Nothing is "normal" with us, is it? I've been reminded of this fact recently by the return of my menstrual cycle.
I'm 42 and I was in premature perimenopause for so long that it's no longer premature. I also had an endometrial ablation several years ago, which made my occasional periods so light as to be barely noticeable.
Several months ago, I was starting to wonder if maybe I was done with them altogether. Of course, to prove to me that I'll never be able to count on anything from my body, regular periods came back, a bit heavier, and including PMS and a minor flare of fibromyalgia symptoms.
The first thing I've been noticing each month is pimples. Really, at 42? I hadn't had a pimple in ... I don't know how many years, and now I'm getting 2-5 per month. Next comes cramps, which last on and off for a couple of days. I have a tailbone injury at the moment, so they were especially painful this time. Once the actual period starts, my widespread muscle pain skyrockets and I'm more prone to sensory overload and anxiety problems. (I was recently teetering on the bring of a panic attack at Walmart, which hasn't happened in years, and all because of too much audio stimuli.)
I suppose it was too much to hope that the mild perimenopause symptoms I had through most of my 30s were actually leading up to menopause itself. I guess I'll have to deal with all of that again, and probably in a more extreme form, before I'm done with it all. Ah, the joys of being a woman!
Even though women make up about 90% of the fibromyalgia community, we don't know a lot about how the illness interacts with women's health issues. You can find out what we do know here: Menstruation, Menopause & Pregnancy in Fibromyalgia.
What do your periods do to your fibromyalgia symptoms? Did fibromyalgia seem to effect your menstrual cycle? What was perimenopause like for you? Leave your comments below!
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