10:01 am - 08/17/2018

Mild hot flashes - PMS or early perimenopause?

Hello everyone!

I am on my phone so apologies for any formatting issues.

I am 26, no children, no HBC. For about last 6 months I've started having hot flashes in the week before my period. They are fairly mild (I heard people describe "real" hot flashes feeling like stepping into a furnace), I just feel noticeably warmer for a few minutes, which is uncomfortable but not unmanageable, and noone else notices. It does make me feel a bit anxious as something "unusual" is happening. This happens daily/few times a day. Does not happen during other parts of my cycle.
I've always had various PMS "symptoms" (I get moody, I cry a lot, have a headache and sore breasts, etc...), but the hot flashes have been a new development.
Because I would probably like to have children in the future, I am worried that it is the start of perimenopause.
Does anyone have experience with this? I was considering going to a doctor to have my hormones checked, but I don't want them to laugh at me if it is something normal and common during PMS.
Thank you for any advice!
themockingmommy 17th-Aug-2018 12:32 pm (UTC)
Normal, I'd say. Our temperatures are elevated before we get our period, and they break just before we get our period. I've had some months where I notice "hot flashes" as much as a week before my period, too!

Do you have any other symptoms of perimenopause? If not, I wouldn't worry at all. It sounds well within the realm of normal to me. :)
hikerpoet 17th-Aug-2018 04:12 pm (UTC)
Are you on any other medications? A friend gets these from an anxiety med she's on (I'm not sure which one off the top of my head but could check.) and her doctor said it is a known side effect.
elfbert 17th-Aug-2018 05:53 pm (UTC)
I get hot flushes and go bright red because I have rosacea - it's brought on by all sorts, caffeine, alcohol - so could easily be triggered by hormones too. I don't really have any other particular symptoms to go with it. Only know what it is because my mother has the same. (Weirdly I'm currently pregnant and haven't had a flush for 6 months now!) Just another option to have a read about.
octoberland 17th-Aug-2018 07:34 pm (UTC)
I hate to be the person who might add to your anxiety but I would err on the side of caution. Only because you said you do want kids. I say this because I actually do have a family member who went through menopause in her twenties. Obviously, this is EXTREMELY rare and likely NOT what's happening to you but it wouldn't hurt to go and get it checked out. I always say better safe than sorry.
archangelbeth 18th-Aug-2018 06:01 am (UTC)
I'd say that even if it's within the realm of normal, it's worth going to the doctor and saying, matter-of-factly, "This isn't normal for me, thus far, and I'd like to be tested to make sure my hormones are all in order so I don't have to worry about something affecting my fertility."

I would also get your thyroid checked -- TSH should be between .4 and 4, and ideally no higher than around 2-ish. (Don't trust "normal" till you see the numbers; some labs are still lax about their normal-range.) In your case, with hot flashes, I would say that if you're near the low end of that value (anything below TSH 1, really), you might want to check for anitbodies to your thyroid -- hyperthyroidism might produce some weird effects like that.

You might also want to check to see what your magnesium levels are, on a real longshot that I don't know if it's even medically plausible -- they had me on a magnesium-sulfate IV when I had pre-eclampsia (it's a muscle relaxant and they didn't want me having seizures), and that A: causes hot flashes, and B: eventually makes one a bit "tipsy."

For the mood stuff... Well, if you're getting your blood drawn anyway, you might also get a test for the B-vitamins; my PMS moodiness was vastly improved by taking a daily (every day, not just PMS days; took a couple months to have an effect) B-complex. Some people get more anxious or irritable on extra B, though, so it might be worth seeing if your levels are low or low-normal first.

And, in final... It is fine to get tested for peace of mind. If a doctor belittles you for it, especially if you've framed it as "I don't want to stress over it, so a test to rule out problems is what I'm looking for," then that's a bad doctor and you can try to get a different one if possible. (And if not possible for any reason, you are entitled to use an Icy Stare of Disdain.)

Good luck! I hope you get a good answer.
acs80 23rd-Sep-2018 10:01 pm (UTC)
Yep! I get hot and cold flashes in the days before my period. I think it's totally normal.
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