Weird period
September 25, 2009 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Weird period. What's up? Needless to say, if you find this stuff icky, read no further.

I'm a forty year old woman who's been using Yasmin for about 10 years with no problems at all. My periods are generally very regular and start around the third day after the last active pill. A little cramping, a little moodiness, but nothing major.

So, this last period started early, maybe a day and a half after the last active pill. I had no cramping at all. The flow was very light, but the blood was very dark brown and has remained that way. A few clots. I'm accustomed to dark blood at the end of my period, but not at the beginning.

Also, in the last year I've noticed that it's become more painful to insert a tampon, and the last time I had sex, it was a little painful as well. If it matters, I'm kind of on a dry streak, so sex is infrequent. However, I seem to produce as much lubrication as usual.

I see my gynecologist twice a year for check-ups. Last one was a couple of months ago, and everything was normal. He did say that I have a few small fibroids, but nothing serious. I did a little googling, but I can't come up with anything that quite fits. I have no other symptoms, so I don't think it's endometriosis.

I'll make an appointment if necessary, but I'm hoping there's an explanation for this that won't keep me up at night. Thanks for your help. Are you my doctor? No, you're not.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
Fibroids can cause weird periods. They're common. Unless the fibroid is causing serious complications like pain or blockage due to size, I wouldn't overly worry about it.

It also could be the Yasmin is done. I noticed that at times my pills wore out their welcome and I had to change dosages, brands, etc.

Yasmin is 10 years old aready? Woah.
posted by stormpooper at 9:55 AM on September 25, 2009

You may also be moving into perimenopause. That could certainly provide at least a partial explanation for the increased dryness.

Because I feel like it's my feminist duty to mention this in conjunction with anything cooch-related, I'll suggest the DivaCup. Again :) Much less irritation than with tampons because it doesn't suck up the moisture, and as you age and your cycle changes, it may be more comfortable. Also, it might help to figure out how the amount of fluid is changing (it has measurement lines, if you're scientific like that).
posted by Madamina at 10:00 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

If it matters, I'm kind of on a dry streak, so sex is infrequent. However, I seem to produce as much lubrication as usual.

By "dry streak" I think the poster just means that she's not "getting any," not that she's producing less lubrication as usual, especially since she clarifies that she is still producing as much lubrication.

I've read that fibroids can be a cause of dark blood during menstruation, because the blood pools around them and oxygenates before it flows out. But if your fibroids are as small as your doctor says, I'm not sure that would be the cause.
posted by Evangeline at 10:10 AM on September 25, 2009

I'm thinking the fibroids could be to blame, as well. Did you mention the increased discomfort when inserting a tampon or having sex to your doctor? I also wonder if there might be a low-grade infection at work. If it were me, I think I'd go to the doctor, less so because of the unique period, but more because of the pain, and if there is an infection of some sort, it can probably be easily resolved. Whatever you decide to do, it doesn't sound like it's something to panic about, but still might be worth investigating.
posted by katemcd at 10:37 AM on September 25, 2009

Tangential to runningwithscissors: If this is what your periods ALWAYS did, you're fine. The best advice I ever got about "normal" vs. "unusual" was "there's 'normal', and then there's 'normal for you'." If your periods have ALWAYS been this way, and your OB/GYN says you're fine, then you're fine. With the OP, though, they HAVEN'T always been this way, so for HER it's a yellow flag (not quite a red one yet, though, I'd wager).

To the OP -- you may want to just call your doctor and ask THEM if you should come in; it doesn't sound like anything's amiss to me (the fibroids sound plausible), but it's still unusual enough that your doctor may need to at least hear what's up. My hunch is s/he'll say, " know, you may be okay for now, but if it's worse NEXT month, then come see me. But right now you're good."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:28 AM on September 25, 2009

Not to discount the fibroids, but since you're 40 and you also report that your heretofore regular periods started early, I'd say welcome to perimenopause. I can't cite a report, but I've heard that it can start as early as 10 - 12 years before actual menopause and the average age for that is 51, so I'd say your on track. But definitely at least call your gyn to see whether or not it merits an appointment to make sure that there's nothing more serious going on.
posted by kaybdc at 7:51 PM on September 25, 2009

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