Thursday, March 21, 2013

Late 30s, Late Periods

I've taken three pregnancy tests in the last week. All have been negative, which is good because 1) I don't wish to give birth to any more babies, and 2) I use three forms of contraception.

The reason I have been helping to keep EPT in business lately is that my normally like-clockwork 29-day cycle is inexplicably off. My period is late, as in it's now Day 35 of my cycle. But I don't feel any sort of my usual premenstrual symptoms at all.

What gives?

I turn 37 soon - could I be starting peri-menipause already?

At what point do I consult a professional? HELP!


Anonymous said...

Well, there are a lot of things it could be. One of my aunts got Premature Ovarian Failure around this age. Other (temporary) possibilities deal with estrogen or progesterone, endometriosis, cysts, polycystic ovarian syndrome (have you gained weight recently or changed your diet?), or just stress.

The general heuristic is to wait 3 months to consult a doctor (assuming you aren't worried about wanting to get pregnant again), but you can go earlier if you want. (And if you haven't had an annual check-up, or you haven't had a pap-smear in a while, why not?)

Then they'll do a fertility work-up and most likely give you a provera challenge (you take progesterone pills for a week and then stop and then you bleed, if you don't, that's tells them more about what the problem is). They may scan your ovaries, but most likely won't. If you don't want more kids, it probably isn't a big deal.

Got It, Ma! said...

Could be as simple as emotional stress.

For me, funky periods in my early 40s was a sign of a uterine fibroid. Don't know if you have a history of them, or if anyone in your family does. Might be worth running it by a doctor you trust. They're not a big deal, provided you're aware of them and have a doc paying attention. But they can sneak up on you and cause more serious issues like heavy bleeding, as I discovered last fall.

Another thought is to have your thyroid function checked. That can mess with your periods, too.

My rule is now "When in doubt, call the doc and get it checked out." Peace of mind is so important.

There's a local practice in my area with a great holistic approach and fabulous website with lots of educational articles. You might find some helpful information.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, thyroid function will also be one of the tests they do in the blood draw.

hush said...

Thank you @nicoleandmaggie and @Got It Ma! - I made an OB/GYN appointment for next week, so hopefully I will get to the bottom of this soon.

Anonymous said...

Most likely they'll first say, "Oh, it's probably just stress," then do a blood work-up if you push a little. The provera challenge they generally don't do unless you've missed two or three regular periods.

Good luck!

hush said...

@nicoleandmaggie - You're right, they probably will open with that. I wonder if they'll believe me when I tell them I'm not feeling stressed (except about not getting my period - which arrived this morning - so, yay?)