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Perimenopause or Pregnancy

Q: I have been looking for some answers but have been unsuccessful. About 15 to 20 years ago, I had my tubes tied. I am 40 years old now and experience problems sleeping as well as hot flashes from time to time.

Is it possible for me to get pregnant after all this time? I am married and do not use condoms. My period is due and I have had the usual symptoms but it has not started. All the symptoms are just about gone now, and still no flow. Could this be pregnancy or signs early menopause? My periods are usually normal every month but sometimes on the heavy side. It is unusual for me to miss a period. That has not happened since I was in my early 20s.

Dr. Donnica:
It sounds like you're in "perimenopause"--the 2 to 10-year timeframe before menopause actually begins.  Menstrual irregularities are common during this time.  It is rare--but not unheard of--for women who have had their tubes tied to get pregnant anyway.  If this happens, we worry about an ectopic or tubal pregnancy.  While I think this is highly unlikely in your case, I recommend that you call your doctor immediately if you feel any lower abdominal or side pain as well as the continuing absence of your period.

In the meantime, click here for more information on perimenopause.

Best regards,
Donnica L. Moore, MD
President, Drdonnica.com

Created: 10/5/2002  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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