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Topic: Tamoxifen and periods

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After —

Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications. Note: Please remember that there are good experiences and bad with ALL treatments and this is a safe place to share YOUR experience, not to be influenced or influence others.

Posted on: May 19, 2011 06:33PM

eulabt wrote:

If you are still getting your period, did it stop once you started taking tamoxifen? I am 41 and started taking tamoxifen 8 weeks ago. I had 1 normal period and went off for 2 weeks when I had surgery. I have been back on for 2 weeks and just wondering what the norm is? Thanks.

Dx 12/17/2010, DCIS, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 19, 2011 08:28PM comingtoterms wrote:

Hi, I thought my periods had stopped due to chemo. I was diagnosed at 48 and was very "regular" until then. Two months short of a year post-chemo, I got a period. I have had them off and on since. Tamoxifen stimulates your uterine lining, so when I get a period, it is a doozy! I will turn 51 in August. It is my layman's opinion that my body just isn't ready to go into menopause. Also, there really is no "norm" when you are pre/peri-menopausal. You will hear stories of women in their early forties who never got another period and others, like me, who are going down fighting!Hope that helps. Tammy

Dx 1/9/2009, DCIS/IDC/IDC: Tubular/IDC: Mucinous/IDC: Cribriform, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/27 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 19, 2011 08:28PM starbeauty wrote:

Done with Tamox... None so far... Age 48 when started... Premeno...now no periods

Dx 12/16/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/23 nodes, ER+, HER2-
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Jun 4, 2011 12:54PM koshka1 wrote:

Hi, I have been on tamox for 3 years.  Did not do chemo...just tamox.  My period has not stopped.  It has been slightly irregular, early, late, heavy, light but has not stopped.

Hugs,,,I hope this helps :)


Dx 12/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 6, 2011 12:14AM chefmb wrote:

Hadley, I had a "grinding" type of feeling in my ovaries the first few months after beginning the Tamox in August, 2010. It went away but then my periods, which have been every 28 days for my entire life, started coming late. I am 44 and had no menopausal symptoms before Tamox. I did not have chemotherapy. My last period came at 43 days and this month I am up to 46 days and still mo period. My gyno has the nerve to tell me it must be menopause. Quite a coincidence in my opinion. Also, I have a cyst on my left ovary that in six weeks had grown from 3-7 cm. It has twisted a couple of times in middle of night and the pain was severe. Currently awaiting results of an MRI. Oh, bc, the gift that keeps on giving....

Dx 3/3/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 6, 2011 10:12AM - edited Jun 6, 2011 10:14AM by rgiuff

 I was perimenopausal at age 47 when diagnosed 3 years ago.  No chemo here either.  Was 48 when I started tamoxifen 2.5 years ago.  I went 6 months with no period, then got it for 2 months, then went 10 months and got it again for 2 months.  Now, I'm 50 and it's been 15 months since my last period.  Recent FSH and LH testing were not in the postmenopausal range yet, although my estradiol level (the estrogen produced by the ovarian follicles) was below 32, which is considered postmenopausal.  My earlier pelvic ultrasounds showed lots of follicles growing on ovaries along with a 10mm uterine lining which caused feelings of pelvic pressure, while the last 2 ultrasounds showed no follicles, and lining only 5mm.  I've had no pelvic pressure this past year either, so I'm pretty sure, I'm in permanent menopause.  GYN says it could be temporary due to the tamoxifen, but really? at my age I doubt it.

Onc just sent bloodwork last week to test for menopause again because he wants me to switch to AIs, but I don't want to take them, so I'm hoping that they don't show postmenopausal levels yet.

RoseG Dx 4/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/6/2008, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/20/2008 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/20/2008 Breast
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Jun 8, 2011 04:39PM kitkat04 wrote:

I stopped getting a period ofter my very first chemo. I was only 34. I did tamoxifen for a few years with no return of a cycle. The doctors considered me postmenopausal and switched me to femara.  I stayed on that for a few more years and no period which was good because it only works on post meno.  WELLLLLLLLL I stopped all drugs in january, within 6 weeks I had a period (now 41) Doctors were shocked and said no way so they did test. Pelvic ultrasound was good, and hormone levels were FSH 103 and estradiol 70. SO that indicates menopause. Mostly the very high FSH. They retested 3 months later because to me it really feels like things are ticking down there. Well the last test showed FSH at 53 and estradiol 73..HUH the thinking is that my body is trying to jump start again. Whether or not i suceeds reamins to be seem. I have made an appointment to talk about an oopherectomy. I recently had a pregnancy scare because of a broken condom!  We decided to take plan b even though it is not recommended for bc patients. It is a heck of a lot less hormones that getting pregnant. I do NOT WANT TO GET PREGNANT. mY OBY/GYN and oncologist both recommended plan b JUST IN CASE> I still have to wait to see.

sorry ladies, long story short ANYTHING can happen . more that 6 years without a period and it is rearing its ugly head again.

kathy cadeau Dx 9/1/2004, IDC, Stage IIIC, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 13, 2011 06:38PM kathy66 wrote:

I have been on tamoxifen for 3 years,  I took myself off it 6 weeks ago.  I needed a break from the hot flashes, weight gain and skin tags.  I did chemo 1st and my periods stopped, I was 41. Well, it just started again.  I am surprised it did.  I plan on going back on tamoxifen later to finish 2 years.  I feel so much better, like myself again.  Anyone else stop tamoxifen early?

Dx 1/12/2008, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 13, 2011 08:23PM - edited Jun 13, 2011 08:25PM by rgiuff

Kathy, I had planned on also doing 2.5 or 3 years and then stopping for awhile.  I've been on it for 2.5 years and have just stopped it for 2 weeks so far.  I'm still debating whether to just go back on for now and wait until 3 years is up, then take a really long break like you are doing.  I did take a break during my first year, then started worrying about recurrence, so I started back up after 6 weeks off.  I do feel that the break helped with some of my side effects.  And having a small stage 1 cancer, I don't feel that the benefit of tamoxifen is that huge for me.

Currently, I'm suffering with almost constant insomnia and loss of libido, haven't had a period in 16 months.  Blood tests show that I'm not yet menopausal, which is just fine with me.  My oncologist wants to switch me to AIs, which I don't want to take.  I'm very curious to see if, by stopping the tamoxifen, my periods would start up again and whether my insomnia and libido problems would improve.  I am 50, so I realize that a lot of this may be just caused by natural menopause, but I really want to know whether it's the tamoxifen or the menopause causing most of the problems.  Just curious, what changes did you notice from stopping the tamoxifen and how long did it take to feel a difference.  I've been off only 2 weeks, and so far, all I'm feeling is an increase in hot flashes.

RoseG Dx 4/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/6/2008, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/20/2008 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/20/2008 Breast
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Jun 13, 2011 08:32PM awb wrote:

my oncologist said that while on tamox 25% will continue with regular periods, 50% will have irregular periods, and 25% will stop altogether. Mine became very light and very irregular; sometimes 30 days, sometimes 60 days inbetween. I just made a habit of always having mini pads with me, just in case.


"I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future" Dx 9/5/2003, LCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes Surgery 9/16/2003 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 10/30/2003 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 4/5/2005 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2009 Evista (raloxifene)
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Jun 13, 2011 09:45PM AlohaGirl wrote:

Hi!  I've been taking Tamoxifen for over 1 1/2 years.  I started when I was 40 and now am 42.  I have continued to have regular (heavy for me, in fact, though that may be from switching from the Pill to a copper IUD) periods while on Tamoxifen.  This month, I started spotting two weeks after my last period and it turned into a several day long mini-period.  Not sure whether I'll get the next one as scheduled or not.  Of course, now I have to have a hysteroscopy to check things out.  Not looking forward to that, but on the bright side it will be good to be 100% certain nothing is wrong!

Dx 2/18/2009, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes
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Jun 14, 2011 05:07PM kathy66 wrote:

It did take a few weeks, but the hot flashed stopped completely.  I am sleeping better and things are alot better in the marriage department.  I know my oncologist will not be too happy with me for going off it, but I am not due until later this year for a check up.    Just like yourself, my doctor wants to switch me to another hormone treatment later, but I wonder about that.  There are so many side effects to consider.  All I can say is I feel alot better and want to enjoy my summer- hot flash free.   My period took about 6-8 weeks to start after stopping tamoxifen.  Good luck with your decisions.

Dx 1/12/2008, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2011 09:48PM - edited Jun 15, 2011 09:51PM by Goodl

My period stopped the first month. The hot flashes were terrible but have gotten better. I hate the tamoxifen though, struggling with my weight, my moods, my weeping and my hair falling out. Anyone else experience this?

Dx 9/30/2010, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 15, 2011 10:49PM Chocolaterocks wrote:


yes on 10 mg, because tami makes me have short term memory loss. when I take a shower my hair really falls out, I do weight watchers size 8 to keep the weight under control and hopefully will lose the belly. My biggest weight loss in a week has been half of a pound. I average 8 hours of exercise a week.  Hoping to seen 2nd opinion onco and switch to fareston or for a better solution. The cognitive issues really bother me.

take care,


Dx 1/13/2011, ILC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 18, 2011 06:22PM cheryl66 wrote:

I have been on Tamoxifen for 4 1/2 years.  My periods became extremely irregular, usually going 6 months without one, then having one for a couple of days for the next 2-3 months.  Gyno was getting concerned and I had an endometrial biopsy done (said I wasn't a candidate for ultrasound because tamox. makes the uterine lining look "fluffy").  No pathology on biopsy, but I was ovulating! Sure enough, after 9 months with no period, I had one a week after the biopsy.  The only side effects for me were hot flashes the first couple of years, irregular periods, THINNING HAIR, and a slight vaginal discharge (which is better than dryness!).  In Jan. 2012 my onc. has told me to stop the Tamoxifen --- kinda nervous to do that, since I have been cancer-free for 5 years.

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