Question for women with RA

I have a question for women with RA.  Do you notice flare-ups or worsening pain around the time of your period?  For the last few months, I’ve had a major flare-up the week before I start.  The week after it’s done, I feel much better and have more energy.  I know that hormones can play a factor, especially in pregnancy. If this is something that does affect you, how do you adjust around that time of month? Just checking, any help would be great.

Yes, My flares are almost always related to hormones. I started with joint problems after I stopped nursing my youngest child. I was 41. In the 6 years since, I have seen 2 rhuematologists and a chiropractor. With mixed results. After 2 years on the Methotrexate, Plaquinel, Prednisone, Declofenac, mixture, I was worse than ever. One catch, It has never shown up in bloodwork, or x-rays. I stopped the meds a year ago. I’m no better, but no worse. I felt blackmailed into the drugs, being told they kept the joint damage away. It is hard to get the Doctors to agree the hormones have a play in it, they just don’t want to deal with such a wild card, in my opinion. The good news I’ve gotten from others who post is: If I make it through menapause without joint destruction, the symptoms MAY go away with the hormones. So, good luck to you, and me. Let’s hope for a pain free future.

Please be careful about assuming that your joints are not being damaged eventhough you don’t see anything on the xrays or blood work. I hardly ever show up as a positive rH factor from the time I started this journey as an eight year old. My x-rays and mri’s of my knees showed no cartilage damage or joint damage. However, I had knee surgery on my right knee 2 years ago to try and reallign my knee and reduce some of my pain. When the Dr. went into my knee, he found the the whole leftside of my knee was completely damaged beyond repair from the RA.

My point is to please be carefull and it may be worth listing to the Drs when they suggest the immune suppressors.

Thank you Ncjen,
I understand what you are saying and did not go off the drugs without the OK of my Rheumy and a second opinion. They left it as "stop the meds, clean out your system and then we do a bone scan"
I do have to follow up with the bone scan. I was so sick of drugs, and actually feeling worse on them, I have not gone back. But, it is also true, I’ve spoken through these forums to some who have indeed gotten better after menopause, if they had no prior damage. I have more damage from being on methetrexate for two years, than any joint damage at this point. It left me with fairly severe asthma. That and the distress of having my kids see me constantly taking drugs. I’ve enjoyed the last year being able to guage how my arthritis will act by my cycle, and the weather. The drugs took away the consistancy of the flares.

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