Menopause and flares

I woke up this morning in the worst crash I have had in some time. I am 52 and peri menopausal. Each time I have my next period I seem to be left in a mini flare. It lasts a few days or so. High temp, aching, headaches, ulcers in my eyes, mouth, joints swelling. This time each day another symptom is added, I am finding it difficult to move, chest pains, nausea. All the problems I get singularly in one.

Although I know hormones affect lupus, including menopause I am struggling with the uncertainty of how long this will continue and each time recovery is less.

Has anyone had the same? I have been offered progesterone pill, however, I have reacted badly in the past.

19 Replies

  • Hi Jo, I feel for you. I was lucky in that I got through the menapause before my lupus really started, all though I was young at only 40 when I was forced into it by having my ovaries removed. The patch was my saving grace.

    Sending hugs your way.

    Keep in touch

    A x

  • Hi Alison, thank you. Just feel like it goes on for ever. Each Month I think maybe this is it. But it carries on and the lupus symptoms build and never quite recover. I will go back to the gp and ask about alternatives.x

  • I think it would be worth a chat at least. I still wear mine ten years on to protect my bones. Wouldn't be without it.

    Let me know how it goes.



  • Think it's called Estraderm. I have the 25 but was on 50 when I started.

  • Thankyou

  • Hi Jo,

    How are you now? Is it any easier?


  • Have you tried the patch? Evorel , ive been on it 16 yrs now and have no intention of stopping, i still get flare ups but no where near as bad as before x

  • Thank you, Alison has just mentioned this too, I will put it to my gp.

  • I always suffer monthly, I'm 51 and on HRT, no one seems to know whether I'm going through menopause or not. I have had a bleed the first time in about 6 months. I'm not sure whether HRT has helped.

    Also, I've been on hydroxychloroquine sulphate from the start and believe that it helps. My latest eye test shows that it has caused macular damage so I'm waiting to see if I have to come off it. They are all passing the buck as usual, one doc to the next and no one will give me an answer. In the meantime everything looks fuzzy. x

  • I hope this gets sorted for you. Its rotten when you've been relatively stable on meds to come off not knowing the outcome. Its worse when there is indecision. I'm on hydroxy too. And with all the other meds had managed quite well except for minor flares until heading into menopause. Symptoms had progressed slowly and I was quick to jump on things but now its like a sledge hammer. Back to the gp. Thank you.

  • Hello Johare,

    Im so sorry to hear of your problems I have a similar situation with my RA and menopause I'm 58 and am beginning to wonder if my menopause will ever end I also have all of the horrific "extras"which you have described severe headaches regular hot flushes and flares all mixed into one, muscle aches and pains ulcers several eye problems, painful and very hot stiff hands especially at night and as one thing eases another appears I've realised that one cannot keep discussing these things with friends and family because they just switch off in the end so good job there are websites like this where at least others understand what your going through. As your only 52 my best advice to you to give you some relief (at least for a couple of years ) would be to do what I did (as long as your doctor agrees ) I summed up my problems and thought that if HRT could at least stop the hot flushes that would be one less problem to deal with and that is exactly what I did and it worked I did have to stop taking the HRT after a couple of years because I was bleeding continuously but as I said it may help you at least for a while. I do feel for you because I have only recently got this bad I was totally fine at 52. Good luck.

  • Yep this sounds about right. I have RA as part of lupus and agree with what you describe. I'm not sure where the stiffness of RA or flushes of lupus starts and those menopause end. As such I can preempt a flare. Thank you.

  • menopause was a nightmare for me. I started peri-menopause approximately 46 yrs of age. up until this point I was able to manage myself with exercise, diet, and tons of sleep and relaxation and meditation ,yoga etc. I did pretty good. by the time I was 48 I was in the throws of premenopause - mood swings from hell, and it was pretty obvious my flare ups were coming more aggressively and more frequently. mouth ulcers started (didn't have them before) hives/rash/eczema from hell. so a few new symptoms popped up and popped up more frequently, until I thought that I was just experiencing one long flare up. Well Im in menopause now, and I almost lost my kidneys thru that experience. Im on Plaquenil and prednisone now (which I wasn't on before because it was manageable on my own) but since menopause, my lupus gained a lot of power, and showed me what it can really do! I depend on meds now or else I think lupus will kill me. As if menopause isn't s***** enough, we also have lupus to torture us through it! :(

  • I should also add, that the dr put me on estrogen and I got a 3 foot blood clot immediately, which entered my lung. very scary stuff. we cleared that up and I was immediately taken off of estrogen and I took Prozac. Prozac instantly helped me with menopause symptoms (well after about a month of getting it into my system) im still on Prozac because it also sooths my nerves, which in turn sooths a little bit of my lupus. so I would recommend and SSRI to anyone suffering with pre menopause hell.

  • Thank you for your story. It helps to know others are go through the same especially when you speak to drs.

  • Hi Johare

    I know exactly what you're going through - sending you my love

    I'm on patch of Evorel 75mgs and has helped with the hot flushes and night sweats - I've been on it for 6 months now. I don't need/want any progesterone as I had an early hysterectomy (kept my ovaries though). However, I do still get a mini flare (sometimes full blown) about once a month. I'm going to see my rheumy this week son will let you know what he says too.


  • Thankyou, look forward to your feedback.

  • Hello people, thought I would feedback. Went to our new gp, he was excellent. He listened to everything, suggested new ointment instead of creams for external soreness. He has also put me a trial of hrt pessaries which will reinforce the vaginal wall. I was concerned about going on hrt and then having to come off again and the affect this would have on lupus. He felt this was the best option.

    Thank you to all those who gave me your thoughts and experiences he did listen.

  • I didn't like progesterone either because it made me very depressed.   I ended up on Prozac for menopausal symptoms and it has done a good job!  I would have never been an advocate for SSRIs in the past, but it won me over during this turbulent time of life.   I recommend it although it takes up to 8 weeks to really kick in.  And it doesn't alter anything like hormone therapy does

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