Chest Pain & Monthly Period

Heart Sisters,
I am not sure if I am putting this question in the right place on the discussion board.
As many of you know I have had continual chest pain that has never been diagnosed. I was chest pain free for 2 weeks after the stent. Since then I have been going down hill and now I think I have made it to the bottom.
Through the last several months I have noticed that my chest pain is horrible either before or during my period. I wondered if any of you ladies have this problem. After one of these severe attacks I am down for about a week.
In the last 6-8 weeks the chest pain has gotten worse. Since my last period in December I have went down hill to the point I can't even do the daily basics. Just taking a bath some days wears me out and I have to take a nap.
I am using about 100 fast acting nitro a week along with 120mg of Imdur. I was taking it every 4 to 6 hours but the new cardio has cut me to one dose a day he said I am building a tolerance to it. Boy it is taking a lot of the nitroquick.
There is only one thing that I know for sure is if it is around the time of my period I can guarantee that I will be down for a week.
Many of you ladies have suggested several times in the last year that I needed a new cardiologist. I finally got a referral to a heart hospital that is top in my state. I had my first appointment with him this week. I feel confident that he will find out what is going on. He has reassured me it's not in my head that there is really something wrong. I was so relieved that my new doctor doesn't think I'm crazy. I almost started crying when he said my pain is real. He ran some tests this week and I was told complete rest until further testing is done.
So I was wondering if any of you ladies experience more chest pain during your cycle. If so let me know and have you or your doctor figured out a way to prevent it from being so bad at that time of the month.
Thanks for any input on this. I can't be the only one this happens to.
Annie B.

Report post

9 replies. Join the discussion

I had my first MI at the age of 33, 3 months after the birth of my second child, who was born prematurely. I did notice after that, every month right before my period was due and during it, that I would have a lot of chest discomfort and that it would go away once I was done with my period. I mentioned it to my cardiologist and he did believe me that I was having the chest pain but he could not give a good reason for it except that it might have something to do with hormones. I continued this way the entire time I was still getting my period. I no longer deal with this issue since I am now 54 and in menopause, have been for a few years and no longer get my period. But I did have a 2nd MI and was also hospitalized with ACS which some say is just a fancy way of saying heart attack, during this time. I am very lucky, even with 2 MI's and the ACS, there has not been any major damage to my heart even though with the 2nd MI they did have to use the "crash cart" paddles to restart my heart. But know that you are not alone with the chest pain before and during your cycle. I am very glad that your new doctor is not dismissing you and does agree your pain is real and is willing to run tests to try and find out what is wrong. I hope and pray that he does find the cause of your pain and is able to help you.
Diane

Report post

I am so happy to hear you are going to a new doctor - good for you!

I am coming up on my 1 year anniversary - and have not noticed any chest pain out of the ordinary flicks and ticks once in a while, especially during my period.

PLEASE let us know how you make out - I'll be praying for you...

Hugs,
Judi

Report post

Hi Annie,

I too have been able to link increased chest pain with my period. I had my MI in late April 07 at 39. I felt fine until about August. It took me until October to make the connection that I was having much worse symptoms as my period approached each month. I had another stress test to see if anything else might be causing the pain. This showed a possible change so I had an angiogram. The angiogram showed nothing to worry about. I discussed the possibility of hormone changes with my Dr. He said it could be a cause, but that there is not a lot known about it at this time. He did put me on a daily dose of nitro which seems to have helped. At least the symptoms are not a severe. I did not experience the kind of pain you are though. Mine did not keep me down. I hope your new doctor can help to relieve this for you! You are not crazy! We are out here experiencing the same things! We have each other:)

To your better health!

S.

Report post

Thanks Ladies,
Now I know I am not the only one this happens to. I am thankful that I have not suffered a heart attack so far.
You would think with all the modern medicine and research that someone would have came up with a solution to this problem. It is real!!
I had the ablation to my uterus done late December. They did this because my periods were so horrible I had to go off of the Plavix.
I am going in to see the gynecologist Thursday for my recheck after surgery. I am going to ask her about this hormone problem and chest pain and see what she thinks. I can't wait until menapause for relief.
I kind of wonder if I had a complete hysterectomy if this might help with the monthly chest pain that puts me in bed for a week or longer. I know now days they don't want to do a hysterectomy like they did years ago.
There is so much controversy over hormone replacement. My family doctor said she really doesn't think it presents as much risk as they say it does. She told me to bring it up to my gynco doctor. I fully trust my family doctor. She is the one who found my blockage after a cardio dismissed me from the hospital with acid reflux and stress. She got a hold of my stress test and said the hospital had miss read it. She has been the only doctor in this whole mess that listens and tells me I am not crazy and there is something wrong. She is also the one who has set me up with my new cardiologist.
I am so thankful to have her as a doctor. It's hard to find a good one these days.
I will let you ladies know what the gynecologist says on Thursday about the hormones and chest pain and see what she thinks.
I would be lost if I didn't have this heart board. I don't post to often but I do read it every day and have gained a lot of knowledge from the posts. It helps to know that you aren't the only one suffering.
Thanks for sharing with me Ladies.
Annie B

Report post

Hi,

My cardiologist asked if I am in menopause when I first went to him with chest pain. He said that hormones can have an effect on chest pain. It seems that would mean that a period would have some effect too.

Have you been diagnosed with coronary artery spasm? (Prinzmetal's angina) It sure sounds like we share the same symptoms and that is what they found with me. I had to have a heart cath. for them to see the spasm. My cardiologist says that is the only way to be sure of the diagnosis. For me, the Imdur wasn't working. But, I have joined a national study out of Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati OH. There is a cardiologist there who is studying the link between prinzmetal's angina and a genetic inability to properly process L-arginine. Read the info. It is pretty interesting. (If you search the internet for prinzmetal's study, jewish hospital" it comes up. ) After reading everything I can get my hands on about l-arginine, the connection between it and vascular spasm makes sense. It relaxes the vascular system.

I shipped my blood for the study 2 weeks ago and I have not heard yet if he found the genetic problem with me. But, I started the L-arginine as soon as my blood was drawn. I have gone from daily chest pain to no chest pain for the last 5 - 7 days. I am pretty encouraged. It was getting to a point where I was beginning to wonder if I would be able to keep my job. My energy is back now as well.

Best Wishes as you go through the whole process.
Amy

Report post

Amy,
When I went to the gynecologist Thursday I talked to her about hormones and chest pain. I asked for blood work to be done to see if I am in menapause. She said with my night sweats and hot flashes that I am probably peri-menapause. What ever that is. She said she will not under any circumstances prescribe any hormone replacement due to heart problems. I offered to sign a release or what ever I had to so that if I did have a heart attack I couldn't hold her responsible. Still she refused. So I said I just have to suffer every month until I am finished with this wonderful thing called menapause.
I take many vitamins daily but since recent surgery and my new thyroid medication I take in the morning I am not doing so good at remembering them. I have to wait 4 hours after the thyroid medication before I can take any supplements.
Not sure why but I ran across an article on this L-Carnitine and L-Arginine. I was either looking for fibromyalgia relief or chest pain. Can't remember which one. I did start taking them along with my other vitamins. The only thing I did notice was increased energy which was great. But never any relief of chest pain.
My last cardio said I had spasms so I questoined her about it. One month she told me one thing and then when I was hospitalized in July for heart related issue she said I just don't know if you have spasms or not.
Went to new cardio doc last week and after the stress test that I did not do so well on they put me on bed rest. When I spoke to him a few days later he said he suspects I could have spasms but it is not confirmed. By looking at my past records he could see I have been on every type of medication to help control spasms but none of it has worked.
I am going to try very hard to start back daily on my vitamins. I know I feel better when I take them.
I think I read a post from either you or someone else about this hospital and the research and who ever put up the post gave a web address and for the life of me I could not get it to work. If you have a web address for them please sent it to me. I would appreciate it.
I am willing to try anything at this point for some relief.
Thanks
Annie B.

Report post

I am participating in the study, and it has been recommended that I take L-arginine. However, my symptoms are not bad at all, and there are risks involved in taking the stuff. So I don't know if it's worth it for me. I still have to talk with my doctor about it.

Report post

According to Dr. Elizabeth Vliet, who has several books out on women's health related to their hormones, there is a direct coorelation between our hormones and our heart. She sites a lady that had a heart attack around the start of her period (mine was also at the start of my period) and until they checked her hormone levels, specifically estradiol she continued to do poorly. They started her on the bioidentical hormone replacement and she improved. I have been on the bioidentical hormone replacement for 4 years now. The Women's Health Initiative that has everyone in an panic or hormone replacement was only tested on synthetic hormones, not bioidentical, but in true fashion, they're clumped them all together as being bad. They don't push the bioidentical stuff because it can't be patented. They can't make money on it. So, my suspicion is that your chest pain is hormone related and maybe you can find a physician that supports the use of them. Dr. Vliet has an office somewhere in Texas if you are anywhere around there. Check out her website. http://www.herplace.com/
((((hugs))) hope they figure it all out soon
Tina

Report post

I'm only 26 years old and I'v been having chest pain for 2 years now. I get my pain right befor I start my peiord and through out it and It stops when I'm done with my peiord. I'v had a ulter sound of my heart lots of EKGs and everything comes back normal. I feel that the doctors think I'm crazy and that I'm making it up. The pain is so bad that I just want to lay in bed all day and not do anything. This is taking over my life,and I just want a answer.I'm happy to hear that I'm not alone and there's other women out there with the same problems. Does anyone have any advice for me? Please HELP!!!

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support WomenHeart

Help WomenHeart reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to  WomenHeart

Discussion topics

Heart health links and resources


The SCAD Ladies Stand Up -- Read the special report

Community leaders

Disclaimer

The information provided by this online support network through WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease and Inspire is for general informational purposes only. The information is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. If you are ill, or suspect that you are ill, see a doctor immediately. In an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease never recommends or endorses any specific physicians, products or treatments for any condition.