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My Pussy Is Not Rioting, Thanks.
August 23, 2012 2:56 PM   Subscribe

So I've got some questions about my (aging) vagina.

So I'm 45 and I've been on the pill forever, basically, save for a three-year break to have and nurse a child. When I was younger I used it mostly for birth control. As I got older I had weird, heavy periods, and my gyno had me on the pill to help regulate things.

On my own I decided that I'd stop taking 'em and see what happens. So I did, last month. I took my last pack, and at the end had a regular period...and then...well...

It's been about six weeks and I haven't had a period yet. I do think that this is normal, but anybody have any thoughts on how long it might take for my cycle to restart again? Or not start? I know age 45 is a bit young for menopause, but not out of the question. (I do not have older sisters, and I have no access to my mother's menopause history.)

I'm also experiencing a lot of...juiciness down there. Why is that? Basically, I'm just sorta damp a lot nowadays. It's clear, it doesn't smell bad, nothing itches, etc. Nothing is shouting out, "Problem!" except that there's just so much...moisture. It's the kind of feeling that in the past would have me thinking, "Oh, I just got my period." And yet it's not my period. So what's going on?

(I wear all-cotton undies, if it matters.)

Basically, I realize that my vagina and I are entering a new period -- see what I did there -- and I want to understand it more. Point me to some resources?

Lastly, I will discuss this with a gyno, but am in the midst of changing docs and it will take me several weeks to get an appointment.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I know this is a cliche and I'm sure you've considered it if it's possible but still... You're not pregnant are you? The "juiciness" was exactly my experience while pregnant.
posted by crabintheocean at 3:01 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, when I quit the pill at 31 (after four years), it took me about 18 months to get on a regular cycle. For the first nine months, I seemed to be on a three month cycle. Check with your doctor, of course, but mine wasn't super concerned until I hit about the nine month mark.
posted by smalls at 3:09 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


From the OP:
"I am absolutely, positively 100% not pregnant."
posted by jessamyn at 3:10 PM on August 23, 2012


I think it's probably just your hormones adjusting and your body going back to/figuring out what's normal. So yes, check in with your gyno, but I wouldn't be alarmed if I was late and juicy.
posted by Specklet at 3:13 PM on August 23, 2012


The standard advice back in the day was that it might take months or a year for your period to reach some recognizable cycle after going off the pill. Not sure if that's still the case. As for juiciness, I have found that post-pregnancy my juiciness is waaaaaay more connected to my cycle than it was before I had kids--definitely peaking during ovulation, or the week or so after my period. Pre-preg I used a rag-tag (see what I did there?) group of birth control methods, and post-pregnancy I've been all IUD. It may be that the pill obfuscated that cyclic nature of your discharge? Have you tried charting it?
posted by cocoagirl at 3:17 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I too have a 45 year old vagina and I had my tubes tied at 30. My periods are regular though a littl shorter and heavier than before. I too have a lot of happy juiciness going on and I thought it was nature's way to tell me to baby up while the going was still good.
posted by b33j at 3:28 PM on August 23, 2012


Age 45 actually sounds in the right ballpark for menopause; there's no one-size-fits-all age for it. I started it about then, and finished up about two years later --- all normal.
posted by easily confused at 3:33 PM on August 23, 2012


My mother started menopause in her thirties. BC use had masked it at first.

And the juiciness sounds normal non-hormonal BC to me - it certainly is my experience.
posted by geek anachronism at 4:56 PM on August 23, 2012


I took birth control in my early to mid 40's to control endometriosis and heavy periods. When I stopped taking them at about 45, I never had another period. I never saw a GYN specifically for that issue, I just assumed that messing with your hormones that close to menopause can make things a little wonky.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 5:09 PM on August 23, 2012


Hormonal birth control works in many ways, one proposed way of which is to thicken cervical mucus to make it more difficult for sperm to penetrate (heh) the cervix and get near the egg. With your own hormones flying solo, your cervical mucus and therefore vaginal discharge will be less thick at certain times during your cycle. Totally normal.
posted by jesourie at 5:33 PM on August 23, 2012


Chiming in that going off HBC results in thinner, more copious discharge for lots of women of any age.

Perimenopause, which you are the average statistical age to be experiencing, is a carnival ride where anything can happen. Some ladies find their periods coming every eight or ten weeks; some ladies find their periods coming every two or three weeks.

I am soon to be 48 and all I can tell you to expect about perimenopause is to expect the unexpected.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:08 PM on August 23, 2012


I can't speak to the juiciness issue, but when I finally went off oral contraceptives after taking them for 8 years it took about 4 months for me to menstruate. After that I was irregular for about a year. Each time it seemed to show up one month earlier than the last (4 months for the first one, then 3, then 2, etc.). Eventually it worked itself out and now I have a normal cycle.
posted by Yo Mamma at 7:45 PM on August 23, 2012


I've been on hormonal birth control for 20 years at this point. When I stopped taking the type I used for the first 10 years, I suddenly realized that what I assumed was normal for me (dry) was not at all the case. Coming off the pill could definitely cause the juciness in my experience.
posted by crankylex at 8:05 PM on August 23, 2012


I also want to start a menopunk band called "My Aging Vagina" now.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:26 PM on August 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


> Chiming in that going off HBC results in thinner, more copious discharge for lots of women of any age.

Agreed. I was in my early mid-thirties when i quit the pill, it took several months for me to get back on a typical schedule and at least a year before my body settled into a fairly consistent version of what is now my typical period w/r/t early warning signals, cramps, duration, etc.

Also, ovulation. Wow.
posted by desuetude at 8:28 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've only taken bc for a few months a long time ago, but to the juicy issue, it seems every year i'm older, i get wetter (i realize this will change with menopause). Forgive me for the tmi, but at certain parts of my cycle, if i'm commando in a dress, i'll "juice" right down to my ankle. Talking to women on bc leads me to believe this is far tamer on the pills.
posted by nadawi at 12:01 AM on August 24, 2012


Your hormones are just regulating back to normal, they've been artifically induced for so long. When I am off the pill, my period is VERY irregular - sometimes I would go months without one.
posted by AbsolutelyHonest at 6:26 AM on August 24, 2012


I was on hormonal BC for approximately 8 years, but when I was younger (16-24). I definitely noticed a difference in the overall juiciness level after discontinuing. It took my periods a good six months to resemble anything close to a regular schedule. Also, 45 isn't too young for perimenopause or menopause - my BFF has been perimenopausal for a few years, and she's 42 and starting the "surprise periods every few weeks" variant of menopause now. YVMV (your vagina may vary).
posted by bedhead at 7:44 AM on August 24, 2012


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