So, I went to see a GP today, who was puzzled as to why and indeed who, has been fobbing me off that I am too young to be going through the menopause. She agreed that, because my mum was only thirty nine when she had hers, I too could have a ‘premature menopause’ since it can run from the mother to her daughter. I have just turned forty.
However, it is rare to have this (also known as premature ovarian failure), and there are some possible causes listed, one of which both my mother and I have – hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). This cannot be THE cause though, as hypothyroidism is more common than rare, so it must be genes, conditions and other factors that cause a premature menopause.
The doctor told me that for premature menopause, HRT (hormone replacement therapy) is offered. When I told her that I do have periods due to the mirena coil, she said that the mirena coil is used as a form of HRT as it gives us the progesterone (female hormone) we need, and can be complimented by patches of oestrogen (female hormone). The menopause comes when these two hormones levels decrease in our system, the lower level of oestrogen the culprit for most of the symptoms, such as hot flushes etc.
BUT… because I am using the mirena coil, my symptoms should be lessened anyway, and I should keep it in. Also, the result for the blood test for testing if one is going through the menopause – the FSH test (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) – will be skewed because of the progesterone hormone being released by my mirena coil. Gosh, I hope they can tell if my oestrogen has dropped, or they won’t actually be able to confirm it.
When I asked her if there is a test to find out if I can still produce eggs, she said I would only know if I took out the mirena coil and menstruated again and she said I shouldn’t do that, because if I am going through the menopause, then my symptoms will get a lot worse without the progesterone I am getting through the mirena coil. OMGosh! She said that she didn’t understand why I would want to know if I can have children unless I was trying for a baby, and that if I do want to try for a baby, then I would have to take out my mirena coil and give it a go. I wanted to say something like “Well, I want to know if I can still have a baby, just in case, just so I know, because it’s my body and I want to know what my body is doing, and although I have not wanted to have a baby, I feel sad that my choice will be taken away, and am getting depressed as a result of that” but I didn’t. She seemed to think it was totally pointless (her words) to want to find out, unless I actually wanted to have a baby.
Anyway, that’s what I found out. I had the first blood test today and have to have the second one in six weeks time, but it may well not tell me anything anyway.
So, if I continue to get the symptoms of menopause (hot sweats, confusion etc) then I will ask if I can have the oestrogen patches, and see what they say. It seems that with the mirena coil and oestrogen patches, that would equal the HRT required for premature menopause and will be taken until I am at a normal menopausal age (50-52 years).
She did also say that many people confuse their symptoms with symptoms of the menopause when it is not, so I am not left at present with any clear answers, but hey ho that is often the case in life eh…