Stopping of periods

Hi guys, hope you are all ok ATM another question for you.

Does the medication we take affect our menstral cycle, I started on MTX, hydroxy and naproxen in May and have only had 1 period since and that was at the end of June! Is this normal? I spoke to my rhumey nurse and all she said was, it's unusual but didn't say it was a common complaint the opposite actually! I am just wondering if its ok to just leave it or should I be seeking medical help from my gp, I am 47 so could it be menopausal? My periods were very regular before May! Thanks for your help

28 Replies

  • Personally I think any changes in menstrual cycle should be checked out by your GP. My periods stopped when I was in my early twenties and that's when my GP ran some tests which unearthed my hypothyroidism. Now mine seem to be more regular on mtx and last approx 10 days !! grrrr!

    Paula x

  • I have an under active thyroid land and have been on medication for that for the last 14 years, so it's not gonna be connected with that. It's such a mystery. I thought maybe it was the MTX !! Perhaps not. I just don't know! Thanks for your reply. X

  • It couldn't be for the most obvious reason?

  • Eerrr NO!!! Lol..x

  • I was 47 when diagnosed, and was having hot flushes so the GP did a blood test and found I am peri-menopausal. I've seen a couple of reports looking into whether there's a link between the onset of RA and the menopause because it seems to happen quite often.

    However, as others are saying, there are various possible reasons so your GP would be the place to start.

  • I was going through menopause when my RA started and am sure they are closely linked for me. I can't say about periods because they had stopped a few years previously but I do know, having read up, that MTX most certainly can and does affect the menstrual cycle for many women. There have been threads in the past on here relating to this so you are not alone at all. I would see your GP as Paula suggests to rule out other possible reasons for hormonal change though. Tilda x

  • For another condition I was put on prednisolone and cyclophophamide at the age of 35. my periods stopped - marvellous! as they were always heavy and very painful. I went through a quick and easy menapause.



  • Good idea to talk to GP. At 47 could well be perimenopause, and sometimes (but not always) blood tests can confirm that, so worth asking about. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the GP also did things like thyroid function tests at the same time.

  • Thank you for your comments it's probably all connected to RA , just lately everything seems to come back round to that!!! I can say I don't really mind not having periods anymore, but I have no other symptoms, like hot flushes etc! Who knows, thanks for taking the time to comment!! Xx

  • Hi, I'm 47 too (46 when diagnosed with RA) also under active thyroid. On Mtx<Hydro<Sulpha and my periods have been irregular last couple of years. Doc tested and says peri-menopausal so I just take them as they come and am happy that each one is towards them ending for good!! xx

  • Hi, do you know at what age your Mum started the menopause? My menopause started at 49 and periods stopped at 50. (Exactly the same as my Mum's).

    I didn't get the hot flushes (or mediterranean moments as I called them) for a couple of years. GP started me on patches which didnt seem to do much then on tablets, clonidine, which has helped.


  • I started mtx in September and before my periods were every 28 days without fail,for the past 2 mths they have come every 3 weeks and very heavy and last, longer,so I am defintly thinking mine is because of the mtx,as too much of a coincidence not to be !! I've read a out it and it does mention the menstrual cycle being Interrupted.personally I wanted it to stop mine haha !!!! Michelle x

  • Hope i don't start mine again after 2 years.......PLEASE NO x

  • Ha! I went three times with more than 6 months in between thinking that was the end, but no - another one! I was beginning to think I'd have a period every 6 months until I was 90! But it all does come to an end eventually.

  • I've been on MTX for 13 yrs now & have swapped from tablets to injections & back again a number of times. I was 33 when I started & my periods were random for about 6 months & then settled down. Over the years changes in dose etc have also caused me fluctuations in the time between periods but it settles down as long as I am taking my MTX regularly.

  • Debsjw - hope you don't mind me asking but I'm intrigued. Why did you keep swapping from injectable to tablets and back again? And has MTX been good for you? I often wonder how people who have been on it for a longer amount of time are fairing - sorry to be nosy! Tilda

  • Have had JIA since age 3. Most damage done way before MTX available. Started on the tablets in 1999. My dose was gradually increased until I was on 27.5mg but crp & esr still high. Changed to subcutaneous injections but hated them. Then started with enbrel & joints improved so asked to go back to tabs. I have no problem with the enbrel injections just an irrational aversion to the MTX ones. Had a flare up which consultant put down to switch to tabs and switched me back. Finally managed to persuade her to let me go back to tabs. I was putting off having the weekly injection & was probably only having one every 10 days or so. I have no problem taking the tabs same day every week. My CRP has settled at 15 - 20 which is exceptionally good for me. My main problems arise from the damage done to my joints over the years.

    I used to think I wasn't getting much benefit from the MTX & the enbrel but I had to come off them both for nearly 6 months when I had a post surgery infection - I soon realised just how much they had been improving my quality of life.

  • Poor you that's a long time of suffering. I don't quite understand why injecting MTX is an issue where injecting Enbrel isn't? I know there must be some reason because others have said this too. Is it the style of the syringe or something? It is meant to be significantly more effective as clinical trials have shown which is why I've not told my GP or messaged my rheumy to say that I can't bear the taste it's giving me and would ideally like to drop doses but my ESR has only just come down to 30 for a couple of months so guess they will want to see it stay there for a while before I can come down to a lower dose. Tilda

  • I wonder if rheumy people play this side effect down a bit because of not wanting patients to stop taking their MTX? It must relate to hormones because it is used sometimes to induce miscarriage and also people wanting to conceive are advised to come off it about 6 months prior to conception I think? It's very hard to prove someone is perimenopausal so I agree that it's a good idea to ask your mother if possible because mine was also identical to my mum's at 45 - 48 years of age. Tilda

  • Well i started my menopause when i was 42, When they first gave me a blood test, they said i hadn't started,but when i saw another GP, he put me on HRT, Told me try them and if they work i was going though the menopause, I was really surprised, but i was really having a bad time with it, Only stop my periods a couple of years ago,But when i had a steroid injection in my shoulders in June, they said i might have a period, I said well i am going though the menopause and haven't had a period for 2 years, they said that would be interesting, But i did have one, So i suppose all these meds will have to take can surprises even the GPs.

    Take care xx

  • Thank you all for your comments, it does help to put a question out there and get feedback! Thanks a lot, will let you know if I get any answers!!, xx

  • mine were normal before prednisolone then I went nearly 10 weeks between one time then back to 4 weeks. When regular it's over in 4 days but when I went longer they last longer but not so heavy. I just been "on" for 10 days but extremely light which is bearable lol. I am 49 and only have one overy and was told I would start the change early. Asked doc for blood test but was tole cos of all the meds I am on it will not be accurate. I am still on pred and MTX and all the others we take with them, then 2 BP meds and diabetes meds. I am assuming that mine is the change but suppose all the meds might have something to do with it.

  • I am on naproxen , sulfasalasezeine, hydrochloroquinine and methetrexoate (none of them spelt correctly!) and for last 2 years have had months without periods. Had my hormone levels checked, which confirmed i am not going through menopause. My iron levels show i am anaemic. I have noticed that when I have a higher than usual period of inflammation and pain I tend to skip a period. I tend to just go with it as I don't want them to take me off the tablets I'm on because I feel better than what I have in years.

    Hope this helps.


  • Thank you missy and sue, I think on my next blood test I may ask the nurse if she can do an extra bloods test to check!, It's just strange that this year everything has changed and I'm wondering what's coming next..xx

  • Mine also stopped but after steroid tablets, back on leflunomide but they havnt returned. Rheumy nurse said it could be just a co-incidence at 43yr old.

  • At 33 my periods went erratic whilst on Methotrexate culminating in having them non stop by the age of 35, suffered a prolapse and had to get a hysterectomy. I had a difficult birth with my son when I was 29 and was diagnosed with RA 3 weeks after he was born. I think my body had a tough time recovering but I have no doubt that Metho caused excessive bleeding and sped up the need for me to have a hysterectomy. Recovered really well after operation and just have to battle my RA now! Back on Metho after a break and I can feel my hormones playing up again. At least I don't have to worry about the heavy periods now though! I hope you get some answers. My medics were dismissive of even a connection but when things started to get worse they all conceded that it was highly probable that Metho had played a part in speeding up early menopause symptoms. I have heard of lots of woman who have suffered whilst on Metho and many settle so fingers crossed for you. You know you body best so make sure you get advice form a knowledgeable Dr and not a nurse with limited info on this matter..... I know how frustrating it can be! Best of luck xxx

  • Mine were lighter and a lot less painful when I was on prednisalone, after stopping it finally after 13 months at the beginning of this year they've gone back to being more painful and make me feel very ill the first couple of days. Admittedly I'm not taking MTX now as regularly as I should be, 'cos it makes me feel very sick just after I've taken it, but I still think the pred probably had some influence on it. I wish they would go away:>)

  • Methotrexate side effects include menustrual disturbances

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