Female trouble?
December 1, 2006 7:19 PM   Subscribe

A close friend of mine has just called with a female-parts medical issue, and unfortunately I'm a male specimen. As it's approaching late Saturday night where we live, she can't make it to her doctor and is trying to figure out if her symptoms warrant emergency treatment. Any information or suggestions for me to give her along with the advice I already plan on giving ("See a doctor!") would help ease her stressful night. The more inside is only a little bit graphic...

She's 34 years old, sexually active, on birth control, and it's been two weeks since she's had her last period, She says it feels like she's having another one right now, complete with very heavy flow, much heavier than she'd have during a regular period. She's had really sudden cramps and is feeling weak (in her words she's 'craving red meat'). She's always taken her pills regularly and is pretty damn certain that she's not pregnant and isn't miscarrying.

She's also been expelling translucent white mucousy tissue from her uterus for the last three days. I've seen it and it doesn't look like anything I've seen come from that part of the body before.

As I said, she will be seeing a doctor. The question lies in how soon she need to see one. I know it's a tough call based on the symptoms listed. I should stress one thing:

If she starts experiencing any physical pain or anything else that even a medical moron like myself could see being permanent or life-threatening, I will in no uncertain terms make certain that she's in the ER within 10 minutes.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (30 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I've never heard/experienced anything like this personally, but it sounds similar to what a close friend of mine experienced when she miscarried. I'd suggest she try to relax, deal with the pain and blood as best as she can, and make an appointment with her girly doc first thing Monday. (Plus what you had in bold at the bottom of your post.)
The only thing I'd be worried about (in my completely medically ignorant opinion) would be anemia of some variety. Maybe keep an eye on adding more iron to diet for the next few days?
posted by sperose at 7:25 PM on December 1, 2006

Can you call an advice nurse or other medical advice hotline (perhaps at the hospital)? They should be able to give you a better idea of the seriousness of the situation.
posted by zachlipton at 7:26 PM on December 1, 2006

I second the possible miscarriage symptoms... sounds like what my sister in law described happening to her once.
posted by chickaboo at 7:27 PM on December 1, 2006

Can you call a hospital to ask for advice? I would figure that they'd just tell you to come in, as they can't possibly want to be held liable for suggestions dispersed over the phone. Maybe I'm wrong.
posted by item at 7:30 PM on December 1, 2006

Is the translucent tissue a symptom of a miscarriage?
posted by item at 7:31 PM on December 1, 2006

It is possible for birth control pills to fail -- and some antibiotics counteract them. It's also possible to forget to take one once, as with any pill.

Is it okay for you to go nurse her?
posted by davy at 7:35 PM on December 1, 2006

Yes, it is. Google miscarriage symptoms - tissue discharge is very common and will probably be on just about every list.
posted by iconomy at 7:35 PM on December 1, 2006

(that was in answer to item's question)
posted by iconomy at 7:36 PM on December 1, 2006

I'm going to try to convince her to get medical attention ASAP.
posted by item at 7:36 PM on December 1, 2006

If she is bleeding/flow is heavily and discharging other fluids I'd be pretty concerned, IANAD, but if it was my wife experiencing the symptoms I'd bring her in asap.
posted by edgeways at 7:37 PM on December 1, 2006

If she is having a miscarriage, it's likely that a home pregnancy test would still be positive. I'm not sure how useful that information would be, but it would tell you something, at least.
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:39 PM on December 1, 2006

go to the ER.
posted by WaterSprite at 7:42 PM on December 1, 2006

I'm trying to reach her on the phone. In a couple of minutes, I'm going to just go ahead and drive over there. Sorry to suck you guys into this real-life drama.
posted by item at 7:44 PM on December 1, 2006

Please come back to this thread later and let us know she's okay!
posted by garbo at 7:46 PM on December 1, 2006

My university (Univ of Texas) has a 24hr nurse's advice line. The number's (512) 475-6877. If you have to prove you're a student to get advice drop me an email, it's in my profile, and you can use my info. Seriously.
posted by soviet sleepover at 7:51 PM on December 1, 2006

I'm off.
posted by item at 7:57 PM on December 1, 2006

If you have to prove you're a student to get advice drop me an email, it's in my profile, and you can use my info. Seriously.

Sometimes I'm in awe of the little nuggets of generosity on this site. Good on ya'.
posted by frogan at 8:10 PM on December 1, 2006

Sounds like a miscarriage to me (IANAD). Take her to the ER and then come back and tell us what happened.
posted by bedhead at 8:11 PM on December 1, 2006

For Googlers of the Future: you may want to check and see if your health plan has a 24-hr medical advice line. I know BCBS does, and it has helped me on more than one occasion.

Hope all is OK item.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:28 PM on December 1, 2006

Could be lots of things--fibroid tumor, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy that mimics miscarriage. I hope your friend is okay, please let us know how it turned out.
posted by LoriFLA at 8:31 PM on December 1, 2006

I hope your friend is ok. I'm glad that you are taking her in ASAP & I hope that it turns out to be nothing major.
posted by tastybrains at 9:31 PM on December 1, 2006

*waits for the diagnosis*

I hope he comes back to let us know what's what.
posted by Jilder at 11:41 PM on December 1, 2006

Sounds like a complete abortion. She probably needs a D&C to completely evacuate the uterine contents to prevent infection. Translucent mucus-like tissue (chorionic villi) is exactly what comes out, usually along with blood.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 7:04 AM on December 2, 2006

Thanks for the help, everyone. Without going into too many more details, she's going to be okay.

When she first called last night and wasn't sure what was going on (though she had a good idea) or what to do, seeing this thread really helped her a lot.
posted by item at 7:48 AM on December 2, 2006

i guess you don't have something like NHS Direct in the states?
posted by ascullion at 7:55 AM on December 2, 2006

item, I hope your friend visits her doctor very soon, if she hasn't gone to the ER already. Please urge her to go. I am also 34 years old with abnormal bleeding. Turns out I had a tumor with precancerous traits. I am not trying to be dramatic, it's just important that she gets checked out. Good luck to your friend. Tissue loss and white mucousy drainage isn't necessarily and aborted fetus, it could be other things.
posted by LoriFLA at 8:16 AM on December 2, 2006

meant to say a miscarried fetus
posted by LoriFLA at 8:18 AM on December 2, 2006

so is that the last update from item? Hope she's OK!
posted by chickaboo at 5:35 PM on December 2, 2006

She's okay.

She talked to her gynecologist yesterday afternoon. He told her that, due to a few rather major details in her medical history that were too personal to mention even in this thread, the chance that she was/is preggers is hovering right around zero. He advised for her to only go to the ER if she found herself bleeding three or so maxis worth of blood an hour or if she finds herself in intense physical pain. She intermittently continued to bleed increasingly redder blood (good sign, the redder blood) until late morning on Sunday. Her cramps took the same bus out of town that Ms. Blood was on.

The Doctor said what sounds like happened was an egg became fertilized but the zygote failed in its attempt to settle in the womb, a probable scenario given said medical history. Remember, HIAWPD (He Is A Woman's Parts Doctor).

Thank you doesn't begin to cover the appreciation we hold for the help and advice received. I'll be honest: we were both scared silly, and I wanted her to go to the ER from the very onset. She held her ground, though. I could've typed out a 24 part series of handsome leather-bound volumes detailing the symptoms, her history, etc., and those books could've been analyzed by a select group of the most brilliant minds in the history of medical science, and still the results wouldn't be as accurate as the outcome drummed up by the mind, body, and intuition of my astute girlfriend.
posted by item at 1:14 AM on December 4, 2006


I am glad all is well. Good health to your friend.
posted by LoriFLA at 8:50 AM on December 4, 2006

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