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  1. #1
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    Jul 2012
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    "Menopausal" symptoms causing issues with exercising

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    Earlier this year I went for my yearly exam. I had missed that months cycle and the gyn told me if I missed 3 months in a row to come back. I missed 3 and came back, so they ran some bloodwork and told me I was "menopausal." I'm guessing that means periomenopause?

    Most of the symptoms I can live with/deal with, but the one that's causing me grief, especially with cycling, is the need to pee every 5 seconds (yes, that's an exaggeration.) The doc gave me a script for Versicare. I've only been on it a few days, but I was wondering if anyone else has had to deal with this and how you handled it or what you used.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    It's been an issue for me too, don't have any magic bullets, meds didn't do a thing for me (though some other meds, notably cromolyn sodium, made it worse). Embarrassment has kept me out of pelvic rehab for the time being, though if you're brave enough, that might be the first thing to try.

    One thing that I can say is that excess urination is my very first warning sign of hyponatremia - something I struggled with literally for decades until I finally figured it out, and any more I rarely drink plain water without adding an electrolyte tablet, especially in warm weather. Aldosterone production decreases as we age, and that's one of the hormones that helps regulate electrolytes. Sodium is the only nutrient that humans can't get enough of from food alone - all mammals have to supplement sodium, which is why wild animals seek out salt licks and farmers supply salt licks for their livestock. People who eat a lot of junk food don't have to worry about it, but active people who eat mostly real food will lose more sodium in sweat than what we can take in without adding salt.

    If you have salt sensitive blood pressure, obviously you'll want to check with your doctor before increasing your sodium intake. There's at least some research that shows that chloride contributes to blood pressure rise in salt sensitive people even more than sodium, and that sodium carbonates (the usual ingredient in electrolyte tablets) are safer for salt sensitive people.

    Something to think about anyway.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Houston
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    Thanks Oak, that's very useful information that I'll look into.
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    2013 Electra Verse

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    I have issues with prolonged water retention, bloating like I used to get for a few days during my period but now it lasts for weeks on end. So I guess I'm the opposite. I avoid salty foods when it's happening, and try to limit them at other times. Though I do buy lunch nearly every week day (sandwiches from places like Subway and Jersey Mike's) so I'm getting extra sodium from that.

    BTW I think that menopause is defined as a full year without a period, so yes you're dealing with perimenopause now.

    I ride a lot with men who are in their 60s and 70s, and they have a similar problem to yours (for a different reason). When I plan routes I try to have bathroom stops every 15 miles or so. That translates to roughly every hour/hour and fifteen minutes, depending on the rider's speed, which seems sufficient for them.

    I hope you find a solution.

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  5. #5
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    Jul 2012
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    Houston
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    Yeah, that's why I put "menopausal" in quotes. That was the exact word the nurse used when she called and I guess she meant perimenopause. Maybe she didn't think I'd know that word.

    I can always ride with the 25 mile group that has one stop in the middle of the ride, but might have to skip the longer groups because none of them stop more than once or I could just make my own route ☺
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
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    774
    I'm in my early 50s, no periods since last October (double-yeah).

    I have not "suffered" from anything yet, but the hot flashes (mostly at night).

    I did not get the bloating, weight gain (in fact I'm losing but not because of this - just better eating and moving some more). I feel I am less patient, but it may just be because I sleep poorly. Nothing new there for me!

    The only thing I had was very, but very sore left breast for a good 2-3 weeks about 3 weeks ago. Nothing anymore.

    My doc had me done a special blood panel for peri (or menopause) and all came back ok.

    Hoping you all will get over this. Must be very annoying.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
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  7. #7
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    I'm 45. At 43 I started bleeding all the time, got put on birth control pills and my cycle got lighter and lighter. It stopped altogether in March and I quit the pills.

    I've had extreme breast pain, bloating, vaginal irritation, insomnia, muscle aches and the most annoying, frequent urination. Thankfully I haven't had any hot flashes. Oh, and for about 3 months I truly thought I was going crazy, my emotions were uncontrollable.
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    2013 Electra Verse

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    I am 13 years post menopausal and I'd say I do pee more, but I also drink a lot more water. I always use an electrolyte tab for any ride over 20 miles and/or hot weather. Weird thing is, my urinary system seems to almost shut down once I start a long ride. I go, but not with urgency I often have, especially in the morning. The men I ride with have to pee a lot more than I do!
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ohio
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    164
    Quote Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
    ...
    Most of the symptoms I can live with/deal with, but the one that's causing me grief, especially with cycling, is the need to pee every 5 seconds (yes, that's an exaggeration.) The doc gave me a script for Versicare. I've only been on it a few days, but I was wondering if anyone else has had to deal with this and how you handled it or what you used.
    This quote could have been written by me, minus the Versicare. Because of the frequent need to urinate and having to orchestrate rides to pass bathrooms, I have researched female urination devices and have this in an online shopping cart right now:
    http://www.freshette.com/sports_travel.html

    I am hoping to be brave enough to use it on my rides. Would still have to plan for places to stop for privacy though. If no one else on this site has used one and can give their testimony, I'll be the guinea pig. But in the meantime, the one thing that has definitely helped me to hold my urine better is diligently doing kegel exercises. It absolutely has helped strengthen my hold.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
    I'm 45. At 43 I started bleeding all the time, got put on birth control pills and my cycle got lighter and lighter. It stopped altogether in March and I quit the pills.

    I've had extreme breast pain, bloating, vaginal irritation, insomnia, muscle aches and the most annoying, frequent urination. Thankfully I haven't had any hot flashes. Oh, and for about 3 months I truly thought I was going crazy, my emotions were uncontrollable.

    Every one is different, and each person's symptoms usually fluctuate over time, I think. I'm 50 and things have been irregular and unpredictable for some years now. Between November and March I had no periods but lots of hot flashes, day and night. I tend to really feel the cold in winter and in the past have worn wool camisoles and heavy sweaters to stay warm, but this past winter all that was too much. Interestingly, I also lost a few pounds and had no trouble with water retention during that time. Then in March I got a period and another in April. Which is all to say that whatever you're experiencing now will probably not last, for better or worse.

    To wnyrider's point, one challenge I've dealt with in planning bike rides with sufficient rest stops is that the best areas for cycling in this area (or at least my favorite areas) are rural, and there are not many good options for stops. There aren't many stores and the ones you do find sometimes don't have public restrooms. And just stopping on the side of the road is not really feasible in open farmland with no trees or hedges. I have developed an unconscious habit of noting the location of every portapotty I see, which is kinda weird. I also have a favorite brand -- Don's Johns, headquartered in northern Virginia. They've got some very heavily-used portolets on the trails around here, and even on busy summer weekend those things still smell nice.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I've used a Freshette. IMO, more hassle than it's worth (I don't even know where mine is any more) - but I live in an area where there are a lot of woodlots and ditches (and cornfields between them, in season), and I'm not shy. Probably depends on your anatomy, but I've got a lot of soft tissue that got compressed by the funnel, and it just kind of made a mess, whereas if you just squat you can hold your labia out of the way. Plus then you've got to carry the p*ssy thing for the rest of your ride, and even possibly reuse it after it's been in your ziploc bag for hours. Ew.

    My mom used the disposable paper ones before her knee replacement, when she felt the need to "hover" over public toilets but couldn't do it. She liked them a lot.

    I might feel differently about it if I lived somewhere that didn't provide cover.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    Every one is different, and each person's symptoms usually fluctuate over time, I think. I'm 50 and things have been irregular and unpredictable for some years now. Between November and March I had no periods but lots of hot flashes, day and night. I tend to really feel the cold in winter and in the past have worn wool camisoles and heavy sweaters to stay warm, but this past winter all that was too much. Interestingly, I also lost a few pounds and had no trouble with water retention during that time. Then in March I got a period and another in April. Which is all to say that whatever you're experiencing now will probably not last, for better or worse.

    To wnyrider's point, one challenge I've dealt with in planning bike rides with sufficient rest stops is that the best areas for cycling in this area (or at least my favorite areas) are rural, and there are not many good options for stops. There aren't many stores and the ones you do find sometimes don't have public restrooms. And just stopping on the side of the road is not really feasible in open farmland with no trees or hedges. I have developed an unconscious habit of noting the location of every portapotty I see, which is kinda weird. I also have a favorite brand -- Don's Johns, headquartered in northern Virginia. They've got some very heavily-used portolets on the trails around here, and even on busy summer weekend those things still smell nice.
    I have noticed myself over the past 5 years, just simply more aware of my peeing needs. Doesn't mean I do it more frequently. Maybe shorter distances now...I used to be able to ride for 45 km. without need to pee. But now it seems like every 30 km. or so. No hard fast benchmark milepoint. Just guess. Fortunately my partner seems to have a need around the time I do... But men, can get away with more stuff...let's not go into details.

    And living on the flat prairies even in big huge urban parks with hardly any trees....can be an issue!!!! I live in a city that hardly offers any washroom facilities in its extensive parks-pathway system. Very different from Toronto and Vancouver. I think it's a shame because it prevents lots more people from going for long walks, jogs, etc. GRRRRRRR.

    I have been menopausal for past 3 years. No period so far. I didn't go through extreme symptoms.

    But now I seem to be having more short hot flashes....some of it seems to me, related to stress. Oh well. It's not enough that I'm sweating uncontrollably in a huge watery way. I'm 56.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
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    I appreciate everyone sharing their experiences. I feel like I'm a hair young, so it's disturbing, but in reality not unusual.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    No, you are not! I started having peri symptoms in my late 30s . They abated for a couple of years, but by the time I was 45 I was in the throes of it. I was 48 when I had my last period, but for the 2 years before, I went 11 months without one, had one, and then stopped again for 11 months, and had a final one in June 2002. My mom had died by then, but I knew she was suffering with symptoms all through her late 40s and stopped at age 50. My aunt said she stopped cold at age 46, with no symptoms or warning.
    What scares me, is that around here, many people don't even consider having kids until they are 35, 40, or 42. While I never wanted more than 2 kids, I would have been very close to the age where I started having problems if I had had a third. While I don't endorse having kids at a super young age, I had enough problems having my two at age 29 (well 3 weeks before my birthday) and 31.5. I shudder to think what might have happened if I had waited until 35.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    +1 you're not too young ... but be grateful your doctor recognizes it for what it is! Perimenopause started in my mid to late 30s also, and when the gynecologist and breast oncologist had no clue about my extreme breast pain and swelling, I got shuffled off to everyone from infectious disease to cardiology. Seriously. Finally had to figure it out for myself, like most of my experiences with the medical industry.

    Menopause itself didn't start for another 12-14 years or so after that. That hasn't been bad at all. A few spates of very brief hot flashes (i.e. a few seconds' relief from being freezing all the time), rarely have them at all any more. I'm staying active, and since I didn't start running until I was in my late 40s I'm getting faster from experience, faster than I'm getting slower from aging, though I've read that the real physical declines don't start until later, like in the age group I'm in now.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 05-13-2015 at 07:01 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

 

 

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