Do periods come back?

Hi ladies

I’ve not been on here for some time but would welcome your views.

I was dx Sept 07 at the age of 44 and had six months of chemo prior to surgery and rads. Thankfully been very fortunate with no long term issues.

I believe that after the chemo (E & C then Tax) I was post menopausal. I have recently had some spotting and wondered how common this is and whether it needs investigating.

Hope you are all doing ok and thanks for your time.


Hi dawnflower

I had chemo aged 39 in 08 and last had a period in June 08. Have been on tamoxifen since Oct 08.
Recently I have been having terrible period pains and feeling like I’m going to have a period, but haven’t had one. I mentioned it to my bcn and she said not to worry unless I get any bleeding, which I have not. She said I’d be referred to gynae if bleeding - maybe you should speak to your bcn?

Good luck

Hi Dawnflower,

I was also 44 yrs old when I was diagnosed a few months ahead of you in late April '07. I had surgery, then chemo and rads and my periods stopped during that time, but I had the worst one I’d ever had on the very last day of rads… so much for celebrating!! I felt like c**p! Anyway, for the next two years they were very intermittent, often stopping for a few months. I think they’ve stopped again… and even have had some hot flushes over the past couple of months… takes me back to chemo days… ho hum…

I was told by the oncologist that for younger women, the chemo can put you into a temporary menopause, and whether or not your periods came back after treatment, was dependent on when your natural menopause would have been (this can depend on when your mum had hers - though I wouldn’t dream of asking mine!) I think if you’re on tamoxifen will also impact - I’m not, I’m triple negative, so no more treatment.

The doctors can tell your status by a blood test, so it may be worth asking. I just know that I’ve gone from being as regular as clockwork pre-treatment, to being all over the place…


Hi Dawnflower,

I posted on this just a few days ago. I’m 49 and had my first anniversary since diagnosis this week. I’ve had 3XFEC and 3XTax as well as herceptin (plus surgery and rads) and had a full blown period this week. I had been told to expect the chemo induced menopause would be permanent but it doesn’t look like it. My onc has taken blood to check my hormone levels though just to make sure.

I did ask my mum and she didn’t complete hers until she was nearly 60. Ouch!

Jan xx

Hi Ladies

Before I was dx with BC I had very heavy periods, so I was looking forward to them stopping for a while or maybe forever So why did I today buy about 60 tampons, 60 towels and 30 mini pads!!!

So far have had 3 FEC treatments, so may still have another period :frowning:

Amanda xx

I’m 49 and since my 3rd epirubicin, have skipped a period. Was very tempted to have a ceremonial burning of my stack of tampax and pads, but better not just in case…

My periods stopped in Nov 2006 with the first chemo and I was told I was post menopausal the following spring after I finished Taxotere. I had the blood tests done again last year as I had 2 very slight bleeds which were like what you get a the tail end of a period. It was nothing, I’m still post menopausal. I’m 48.

Hi all

Have just found your thread. I’m 39 and my periods stayed regular right through chemo and only stopped when I started taking Tamoxifen (I started taking it in Nov 09). However 3 months after starting Tamoxifen my periods have started regularly again. I mentioned this to my Oncologist at my first follow up appointment and he just shrugged his shoulders and said it didn’t matter. However I’d been told by a different Oncologist (I moved hospitals during treatment so had two Oncologists), that if my periods continued that they would have to do something to stop it. I’m really not sure who to believe. Has anyone else been told anything similar? I’m not sure whether to start pestering the hospital again? x

Hi Sweetcheeks,

I think it depends on whether your cancer is hormone receptive or not. Having periods means your body is still producing hormones oestrogen and progesterone which might reduce the effectiveness of your treatment if your cancer is ER/PR+.

Mine is ER/PR -ve so it doesn’t matter for me. Ask your BCN if you are unsure.

Jan xx

I was diagnosed in Feb 2009 and immediately put on Tamoxifen as ER+ (luckily no chemo needed, only rads). I’d had my last period in December 2008 (aged 48), and had been on a wind-down for some time so had assumed I was menopausal. However, this week, 16 months after my last period, I’ve had a small bleed & my GP has referred me to a gynaecologist for a scan to make sure it’s nothing sinister. Luckily a very quick appointment, just about a week after referral. I could do without the stress but it’s good they take these things seriously

Phili x

Philli, I went for this after my 2 slight bleeds last year - apparently it is protocol that they have to refer you if you report a bleed. It just involved having an ultrasound done in my case; they couldn’t take any tissue for a biopsy as I have scarring to my cervix where I had laser treatment over 20 years ago, but they said it all looked totally healthy anyway plus I had a clear smear test result. They also told me I had 2 fibroids, but they were absolutely tiny so nothing for them to be concerned with, the Consultant just said it’s pretty normal for women in their late 40s.

Wit regard to the bleeding, they said sometimes when you are through the menopause the ovaries occasionally have a surge like they are trying to kick start again, then they shut down again.

Ok - this is really confusing me. I had chemo which finished in jan and I had my periods all the way through - more regular than they had ever been. I started tamoxifen in February and then missed a period and have just had a light one ( lasted 2 days). My tumour was 8/8 positive to er and pr. What I don’t understand is why still having periods is a problem - isn’t that why we have tamoxifen to stop the estrogen latching on to anything left behind? Am I missing something???


Can’t really comment on that as I didn’t have any hormone involvement (Her2+) - in my own case I had been perimenopausal for about 2 years and was on low dose progesterone tablets to regulate my periods which were becoming very heavy. I had read chemo might make me post menopausal which my breast surgeon confirmed when I asked him. I was quite happy for my periods not to return as I felt 33 years of them and PMT was enough.

Cherub - I was hoping to be told that my ovary (only have one left) was doing a last-ditch effort, but unfortunately I have some thickening of the uterine wall (probably due to the Tamoxifen) as well as a very large polyp. The consultant took a sample of the polyp & a biopsy of the uterine wall and I have to go back to see him in 3-4 weeks for results & decision about whether to just remove the polyp or to have a full hysterectomy. I suppose it’s just as well to have had it checked out so quickly

TBH, I went to the gynaecologist thinking there would be something wrong as I had been treated for a precancer of the cervix back in 1988 - at the time the specialist said if I had not had it removed when I did in the August, they knew it would have been cancer by the December. I was only 27 at the time so it was all a bit scary. I used to suffer a deep ache during the time of ovulation and then found out in my 30s that my womb was tilted slightly awkwardly (which explained to me the problems I had occasionally with uncomfortable sex). I was truly surprised to be told it was nothing.