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Chemo/Radiation & Menopause


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Ok guys, you can be excused from this one if you want, but I'm curious as to what the experiences have been of other women regarding menopause while having cancer treatment.

When I first started chemo, they told me I'd probably stop having periods, and may start again or may not when it was over. (They also told me I'd lose my hair -- not "might" but WOULD, and I didn't!) I was 51, and had been perimenopausal for about 3 years, so that was good news to me, except it didn't happen.

When I started radiation, the Radiation Oncologist told me that the radiation would probably finish off whatever was left in my ovaries and that would be the end of that. That same day when I went home, guess what? Another period, and I've had one every month since then. Not like they used to be, but still having them.

The OB/GYN doc was sort of surprised too, but said that it isn't unusual for it to take a LONG time for menopause to kick in with some women.

Anyone else?


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I had totally the opposite response. I started chemo in April '03, quit having periods by June of '03. I had my last official chemo on Feb. 11, 2004. The gynocologist said at that time that I was done, complete menopause. I had the hot flashes to prove it! Well, my period came back in July, 2004, 2 days before we were to leave to St. Thomas on the 1st vacation I've been on in 8 years!!!!! My doctors were really surprised, but said since I'm only 42, it isn't unreasonable.

Now I am back to having regular cycles after being in complete menopause for 13 months!


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After almost two years of no period, and all the hot flashes, night sweats, unexplained weight gain, and on and on thinking I was menopausal, I started again. Just once, hasn't happened again, but I had to get all the tests to rule out cancer, etc.

Found out my hormone levels were totally normal for a pre-menopausal woman. No cancer though, which was the really really great news!!!!!

My case won't be the same as yours because I take tamoxifen, which is an estrogen blocker, to try to prevent a recurrence of breast cancer.

All I'm saying is that after almost two years, a second cancer diagnosis, surgery, chemo, and tamoxifen, I got one again.

I don't know......


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Okay, I never had chemo or radiation. But, immediately after my surgery, all of a sudden I seem to have plunged into perimenopause. I had all kinds of tests and they come up with the fact that I'm in early menopause. My doctor said that sometimes major surgery can bring it on, or cancer. Don't know how accurate that is.

I have the thermostat key for my side of the building at work so everyone has learned to live with my hot/cold spells. For over a year, my periods seem to be 3 months on, 3 months off and as soon as I'm comfortable with NOT having one, I start. I can't imagine going over a year and then getting it back!!!! I am now on like my 5th month straight, so maybe I am back to "normal" now?

One extremely wierd note: my dumb a** housecat that I can't stand was in heat all the time and with everything going on with me, I never had the chance to take her to be spayed. As soon as I stopped, SHE stopped. SO the 3 months that I don't have a period, my cat won't go into heat. THen when I get it, my cat goes into heat. This is like clockwork. It is the friggin wierdest thing... I have only told a few people because its so wierd.....I have heard about roomates following the same pattern but a CAT???

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My first chemo for the breast was Nov 97, and my last period was Dec 97, age 41. Blood tests did not have me officially in monopasue for a year.

And I like, Cindy, moved from the OB aisle to the poise aisle. (Hate that word "incontinent" :lol::lol::lol:


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Hi Di!

I'm also 51. You can read my profile. But I had nsclc, but had surgery,chemo and rad. I had uterus removed at 36. But I started memo at 44 and took and still do premarin. So can't help you w/ period

questions. But as a thought. Did you have sternoids before your chemo?

Maybe that had some systomatic thingy. Take care.

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No experience with this yet but Deb that cat thing put me in the floor, too funny. I have always regulated myself with co workers, my daugthters, friends, etc..but never ever a cat. I have always had dogs, and have a little poodle right now, so I will start watching our cycles.. too funny

Good luck all with this


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Hi Di,

Had my first chemo treamtent in November of 2002 mine was very light in December and then did not have another one unitl last month. And then I had one for about two and half weeks. My doctors did not tell me that this could happen. I told my doctors that God had a weird sense of humor to put me through the cancer treatments and the menopause at the same time. The hot flashes were the worst. My husband thought I was going crazy at times. I would be pulling off my shirt and bandana and a few minutes later I would be putting it back on because I was freezing. I quickly realized that the best clothes to wear around the house were a buttoned pajama shirt over a tank top, never buttoning up the shirt so it could be removed quickly. Hope this helps.

Best wishes,


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I think I might take the cake for erratic. Not wierd, that's the thing with the cat... lol...

I was having sweats and no periods for 8-10 months before diagnosis..... had maybe one or two periods a year... the year after surgery (2 years after the ominous disappearance) I had the gyn check my blood levels... he said, "estradiol is 1400, you're NOT menopausal." maybe one since then, about 18 months later, the gyn checked again and the estradiol was..... 14. "Definitely menopausal" I'm STILL trying to figure out what happened? With the location of my tumor, only half of my upper body sweated. I guess I sneezed and I missed it happening. I still don't know what happened, except I think I'm beyond the point of no return.


Nothing is simple anymore.


Now my daughter steals my supplies, and it's MY FAULT if she runs out... like I check them or something.....



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