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Cramping At 42

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I am 42 years old. I've never been pregnant. My periods have been irregular since I can remember. They've always been very heavy and last for 10-14 days, but i've never had cramps before.

For the past few days, i've been having cramps at irregular intervals. They are very intense for about 30 seconds then fade away. I wear a pad because I think I must be about to start my period. I live in china and can't find a pregnancy test. (they exist here and i've bought them before, but I don't know how reliable they are.)

i can't say i'm late for my period because i'm so irregular, but I feel like I should have started before now. My breasts have been tender for the last two weeks. This is normal for me for the last year or so as my period approaches.

I don't think i'm urinating any more than usual. I have no other symptoms. I'm going to try to go to the doctor in the next week or so (it's a little difficult because I work and i'll have to travel to see a gyn.)

i guess my question is, what could be causing the cramping if not pregnancy? Could I suddenly begin having mentrual cramps after 30 years without them? If I am pregnant, should I be worried as i'm so old?

Thanks,
g
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replied March 22nd, 2006
Experienced User
Hi
Yes you need to see a doctor, you could be going through early menopause. And you said your irregular anway, I would wait a week to test, but if your cramps get really bad, go to the er,
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replied March 24th, 2006
Experienced User
I have read that menopause can very often mimic the symptoms of pregnancy. It could be that this is what you're experiencing. I would talk to your doctor to see what is happening. Thing is...Even if you found a pregnancy test that works...It may not give you an accurate result because of the hormones in your body if you are experiencing menopause. I have found this list of symptoms on the net. It's the top 35 symptoms of menopause.

1.Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling (see note)
2.Irregular heart beat
3.Irritability
4.Mood swings, sudden tears
5.Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
6.Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; .Phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
7.Loss of libido (see note)
8.Dry vagina (see note)
9.Crashing fatigue
10.Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
11.Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom (see note)
12.Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
13.Disturbing memory lapses
14.Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence (see note)
15.Itchy, crawly skin (see note)
16.Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons (see note)
17.Increased tension in muscles
18.Breast tenderness
19.Headache change: increase or decrease
20.Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
21.Sudden bouts of bloat
22.Depression (see note)
23.Exacerbation of existing conditions
24.Increase in allergies
25.Weight gain (see note)
26.Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
27.Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
28.Changes in body odor
29.Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head (see note)
30.Tingling in the extremities (see note)
31.Gum problems, increased bleeding
32.Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
33.Osteoporosis (after several years)
34.Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
35.Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, 'whooshing,' buzzing etc. (see note)



notes:
symptom 1 (flashes) hot flashes are due to the hypothalamic response to declining ovarian estrogen production. The declining estrogen state induces hypophysiotropic neurons in the arcuate nucleas of the hypothalamus to release gonadotropin-releasing hormone (gnrh) in a pulsatile fashion, which in turn stimulates release of luteinizing hormone (lh). Extremely high pulses of lh occur during the period of declining estrogen production. The lh has vasodilatory effects, which leads to flushing.
Symptom 7 (loss of libido) for some women the loss is so great that they actually find sex repulsive, in much the same way as they felt before puberty. What hormones give, loss of hormones can take away.
Symptom 8 (dry vagina) results in painful intercourse
symptom 11 (doom thoughts) includes thoughts of death, picturing one's own death
symptom 14(incontinence) reflects a general loss of smooth muscle tone
symptom 15 (itchy, crawly skin) feeling of ants crawling under the skin, not just dry itchy skin
symptom 16 (aching sore joints) may include such problems as carpal tunnel syndrome
symptom 22 (depression) different from other depression, the inability to cope is overwhelming. There is a feeling of loss of self. Hormone therapy ameliorates the depression dramatically.
Symptom 25 (weight gain) often around the waist and thighs, resulting in 'the disappearing waistline'
symptom 29 (shock sensation) "the feeling of a rubber band snapping in the layer of tissue between skin and muscle. It is a precursor to a hot flash"
symptom 30 (tingling in extremities) can also be a symptom of b-12 deficiency, diabetes, alterations in the flexibility of blood vessels, or a depletion of potassium or calcium
symptom 35* (tinnitus) one of those physical conditions that seems to manifest in some women at the same time as menopause. It can be associated with health conditions such as hypothyroidism and heart disease, and is a known side-effect of many medications, including aspirin (salicylates) and prozac.
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replied March 24th, 2006
Experienced User
42 is very young for menopause.

There could be many reasons why you are cramping. See a doctor.
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replied March 24th, 2006
Especially eHealthy
Not really.You can get it anytime,usually between 40 and 50 years of age is what I heard.
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replied March 24th, 2006
Especially eHealthy
Menopause is after you stop having periods. The time leading up to menopause is perimenopause. They don't talk about it enough, but you can get it starting in your 30's. And all the things wannababy25 posted can begin happening during peri menopause.
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replied March 24th, 2006
Especially eHealthy
Very true
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replied March 24th, 2006
Experienced User
Here's the site where I got all the info. You'll find all this info on the top left of the page under 'menopause experience'. Lots of info there on perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause.

Http://www.Project-aware.Org

and yeah...42 is not too young.

Hope this helps,
melanie :)
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replied March 24th, 2006
Experienced User
It might not be menopause. I have cramping and bloating, etc and I have a cyst or fibroid or something on my right ovary. I am having a biopsy on it on monday, i'll know more about what it is after that. But anyway, in your forties there are so many things that can be causing your problems you should see a doctor.

Even if it turns out that you are pregnant.
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replied October 25th, 2010
idk if im prego
Heyy, im 20 years old and lately i have been really irritatable, constipated, the heels of my feet itch, i get cramps,i still get a period but its light and 4 days long, my upper back hurts really bad all the time, and i have to potty more than usual on top of feeling like i have indigestion and like im going to thro up sum time. idk what to think because i took a test and it was negative. i just dont know, sum1 please help!
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