Menopause: Dr Amir outlines possible symptoms
A woman who was rushed to hospital after experiencing what she thought was a “terrifying” symptom of cervical cancer was actually diagnosed with the menopause.
Gigi Gerencser thought she was “haemorrhaging” after waking up one morning to find her sheets “drenched in blood”.
The then 53-year-old, whose periods had mostly stopped at this point due to the perimenopause, also felt extremely weak and collapsed in the bathroom.
Gigi, from Sechelt in Canada, said: “I can’t even explain – it was so terrifying – I woke up to find blood gushing out of me.
“I’d had a total of three periods in the three years before that – but it was nothing like this. I was extremely weak.
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“I thought I was haemorrhaging from something that had burst inside me – or I was convinced I had cervical cancer.
“I went to the bathroom and blood was gushing – I left the bathroom and collapsed.
Gigi was rushed to hospital by her husband – but after her biopsies came back clear, she was told this was a rare symptom of the menopause and likely “one last hurrah” period.
“A couple of weeks after I went to hospital, my biopsy results came back clear,” the business owner said.
“My gynaecologist told me it was a unique symptom of the menopause. I thought I was going crazy.”
Gigi first started experiencing symptoms of perimenopause eight years ago – at the age of 50.
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he perimenopause refers to a period of time in which your body is making the transition to the menopause.
Her symptoms started off mildly, and included hot flushes and missed periods.
Three months in, Gigi’s periods stopped almost completely – and in the three years afterwards, she had just one period a year.
Gigi, now 58, said: “I thought my menopause was just going to be mild – I kept thinking ‘I got this. I can do this.’
“I’d have month after month of not having a period – then, suddenly, I’d have a period. Then it’d stop again.
“I just thought they’d gradually stop and I’d never have one again.”
Gigi’s gynaecologist described the “scary” symptoms she experienced that night as something “unique”.
“My gynaecologist told me it was highly unusual – but not impossible. I’d had a ‘one last hurrah’ period – a final, massive one,” Gigi said.
“She said it happens when women still have a few eggs left after their periods slow down.
“It was likely I’d never have a period again. Five years later, I still haven’t.”
As Gigi moved into the menopause phase, her symptoms started to become more severe.
Her mental health deteriorated – with intense periods of rage and “painful, full-body anxiety” which would start as soon as she woke up.
She also had joint pain, bloating and constant hot flushes.
Eventually, Gigi decided to see a naturopath – terrified she was “going crazy”.
She prescribed her a topical hormone – 80 percent estriol and 20 percent estradiol – the more intense hormone of the two.
Gigi was also told to take vitamin supplements – magnesium, K2 and vitamin D – as well as a tailored meal plan which included healthy fats like salmon, and lots of greens.
These treatments have helped Gigi feel more like herself again.
“Going through the menopause humbles you,” Gigi added. “But the things that came out of that experience helped me to grow.”
If you are experiencing symptoms of the perimenopause or menopause the NHS advises speaking to your GP.
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