View Full Version : Menstruation and lupus

10-03-2003, 03:36 AM
Hi everyone :lol: :
Exam is coming and i seriously hope i won't suffer another case of bad nerves- made my mom sick with fear whenever she see me stress.
Anyway, I have a question to ask. Ever since I started on prednisolone, my menstruation stop. According to my doctor, my SLE is apparently suppressing it :shock: (?) it. Recently, it's back but after I wash my hair, it stop again. According to my mom's friend who also has SLE, lupus patients have their menstruation for 3 days which will stop once we wash our hair!!
Now, I have never heard a stranger rumour- Is anyone able to confirm this? Pls: I have some doubt about my doctor's word too...how does the immune system suppress your period??????

Juke of the box :P

10-03-2003, 09:04 AM
Jukebox; You may be having symptoms of perimenopause. This can begin up to 10 years before the end of your periods. Having SLE compounds the possibility as the disease is associated with an earlier menopause. It is also associated with some of the symptoms of perimenpause. In most cases of LUPUS patients, your medication is thought to be the culprit for early menopause. Many of the immunosuppressants used in LUPUS treatment can induce early menopause.
I do not know how old you are, but you should also consider having your thyroid tested..discuss this with your doctor when you see him/her. The good news about early menopause and LUPUS is that people claim that they suffer from less frequent flare-ups when they reach menopause.
About the hair washing.....that is SOOOOOOO funny :wink: When I was a child and first started menstruating, my grandmother would always tell me to never wash my hair when I was on my period! A lot of the old tales that we get from our ancestors had to come from somewhere, didn't they? It seems that you are a living example that that old tale is true!!! I do not have any clue what the relationship is between hair washing and menstruation. But, yes, I have heard of the "old wive's tale" for many, many years. It was never true for me, however!!
Best Of Luck

10-09-2003, 11:34 PM
Dear Saysusie,
Thanks for the information, but I don't think the possibility of me getting perimenopause is high, considering the fact that I have barely reached my 20th birthday!!! :wink:

Juke of the Box

10-18-2003, 08:23 PM
How does one know whether thay should have a thyroid test or not? I also have really painful flareswhen menstruating!Yikes!!

10-20-2003, 08:18 AM
Your thyroid is the biggest gland in the neck and is located in the front of the neck and is shaped like a butterfly. The function of the thyroid is to make thyroid hormone that regualtes the body's metobolism. There are several common problems connected with the thyroid that can be easily treated: Problems dealing with too much or too little hormones - An increased growth of thryroid causing compression of important neck structures and/or appearing as a mass in the neck - the formation of nodules or lumps in the thyroid area which may signal thyroid cancer (most are benign).
If you feel any growth in the butterfly area where the thyroid is located, advise your doctor. X-rays and ultrasounds can usually detect if there is a problem with your thyroid!
I hope that I have been helpful. If you need more information, please let me know!!

12-23-2003, 02:42 AM
HI, I too have Lupus SLE and ever since I was diagnosed about two years ago I ahve noticed that my cycle is doing the same as yours. Normally mine always ran about five days since I had my tubal after my two children. Do you think I should talk about this with my doctor or is this just normal for lupus patients?

03-16-2004, 06:23 PM
Bieng on steroids can suppress your period. A friend of mine had to be on them for 3 years--after 1 year her peroids stopped and she was amenorheic(no menstruation) for the next 2 years--when she got off teh steroids her periods came back--within the first 6 months--I think this may be happenning with you--lupus most likely wouldn't suppress your peroid unless you have autoimmune thyroid dz(hyper of hypo)-have your doc get your TSH levels. best of luck!

03-23-2004, 11:06 PM
Hi I am sorry to hear of your problems with menstrations.

I was wondering if anyone has had a absent period while on methotrexate. I recently started taking Methotrexate along with plaquenil and prednisone. My doctor told me that it wasn't the methotrexate and told me to make a appointment with my OB/GYN. I have always been regular and am not pregnant. The only thing that has changed is the med. It would be nice to know that I am not crazy and alone.


Leigh Busby
03-09-2005, 02:39 PM
I have had mild SLE for 29 years (diagnosed at 15, now 44). My gyn prescribed Seasonale b/c of my PMS symptoms and to mask perimenopause symptoms. I took the first three months and all of my PMS symptoms disappeared (anxiety, mood swings particiularly). I decided to stop it until I had more $ after my dog's surgery and it was a huge mistake. The first week after my last period I started having major perimenopause symptoms - most notably about 4 hot flashes an hour and night sweats, mood swings and joint pain. My joint pain has not subsided since I stopped the birth control. As soon as I have another period (I've skipped one, hope I start this month), I'm going back on Seasonale. There may be weight gain, but that's also attributable to perimenopause, particularly around waist and hips. Seasonale stopped my perimenopause symptoms. I hadn't had any joint pain for a long time until now.

03-12-2005, 08:24 AM
This is a reply for Kitty:
Yes, it has been found that temporary or permanent menopause or amenorreah (missed periods) are a consequence of women treated with chemotherapy medications (such as methotrexate and cyclophosphamide therapy).
Scientists are not certain what role hormones play in Systemic Lupus, but there does seem to be an obvious correlation. Because hormonal changes are evident in SLE, it stands to reason that the menstrual cycle can be affected in some women with SLE.
About 15% of women with SLE develop menorrhagia (excessive blood flow during menstrual periods) which may be due to clotting problems. Some lupus patients may also experience amenorrhea (lack of menstrual periods). Early menopause has also been noted in women with lupus.
It has been estimated that the symptoms of menopause (mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, irregular and/or unusual periods) actually begin some 3 to 5 years before the woman is pronounced as being in the process of menopause. Each of these conditions can be a direct result of Systemic Lupus, or a side effect of steroid therapy.
So, it would seem that, with the methotrexate and the hormonal changes brought about by lupus, menstrual abnormalities are likely with SLE.
So, you are not alone
Peace and Blessings

03-13-2005, 09:28 PM
hi all
i've had 2 horrific flares, one in 1992-94, anotehr 2001-2003.
both times my period stopped *before* getting on the prednisone.
first, in March 1993 it started coming heavier, then every 2 weeks, then not for 6 weeks, etc. this was a *year* before going on prednisone, and i had no chemo during this time, so the weird mestrual stuff for me was all SLE-related. then, around May my period stopped. 7-8 months later, in Jan 2004, I went on prednisone. In august 2004 my period came back and I bled like crazy for 6 weeks solid, finally having to go on provera for a couple weeks to normalize everything before i bled to death!

thing were relatively normal after that. then i flared again , in 2001, and my period stopped again in Jan 2002. Again, not on prednisone until several months later- late May. i don't recall off the top of my head when it came back this time.

for me, if a serious flare comes, the period stops. I've had pretty much every vital organ attacked, so it wouldn't sruprise me if my reproductive organs were also under attack.

I'm doing really well now BTW. i still hate getting my period though and I gain 5-10 pounds during PMS and can't wear any of my normal clothes.
though i've been hospitalized with much worse problems than PMS, PMS seems to piss me off more than anything else :0


03-20-2005, 05:42 AM
I'd just like to add...I also do not get my period when i'm having a really bad flare up...sometimes i was on prednisone and sometimes i was not. So i definately agree with the rest of the panel. And of course as soon as everything calmed down i'd get my period right back. So hang in there.

03-25-2005, 08:06 PM
Very interesting discussion - I assumed and my gynocologist affirmed that my period has stopped as a side efeect to the IUD I use for birth control. I'm 27 - and while it is a side effect of IUDs, I wonder if the Prednisone, Cellcept, or Lupus Nephritis has anything to do with it , too.



03-26-2005, 02:00 PM

I would say it's VERY possible.

04-15-2005, 03:32 AM
Here's an interesting aside to this conversation-I had amennoreah(sic) in my early 20s for the first time. Went to an OB GYN(ironically, she had Lupus too). Anyway, she told me that people who are immuno-suppressed will not always menstruate regularly. The body may absorb the nutrients necessary for menstruation.
Secondly, about 10 years later, different dr. found a striking correlation between my ovulation cycle and my Lupus flares, specifically the presence of the butterfly rash, intensified pain, seizures(my Lupus includes some epileptic seizures), etc. After much heartache and deep thought, I opted for a hysterectomy and surgical menopause, with the hope that my symptoms would dissapate and remission would enter in. The symptoms, especially the epilepsy, are no longer cyclical on a monthly basis, but rather more sporadic. Still no remission in sight, but I thought I could offer up my experience for further reflection. Take care all.

Leigh Busby
04-21-2005, 09:43 AM
Just thought I'd update that since I went off of birth control three months ago, I never started my period again. Had the hormonal test done last week and I've entered menopause at age 44. I guess it's true that the pill will mask the perimenopausal symptoms and that lupus women have it earlier than others.

05-01-2005, 04:30 PM
Before I was diagnosed with SLE, I started on the pill, my periods had always been very short and very light, but always accompanied my what I know are flares now. Before I knew this though, the doctor always just said I had "painful periods." But after I was diagnosed, we discovered that there was a correlation between the lupus flares and my periods. I have only taken the iron pills (or the week off at the end of the pack) four times a year for the last 5 or so years. It keeps the flares at bay, and I have time to mentally prepare myself for what could be a rough couple of weeks, however, rarely do I actually menstruate anymore during those pills. Could it be the prednisone's fault on that??