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Lower back pain, headaches, nausea, hot flashes, abdominal cramps, spotting. No periods for a year. Cause?

Mar 2013
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Im 55yrs old, have not gone a full year without a period yet.. My symptoms are lower back pain, slight headaches, off and on all day nausea, no vomiting, hot sweat flashes, occasionally light brownish spotting, slight lower abdominal cramps, indigestion sometimes, constipation sometimes.. What could these symptoms be other than pregnancy? Also little dizziness at times before I get nauseous and think my breast are little bit more tender than normal but I've had a breast reduction.. Try to keep convincing myself I'm imagining these symptoms.. Only had one pregnancy at age 21 yrs. old. How possible could this be? What else could be causing me to feel this way at my age?
Posted Wed, 22 May 2013 in Menstruation and Miscarriage
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 24 minutes later
Thanks for your query.
You are most probably experiencing the peri menopausal transition.
This indicates the time period that links the reproductive years (regular menstrual cycles, fully functioning ovaries, highest chance for pregnancy) to menopause (no menstrual cycles for 1 year, lower ovarian hormone production, average age approximately 51 years). During the menopause transition, the length of menstrual cycles often changes and women may skip their menstrual periods more often. The duration of the menopausal transition varies from woman to woman but averages about five years.

It is characterized by subtle hormonal changes, with progressively falling levels of estrogen and progesterone, which are responsible for the majority of symptoms.

Symptoms vary greatly from person to person. They may occur at different times and with different degrees of severity. Many different types of bleeding patterns can occur. Some women will have irregular periods that are closer together at first and then farther apart. Some will go several months without periods and then have some bleeding on and off. Some women will have heavier, irregular bleeding because of a lack of ovulation. Others may have small amounts of bleeding because of a thinner lining of the uterus. Because the menstrual cycles are sometimes ovulatory (produce an egg), women in the menopausal transition who are sexually active sometimes get pregnant.

Hence, just to confirm the diagnosis, get a blood B HCG level done if you want to be absolutely sure you are not pregnant. A routine gynecological check up with a pelvic ultrasound scan would also ensure that.

Hot flashes and vaginal dryness can occur over time and may be particularly noticeable during sexual intercourse.During the menopause transition, many women will experience depressed mood, decreased sex drive (libido), forgetfulness and difficulty sleeping.

Backache, indigestion, etc are also described.

I would advise you to consult a Gynecologist. Please get a physical exam, blood tests, pelvic ultrasound, or biopsy. These would clinch the diagnosis and rule out any other medical cause for your complaints.

If the symptoms are severe, your doctor can consider starting HRT ( Meanwhile, have a healthy and active lifestyle, exercise regularly, increase your intake of calcium XXXXXXX foods and soyabean, and indulge in yoga for positive thinking.

Take care, and feel free to discuss further
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Lower back pain, headaches, nausea, hot flashes, abdominal cramps, spotting. No periods for a year. Cause? 32 minutes later
I have already experience the pre-menopausal symptoms for last 2 yrs. irregular periods, heavy & light. Do not have hot flashes or night sweats anymore either. The aching in my lower back is moderate and radiates to top of my buttocks and sometimes down outer hips..I believe I am post menopausal, just not sure if it has been full year.. The hot sweating just started 10+ days ago along with the other symptoms.. Why I'm asking this question is I was divorced 1yr ago..I recently had my first sexual relationship, he is 46 and said he had a vasectomy but had not. We have been seeing each other regular for past 2 months.. It does kinda feel like I'm fixing to start my menstrual cycle along with the flu like symptoms. Except for the lower pain in my back. I first thought UTI or bladder infection. Then breast got a little tender, these has not happened for couple years.. I am concerned because I take medication for high BP and Xanax for panic attacks. How likely is it that I could possible be pregnant. All the other menopausal symptoms you suggest as the cause I've already experienced. The light cramping in abdomen and slight spasm also feel like a menstrual cycle but not really spotting just a light brownish discoloration. Could a infection of some kind cause these symptoms. The nausea comes and goes and is mild.. Would a home pregnancy test be accurate and how far along would I have to be to take one.. Or if I'm experiencing symptoms already am I far enough along it would show results.. I know if symptoms don't go away I need to see my regular physician.
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 3 hours later
Your having symptoms does not mean you are far enough to have a reliably positive home pregnancy test.
This test is generally positive three weeks after conception.
At your age, and with irregular cycles, you would do better to rely on a blood B HCG pregnancy test or a transvaginal ultrasound scan to rule out a pregnancy.
I would put the chances at next to nil .
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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