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