Read the full video transcript below
Hello and welcome to my weekly video blog. And today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I'm going to be talking about periods coming back. Now, it's amazing how many women think that when they start the approach to the menopause, their periods will just stop and that's it. Now, really there are very few women to whom this happens.
For most of us, there can be a number of changes that go on for weeks and months, and sometimes even years, before our periods stop for good. And the problem here is that if you think your periods should just stop and that's the end of the menopause, if they do come back, then they can start to panic. They can start to worry about what exactly is going on, and this is where we tend to get an awful lot of questions.
So I thought, although I have mentioned things in the past, that I would just go through this again today. Now, there are a number of scenarios on how your periods can stop as you approach the menopause. For the majority of women, they will just find that they'll stop and start, and stop and start. You might miss one, you might miss a couple, and then they come back, and so on.
This can go on for months, and sometimes even years before your periods stop for good, and especially if you start around about the earlier ages of the menopause, so that's sort of 45 to 48 or 49. This is one of the main ways in which your periods will start to tail off. For some women, they may miss three or four periods, and then get one back, and then they miss again, and get them back.
And again, this can go on sometimes up to a couple of years before they start to really tail off. There's another group though, and that's those women who can go without a period for six months, a year, maybe a year and a half up to two years without a period. This is the kind of main group that I'd like to talk about today.
Reasons why your periods can come back
There can be a number of reasons why your periods would come back after all this time.
1. A final fling
Number one is it's a final fling by your hormones. Suddenly, your body's going, "Oh, wait a minute.This is the menopause. Things are going to stop.I'm just going to have one last go at shaking all my hormones up."
And very often, all that will happen there is you get one period, might be a normal one, it might just be a short one and then, that is it. You find from then on your periods have just completely stopped.
2. Stress & anxiety
It could be a big change to your diet or lifestyle. We know sometimes that a lot of stress, a lot of anxiety, dietary changes can sometimes affect the hormones as well, so that might be one of the main causes where your periods have started to come back or you've just had an extra one out of the blue.
3. Improving your diet
It can also be improving your diet. Now, this sounds a bit silly doesn't it, when you're actually improving your diet and your lifestyle, and it starts your periods up again. But this is quite logical because again, as you're approaching the menopause, your energy and your activity can slow down.
If you start to improve your diet, again, you're giving your body the excuse to start things up again. And this is a very common one for those women who in the middle of the menopause suddenly decide, "I'm going to go on a health kick," so definitely bear that one in mind.
4. Falling in love
And number four, believe it or not, is falling in love. And it's amazing how many women start new relationships in the menopause, and then find that their periods start up again.
This is due to just the love hormones, if you like. Remember I've often talked about oxytocin changing things, maybe not for the best in the menopause, but if you're suddenly in love again, then that can really boost your oxytocin that can bring your periods back. And just feeling really happy, feeling much more relaxed, all these really positive emotional issues can start your periods up again.
What you need to do if your periods have come back
Now, what do you do in these cases? On the whole, it's usually nothing to worry about, but if you do get a proper period back within this time frame that means your hormones have started up again. And you have to count right back from the beginning which I know is a bit of a pain, but because your periods have had one little surge out of the blue that doesn't mean that you're not going to get any more.
And it's really important then, especially if you have an active sex life is you still need to take precautions until, if you're under 50, you've been without a period for 2 years, and if you're over 50, if you haven't had a period for a year or more. So sorry ladies, but for those of you in this situation, you've got to go right back to the beginning.
Go to your doctor
The other thing we say to women is do go and get this checked out by your doctor just to make sure that everything is okay. The problem here is that lots of women over time, maybe for many years, have had little fibroids, or polyps, or cysts, that have never caused any problem at all, but when your hormones start to change, this can affect the lining of the womb.
It can affect the shape of the womb as well. And these issues, fibroids, and cysts, and polyps, may start to bleed, and it could be more to do with this rather than your hormones starting up again. So we always say, please get this checked out if you have had no periods for six months or more, and you start to get a period, or periods come back again just to stop yourself worrying and to put your mind at rest is the best way just to look at this.
For some of you, all you might get is a little bit of spotting. This can be due to a number of things. It can be your hormones just half-heartedly decided to have a little rise. It can also be due to something like a vaginal tear which can happen. So if this does occur, maybe look back over the last few days and see what you're doing.
We've had women who've started exercise regimes, who've gone on their bike, who've started jogging, have found that, you know, they think they've got a period back, and it's more to do with the fact that as the vagina starts to thin during the menopause, the tissue can be much more fragile, and any overactivity might actually cause a little tear and cause the bleeding as well.
Period back after more than two years
Now, if you have been more than two years without a period and you get one, or several come back, this is when you go to the doctor. It's unlikely, although not impossible, to be a hormonal shift going on again, but in this case, we say, "Please don't worry, but go and see your doctor as soon as you can."
So I hope this has given you a little bit more of an insight into all the wonderful different ways that our periods can change when we start our approach to the menopause.
If any of you have had any other issues with this and you'd like to share with us, I would love to hear about it. And until then I'll see you next week on another A.Vogel Talks Menopause.