When you have a total hysterectomy (removal of uterus and cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries are left) you shouldn’t enter menopause immediately. My surgeon did warn me that the chances are that menopause would happen a few years earlier than it would normally though. My mom was 42 when she entered the years of the hot flashes and mood swings so that was around when I was expecting it.
Immediately after my operation two years ago I suffered with night sweats but I put this down to “shocked ovaries” or possibly the pain medication I was on. The worst of it passed. Every now and again I have been getting “bouts” of night sweats but nothing too alarming. It has really been the last 6 months or so that I have noticed a change (Ha, a “change”! See what I did there!) – the night sweats seem to happen more frequently and when they do I am drenched to the point where sweat is dripping off my body and soaking the sheets. Even my shins sweat even though the upper torso seems worst affected. I usually just get a towel to dry myself off in the middle of the night and to put under me as the sheets would be too wet to lie on. In the morning they go straight in the machine. Since a night of sweats is usually followed by at least another I then sleep with a towel underneath me for the next few nights. Admittedly menopause was something that crossed my mind but I was putting the sweats down to exercise, thinking maybe my body was just working overtime. It couldn’t be the temperature in the room as I am always cold, my husband always hot and he would be huddling under the duvet pulled up to his chin while I was sweating.
And then the hot flashes started… Oh boy… They usually hit me when I am doing something that might make me a bit warm, or in a situation where I might normally just blush – and sometimes even if I am just sitting down reading a book. Suddenly my face and chest feel like they are on fire – I get so hot that I fully understand why shoving your head into the fridge is a tempting option. It usually passes as quickly as it came on, leaving behind a certainty that something is going on.
If all this wasn’t enough my skin has started going to pot lately and I swear my mind isn’t as sharp as it usually is. I just get a bit distracted.. Now where was I?… From the other recognised symptoms I also suffer from palpitations and insomnia as well as mood swings (but then I was always a moody cow).
I am still not convinced this is menopause (it could be so many other things) but saw my doctor this week and she immediately referred me for blood tests (next week) to test my hormone levels, thyroid and other blood values. She seemed convinced enough that this could be “it” and her main concern was that if I am indeed menopausal then HRT should be started soon as due to my “young” age, being oestrogen deficient from so early on would be an open invitation to osteoporosis. I know NHS doctors get slagged off all the time but my doctor is absolutely amazing – she also said that if HRT is something I will need then she feels it isn’t something a GP should prescribe but that I should see a gyno who is a specialist in the field.
I will keep you posted; the blood test won’t be until middle of next week and it will take a while to get the results. As much as being menopausal at 36 would suck, at least it would give me something to write about! 🙂
EDIT: The results came back and everything is normal so my wild moments of near spontaneous combustion are due to something other than menopause, most likely to do with all the exercise I am doing..