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Any advice on going through menopause gracefully?

I have no female relations who have gone through natural menopause as they all had hysterectomiies and I have a male OB/GYN.

I am going through the irregular cycles, very heavy cycles, hot flashes, fatigue, and terrible backache every so often with period.

I am not going to be a candidate for hormone replacement due to family history of breast cancer. I cannot tolerate soy.

Healthier eating and exercise have helped, but does anyone know of ANYTHING else that may help? I don't want a hysterectomy and my doctor does not feel I need one for physical reasons. He feels I only need a hysterectomy if I no longer want to deal with it. I WANT to deal with it and not have surgery.

Anyone been there, done that?

Thu. Jun 21, 3:39pm

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Do you mind me asking how old you are?

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 4:15 PM

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Things do transition

Yeah I had heavy bleeding, irregular cycles (after a lifetime of being very regular) and KILLER cramps. Hot flashes and night sweats too. I'm still perimenopausal but things have gotten so much better.

Aleve became my drug of choice and worked best at first signs of trouble...and I just took it a recommended dose for worst days. I travelled with tampons (super plus and used overnight pads at night) and had a change of clothes in the trunk of my car for accidents.

I was completely worked up by gyn (sonogram and endometrial biopsy) to rule out pathology...and I was ok. My gyn is wonderful and became an ally to me as I went through all of this (and she's a woman...menopausal herself).

It really does get better. That was a phase and now my cycles are much lighter and I skip months. I get the occasional hot flash but I just see it as one of those things. I keep thinking things are over but then I get another period and really that is ok. I think I might be a little sad when it all stops. It's fascinating to feel and experience the transition.

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 4:46 PM

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4:15 I am 48. My mother and sisters all had hysterectomies before the age of 45.

4:46 Thanks so much for your reply. The heavy periods have pretty much kept me close to home. Now I am going to keep a bag in my trunk with a change of clothes and sanitary supplies.

I can't imagine my symptoms getting any worse. That is why I want to stick it out. I'm treating this as another season in my life. I may be uncomfortable at times, especially with the backaches, but as far as I know, I am healthy. All blood work has been great, including cholesterol. I do tend to become anemic; therefore, I take B12 beneath the tongue. My biggest problem is trying to get the weight off.

Perhaps I shouldn't be so stubborn and take something like Alieve to help. I just don't like taking medications. However, I do want to enjoy the life I have.

My doctor says backaches are common with periods. Anyone know why?

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 6:29 PM

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It's not actually your back that hurts -- it's menstrual cramps in your uterus. The back pain is what is called "referred" pain, which means that although your brain reads it as lower back pain, that's not really the source of the stimulus.

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 6:57 PM

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