & C (dilation and curettage) or even hysterectomy. I’d get a second opinion or even a third. Remember that NO surgical procedure is simple - each has risks, including that of general anesthesia. A good rule of thumb is to always try the least interventional remedy first.
It took me three tries to find an enlightened gynecologist who felt that heavy bleeding was a normal variant. After ultrasounds and an endometrial biopsy (performed in her office) returned as “normal with menopausal thickening of uterine lining), together we monitored me for anemia and eventually I began skipping periods as I continued on my menopause journey.
Hope this helps - let me know if you have further questions. For more info - check out our blogsite at www.menopausegoddessblog.org. Good luck. Lynette Sheppard RN.”
On a further note: I cannot tell you how many of my nurse-friends had D & C’s or hysterectomies after three weeks of bleeding. When they went to their OB-GYN’s, understandably a little freaked out, those were usually the only recommendations. While a surgical procedure may end up being the right choice for you, it is not necessarily the only or best one. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You MUST be in charge of your own health care education and decisions. Still have questions? Click on the “Contact Us” button at the top right of the page or visit me at www.wellsphere.com in the Menopause Community.
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