Period after menopause is NOT normal – get a 2nd opinion if necessary

Qultluvr writes:

I’d like to tell my story so that women in menopause know that having a period (after not having one for at least 6 months) is NOT normal.

My tale really involves 2 women – myself and a friend who is about my age and about the same size as I am.

We both had what seemed and felt like a menstrual period after having been told we were in full menopause. Since I had a reliable doctor, off I went to be checked out. My doctor said it is definitely not normal and sent me for a D&C. The tissue from the D&C came back as “pre-cancerous” and my doctor said the standard prescription for that is a hysterectomy. I did a little research and found the same thing. So my doctor sent me to a surgeon, who though grumpy and mean (to everybody), scheduled the surgery. The surgery was decidedly not fun, but all went well. The pathology report came back with the info that there had indeed been a tumor (cancer) in the cavity of the uterus. Now it is 6 years later and I am able to dance/work/chase-my-grandkids to my heart’s delight.

My friend’s story is very different. She had what seemed like a period and thought it was normal and ignored it for several years. She mentioned it to another friend, who urged her to talk to me and I urged her to go see a doctor. So she did and got the usual “you’re too fat” run-around. She insisted that something must be done and did get a referral to a local surgeon – who said she was too fat, that nobody could do a hysterectomy on her and refused to do the surgery. I’m not clear how many doctors she went through, but she did eventually find one competent enough to do a hysterectomy on a 300ish pound woman. My recovery was 6 weeks; hers has been over 6 months. My total time from first visit to totally recovered was 5 months; hers was about 3 full years, some of it listening in misery to some jerk tell her she’s too fat and refusing to treat something she clearly knows is not okay. Her outcome now is pretty good, so this story has a reasonably happy ending for both of us.

I think it does have two clear points.
1) If you think something is wrong, get to a doctor and keep going until you find one who will treat you respectfully and actually listen to what is going on.
2) It does really help to have found a doctor you can trust before you really need one. I know how hard that is and yes, it is hard. I had to drive an hour and a half from my home to the doctor’s office (same distance to the hospital) and it was absolutely worth it at the time I needed a reliable doctor most.

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8 Comments

  1. Chaika

     /  September 27, 2011

    I got the “too fat” runaround on birth control. After nearly two decades of celibacy, what do you know… I’m having sex again (yay!). My usual doctor was out on leave, so I saw several of her practice members. Doctor #1: “get your tubes tied and be done with it.” Scheduled consult with Doctor #2, the surgeon, who said, “I won’t do it; you’re too fat to operate on.” Doctor #3: “try an IUD.” Appointment to have it installed; Doctor #4:” why don’t you just get your tubes tied? There are risks to IUDs, especially as heavy as you are.” Obviously they all think fat to be having sex and too old to need birth control. Wrong on both counts.

    Reply
  2. tielserrath

     /  November 13, 2011

    (fat) doctor here.
    Sometimes recurring bleeding can be related to weight – fat tissue produces oestragen (it’s why older fat people, especially women, tend to have such good skin).

    That said, putting it down to weight is a diagnosis of exclusion; that is, you exclude all the scary things before you even think about having that conversation.

    Post-menopausal bleeding, or intermenstrual bleeding (bleeding between periods) should always be properly investigated.

    And the risk of having an IUD is no different in the obese than in the skinny. In fact, an IUD is the best option as there’s not enough hormone released to affect weight, and it’s reversible.

    The biggest problem with surgery is not the operating, it’s the anaesthetic. That’s where all the risk is. If you’re considering any form of surgery the first person you need to talk to is the anaesthetist.

    Reply
  3. Mary h

     /  March 26, 2012

    Thanks, for the info …after one year I stared on my period this Friday and I have schedule a dr. Appt ASAP….for this coimg thursday

    Reply
  4. shiu narayan

     /  May 28, 2012

    i am a medical student and was realy impressed by this story especially by the doc who agreed to operate on her

    Reply
  5. Laura

     /  November 3, 2012

    After 8 years and was told at 38 i was in menapause i got my period and having a hard time, my overies hurt. I o have an ppt monday o please pray for me

    Reply
  6. Mary Ellen

     /  December 5, 2012

    Laura, I hope all is well with you. Prayers coming your way.

    Reply
  7. I had no idea that heavier women got treated like that by DOCTORS. I know people can be cruel but with lots of people experience, I guess I just thought Doctors would be tactful. Oh well, doctors are people too, with the same percentage of a-holes as the rest of the population.

    Reply
  8. I desperately need to find a doctor not afraid to treat a large woman’s cancer. My doctors have all but decided I’m too “unfit” for treatment and ought to go home and die (even though my primary care docs have signed off on my fitness for surgery, I have a bp of 110/70, a great A1C, decent cholesterol and a “wide open” arteries, to quote the doc who imaged them. Oh, and I’m a lifter who curls 45 lbs). The current excuse is its better I die of cancer because I’ve had mild intermittent asthma since I was a kid, or some such nonsense.

    Reply

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