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Menstrual Cycles and Menopause

Women with sickle cell face unique challenges when it comes to hormones and menstrual cycles, with many saying they often trigger crises. With the increase in life expectancy, more and more women are also reaching menopause. How has SCD impacted you in this area?

  1. I have always have heavy periods, but having SCD complicates it even more. As aforementioned, menstruation can and does trigger SCD crisis. I have had duration periods of 8-11 days, I would go off and resume about another 3 days. I was then given the Depo shot which contains progesterone and eventually I stopped having cycles. This has helped me tremendously. As far as menopause, I am 43 yrs. old and haven't reached that milestone yet, lol! However, any day without bleeding regardless of other symptoms is a win in my book, I pray I don't regret these words!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚

    1. Personally, living with sickle cell meant increased pain and other PMS symptoms during that time of the month. I was nervous about the side effects of hydroxyurea on my fertility so I refused to go on birth control or have intrauterine devices (IUDs) placed. I just tried my best to power through the pain.

      After the transplant, however, I started experiencing early signs of menopause for the first 6 to 9 months. Speaking honestly, I was so worried that the conditioning regimen (chemotherapy/radiation) had impacted my fertility. A month later, I started spotting and the transplant team introduced a hormone medication to make my periods more regular. I still experience pain during periods without the sickling.

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