Q: I am only 38 but think I am premenopausal. my 2 older sisters and mom all menopaused young. my doctor disagrees. My menses have been irregular for about 2 years- either absent for 3 months or occurring every 2 weeks. my gynecologists answer is "you are not ovulating", and prescribes oral contraceptives. while this regulates my cycles, I suffer terrible headaches, hot flashes, mood swings, and irritablity 60% of the month. is there a test for menopause that I could take and should I find a new doctor?
A: Your doctor says that because menopause is defined medically as no menses at all for twelve months. Perimenopause is not at all unusual at your age. Blood tests during perimenopause often give mixed results since cycles are so erratic. In my opinion, they are often a waste of money. I would recommend that you try a different birth control pill. There are so many out there, if you persevere you should be able to find one that doesn't cause these side effects.