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Missed Period in Late 40sBACK

Growth of a girl into womanhood starts with her menstruation. With menstruation she has entered the childbearing age. After experiencing menstruation every month for many years, a time comes when an irregularity is noticed in its timing. On occasions, she may miss her periods. At a young age this can be due to pregnancy but in the 40s apart from pregnancy one must consider other reasons. Missed periods in the late 40s can be a sign of perimenopause or menopause. In the period leading to menopause, a lady may experience:

  • Scanty periods
  • Irregular periods
  • Increased duration between periods
  • Occasionally heavy bleeding

Hence, when a woman in her mid-40s experiences a missed period, it is quite tough to identify if she is pregnant or missed a period due to menopause. One must understand the difference in symptoms in both so that one can detect the reason for the missed periods. Let us look at a few symptoms that are common in both pregnancy and menopause:

  • One will experience missed periods in both pregnancy and menopause.
  • A woman, whether pregnant or in menopause, will experience cramping and bloating.
  • A pregnant woman and a woman in perimenopause or menopause may experience sleep disturbances.
  • Mood and emotional swings are common in both situations.
  • Fatigue is a general problem in both conditions.
  • Frequent urination or urge to pass urine can happen in both conditions.

Specific symptoms seen during pregnancy are:

  • Food cravings.
  • Nausea and vomiting, especially during early morning.
  • Swollen breasts.

Symptoms specific to menopause are:

  • Hot flushes.
  • Vaginal dryness, etc.

To distinguish between pregnancy and menopausal cessation of menstruation one should perform urine pregnancy test.

It is better to fix an appointment with the doctor so that one can be counselled irrespective of the result. This shall include:

  • General examination.
  • Gynecological examination
  • Counselling related to specific problems.
  • Nutritional guidance.
  • Psychological guidance.

Dr. Rekha Khandelwal