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Ask Dr. Norm S. Your Own Question
Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 11289
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice, including teaching students. Fellow of American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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I am a 47 year old and have always had regular periods until

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I am a 47 year old and have always had regular periods until this month when I have missed a period. I have had no other signs re menopause but have had slight stomach cramps for a week but nothing like I normally will have when having a period
Hello and welcome.
I am Dr. Norm, and I look forward to helping you today.

Do you have a specific question, or are you wondering what is going on with your body and what to expect in the future? Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

worried about why my period has just stopped this month with no warning


It's part of the normal process where a woman goes from regular periods to no periods (menopause). Usually this occurs over a period of time, so that some periods will be missed, periods will become less regular for a while, and eventually your periods will stop altogether. For most women, missing a period will be the first sign of this change.

Actual menopause (no further periods) may still be years away. Your ovaries control your periods, and your ovaries are aging and starting to lose their ability to maintain regular periods. The reason is that your egg supply is gradually decreasing, and once you have no more eggs, your periods stop.

Some women will have other symptoms of perimenopause, such as hot flushes, night sweats, etc. Both symptoms and variation in regularity of periods will vary greatly from woman to woman. Some women will just abruptly stop periods and never have another, but that's rare. It's much more common that periods will get irregular over several years before they stop.

Some women have many symptoms while going through this period, and other women have very few symptoms.

Once you get another period, your periods may be regular for a while, or may never be regular again. Each woman is different, and all you can do is see how it is for you.

I hope that's helpful, and I'd be happy to answer any follow up questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

your answer was very good but I am still a little concerned as I did start my periods very late in life at the age of 15 1/2 not sure if relevant but worry that at 47 I am still quite young for the menopause and not showing any other signs is quite frightening. My periods have been 26 - 28 every month I am now 6 days late which is very unusual and have not experienced any sign of menstruation that I usually do. I have had other problems in the past with 3 smear test showing irregular cells but for the last 3 years I have been fine. I have had other treatments also prolapse back wall and treatments due to having the irregular cells removed (cant remember the procedure sorry) but for the last 5 years everything seemed to be fine until now when I have missed a period and no other signs except I did experience slight stomach cramping. (normally on a period I have server pain and sometimes unable to walk which will last 2 days) this time the slight cramping lasted 5 days so I am very worried that this is not normal. I have had slight headaches on and off this week and have had constipation also - not sure if this is all linked but thought I would mention so not if I should be worried or it is natural at 47

I believe this is all very natural. You're actually quite lucky, as many women by age 47 will have hot flushes, irregular periods, breast soreness and other symptoms related to fluctuating hormone levels. The fact that your periods have been regular and now a period is late is actually expected and nothing to worry about. It's when periods have been very irregular over a long period of time that precancerous changes can develop.

Your abnormal Pap smears and treatment have nothing to do with the missed periods, since your periods are controlled by your ovarian hormones, and have nothing to do with your cervix.

The cramping may mean that a period or some bleeding is coming. The headaches and constipation may or may not be related to changing hormones. During the period of perimenopause (leading up to menopause), hormones tend to fluctuate and are unpredictable.

So I would say that what you're experiencing is completely normal and expected.
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