General cancer discussions

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Early Menopause Caused by Chemotherapy <br/>

Sharrie
Posted by
Hi there, I was just wondering if anyone else has started an early menopause after having chemotherapy and how they are coping with it. I have just finished all of my treatment for Non-Hodgkins lymphoma and I am now in remission. However I am now suffering from hot flushes and I am not sleeping at all well. I have read that if you have chemo when you are close to the menopausal age (I am 48) that it will bring on the menopause early. If there is anyone out there that has gone through this, I would really like to hear how you coped with it. Thanks.

Love Sharon x.
moomy
Posted by
Sharon, welcome to this site, it's rotten that you had the need to use it but am sure you will find the support you get on here brilliant. To get to your specific problem , I have also heard that early menopause can be triggered by Chemo at that stage in life, and I expect you get everything all at once! I have some experience with Lymphoma, but it is Hodgkin's, and she is still battling! I did wonder if she would have problems in that direction, but it seems not so far..... hope you can find a thread you feel comfortable with, anyone on there will I'm sure, welcome you.... I can often be found on Musketeers 24/7 if you want to chat, i find humour helps! love ....
Sheana Y
Posted by
Hi sharon,

Chemotherapy caused me to go through an early menopause. I had FEC chemo for breast cancer 2 years ago and I had a period after my first treatment and that was it...no more. I was 44 at the time and they thought it was unlikely my periods would come back and I had a blood test about a year ago which confirmed that. It's called a FSH test and can determine if you are menopausal or not.

Unfortunately I can't have any HRT to ease the symptoms because breast cancer can be triggered my the hormone oestrogen, so HRT is the last thing that I can be prescribed.

I think also, the symptoms of the menopause when caused by chemo can be harsh..........as it's been chemically induced.

Stick with it though...it will ease, eventually!

Sheana x
moomy
Posted by
I haven't been through anything that you lovely ladies have, but mistakenly came off HRT 'cold turkey' as no-one told me I should ease off gently, it was as though all symptoms came at once, so although I've no cancer to cause it I do know the effect, and yes, that does ease off.
helen46
Posted by
Hi Sharon,

I'm 47 and had my last chemo yesterday :-) I asked my oncologist a couple of weeks back about my periods as I hadn't had one since just after I started chemo 6 months ago, he said that it was likely that with my age I wouldn't have any more periods now, I assume although he didn';t actually say it that I'm now in menopause!! I do get very hot at night which is unusal for me so that must be the case. oh well suppose its better than being ill again!

So far not too bad for me, hope that will be the case for you too.

Helen xx
Snowdrop
Posted by
Hi, I am post menopausal at the age of 45. it was chemo and drug induced. Blood test confirmed my hormone status. I had hot sweats, but now I am fine so I think I got off pretty lightly.
hello Kiwi good to see you back.
Sharrie
Posted by
Hi there, thank you all for your messages. It was very re-assuring to hear of other people who have gone through this. I know it is not as bad as having cancer but it has been worrying me as no one mentioned this would happen. Its the lack of sleep that I am finding hard to cope with but it was good to hear that it would go away eventually. Thanks again, Love Sharon x.
lollie
Posted by

Hi Sharrie

I had chemo for breast cancer in 1997 aged 36 and like the other ladies my experience was 2 periods then didly squat thereafter. Chemically induced articficial menopause is horrible, as there is no gradual slope into it - its the black run!!

As I couldn't have HRT, I was given by my oncologist a drug called Provera - a progesterone. I took it for 5 years to ease the symptoms... I took it alongside Tamoxifen.

Hope this is helpful

Lorna x

xMariex
Posted by
Hey,

I'm 16 and when i was 13 i got diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma. I finished chemo when i was 14 but have been menopausal since then... in fact in november 07 i was told to come off my HRT to see if my periods returned... and they came in december and haven't come back since unless i have intercourse (haha!) so today i've been put back on them. On the side of coping with the symptoms... my mum was given some medication that eased her symptoms when nothing herbal would work.. so i'd check with your doctor first, and keep nagging him/her!! i know how hard it is to cope.. i've got GCESs starting tomorrow and not being able to sleep is making me even more tired haha. I'm so glad i'm not having to work just yet!

I'm just hoping i get to have my own baby... i know it sound silly but from my own egg too. My boyfriend had hodgkins too and was told he'll be infertile for a long while so i'm dreading us both not being fertile! My consultant never even told us that i could have my eggs stored at the time i was diagnosed. After my chemo she said "well we don't really have the facilities in this hospital to do that" which is rubbish because it's a university hospital!! HA. But oh well, fingers crossed. And i really hope your symptoms ease, with or without medication... because those symptoms are so annoying and horrible!!!

Marie
xx x xx
Sharrie
Posted by
Hi Marie,

Thanks for the advice, I will have another word with my doctor when I see her again and see what can be done.

Its awful that you have come through your treatment but may be left with the prospect of not being able to have children. Dont give up hope, I have read about people who have been left infertile because of treatment for cancer and then a few years later have gone on to have children of their own. Keep positive and hopefully it will happen for you too.

Thanks again for the advice, its great to know there are so many people on here to help with the smallest of problems.

Take care,
Love Sharon x.
Sharrie
Posted by

Hi Georgie,

thanks for contacting me. Its nice to know people care enough to reply to your posts even if they cant offer any advice on what to do. Its seems like the doctors dont think its really important whenever I have spoken about the hot flushes. I have now started getting prickly heat which I have never had before, its been horrible in the hot weather and have had to stay indoors all the time. Next time I am at the hospital, I will try to make them understand just how distressing this is and I wont leave until they listen to me.

Thanks again and I hope they find something to help both of us very soon.

Love Sharon x.

poggles
Posted by
I was diagnosed and treated for Non Hodgkins Lymphoma 3 years ago - I have tried all sorts in looking for a 'cure' for the hot flushes - best to date was a flower sleeping remedy see http://www.nutritional-therapy.org.uk/flower.asp - helped me to sleep and also tones down the hot flushes to a bearable level.

No side effects unlike all the other soy based ones and other herbal remedies.

However, am still suffering from fatigue - comes from nowhere and fells me. Found all sorts that made a dent in it - from change of diet to organic food to suppliments, to homepaths to endurance training and councelling. All helped but non cured.

Mechtay
Posted by

HI Sharon.

Ive just turned 49 and have gone through the same as yourself with  Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, I went into remission in January of this year. I have been experiencing the same, hot flushes and restless sleep.  I have been trying to just get on with it but its getting worse and im also experiencing painful joints so im off the the doctors to see if theres anything that can be done to help. I know ive probably not helped but i wanted you to know your not on your own.

Love Mechelle x