Neverending Period
July 17, 2007 9:01 AM   Subscribe

My period won't stop. And I'm not 14.

I recently asked a medical related question about all the drugs a doctor was putting me on, and five days after I got the shot of steroid she gave me for hives, and five days in to a mega antibiotic she put me on, I got my period. So now I've been on my period for about three weeks, and it started 5 days after my last period ended. I called this "doctor" and she was all "wow. that's really weird. that's not a side effect of anything I gave you. it couldn't be anything I gave you, and it's not a big deal," but I think she's lying and an idiot.

Anywho, I think my real actual period just started, and i'm exhausted and feel like crap. I'm afraid that when my real period is over, the fake drug induced one won't stop. Is there anything I can do to make this stop?

Also, she wouldn't name the steroid shot she gave me, but based on my research it seems like prednisone. (I asked her what it was several times and she dodged it).
posted by bash to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Time for a new doctor. You think she's an idiot, and she's dodging your questions.

Could it be stress? I'd always read about it being delayed because of stress, but I myself have had an extended period when I was under heavy stress with no other explanation.
posted by sephira at 9:08 AM on July 17, 2007

Are you serious? She wouldn't tell you the name of the drug she gave you? Can you contact her office for a detailed bill (which would probably have the drug name on it)?

And other than just how horrible that is - please contact your OB/GYN NOW. Having a three week period, other than being pure misery, can also signify a few scary things. Better safe than sorry.

Also - you didn't mention, but are you on birth control? Namely Depo? There might be some serious interactions between steriods and Depo.
posted by banannafish at 9:10 AM on July 17, 2007

Get thee to a new doctor quick. I've taken prednisone to induce a period and it did mess me up, but not for three weeks.
posted by melissam at 9:10 AM on July 17, 2007

Response by poster: I'm not on any birth control pills or anything. I'm 28 and I use family planning method. That's the other reason I'm so ticked about this, because now my calendar and fluids are all messed up so the method I've used for years to prevent pregnancy is all messed up too.
posted by bash at 9:14 AM on July 17, 2007

Response by poster: I've been calling around for a doctor that fits with my stupid F-ing insurance, but no one can see me until August 7th (that's the earliest appointment I can get so far).

I hate this. This is so stupid. This is why I don't go to doctors. Can anyone recommend anyone to me in the chicago area? I feel like I'm going to cry (for real or from the steroid shot, I can't tell).
posted by bash at 9:28 AM on July 17, 2007

If you can't get a doctor's appointment, then can you find an urgent care clinic (most hospitals have one) or even go to the ER? Even going to a Planned Parenthood clinic to see one of their ob/gyn's is better than waiting even longer.
posted by tastybrains at 9:36 AM on July 17, 2007

On the "feeling better" issue, be sure you're getting lots of iron in your diet. IANAD, but having had your period for so long combined with feeling exhausted makes it sound like you might be anemic, and so increasing your consumption of iron will probably make you feel better while you're looking for another doctor. (Drink some orange juice too - Vitamin C increases your iron absorption.) I hope you feel better soon! I once had a weeks-long period induced by stress and it was awful. Good luck.
posted by AV at 9:52 AM on July 17, 2007

There is a really fantastic OB-GYN in Merrilville, IN (about 45 minutes from Chicago on I-65) named Srbislav Brasovan. Don't let the name scare you-he is really, really good. Thorough and fast, doesn't fart around and waste your time with "maybe" or whatever. He gets an answer and fixes the problem. My experience anyway. I don't live in the area anymore, but as far as I know he is still in practice. You can contact me through my email in my profile if you would like the address and phone #.
posted by bolognius maximus at 9:52 AM on July 17, 2007

Seconding Planned Parenthood.

Also, not going to doctors isn't going to help with your dislike of doctors. Once you find a good doctor, stick to them no matter what, regular checkups, etc. Like a good mechanic gets to know your car the more they see you, a good doctor gets to know YOU the more they see you.

When I was still with my pediatrician (right up until I turned 18), I hated the doctor too, because he was an idiot, and his nurse practitioners gave me a tetanus shot when I didn't need it. So I switched doctors and I love my current one. She's always receptive to questions and doesn't jerk me around.

Seriously, find a good doctor and you won't hate it so much.
posted by Verdandi at 9:55 AM on July 17, 2007

Best answer: An iron supplement may help, but don't take more than one without asking advice from some medical professional or other -- too much iron can be toxic.

Iron in your diet is a good idea. When I need iron, I'll sometimes have fresh beets, boiled, sliced, with a vinaigrette on top and/or some fresh citrus on the side. Also, leafy greens (kale, chard, spinach) with vinaigrette is nice.

The advice about having citrus with iron-rich foods to increase absorption is consistent with my own information.
posted by amtho at 10:05 AM on July 17, 2007

I had a similar reaction after receiving steroids for an allergic reaction, though definitely not as severe as your case, so I don't think this is a completely unknown reaction (though it wasn't listed as a side effect on the prescription package) Find a new dr and good luck.
posted by estronaut at 10:16 AM on July 17, 2007

Does your insurance cover urgent care facilities? It is not normal or healthy that you've been bleeding for three weeks. People (doctors, you, people answering the question here) need to take that stuff seriously and not act like you're a fussy child. Or lecture you about doctors. Or suggest that changing your diet will fix your immediate problem of bleeding from your uterus.

And you need to see a medical professional as soon as possible. If you're calling and explaining that your cycles are ordinarily regular and healthy and that you've now been having this thing for three weeks, they should be able to fit you in. If they can't fit you in, stress that this is an urgent issue, not a checkup, and can they recommend an urgent care facility? Sometimes girls have a hard time demanding help in terms plain enough to make people pay attention:
Can your partner - or a friend - shoulder some of this? Make some calls? Go with you?

Good luck.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 10:19 AM on July 17, 2007

I don't mean to scare you but....If you've had sex in the past few weeks you sould take a preganacy test and get checked out by a doctor ASAP. I had very similar symptoms once (constant bleeding, felt like crap) and completely dismissed pregancy becuase "it's impossible, I've got my period". I was actually 7 weeks into an ectopic pregancy which was causing the bleeding and had to have an emergency operation. Do you have any pain or feel any discomfort around your collar bone or shoulder? It's a tell tale sign of an ectopic.
posted by juva at 10:27 AM on July 17, 2007

Is the doctor you can see the soonest a GYN? If not, I think you should call around to see a GYN before anyone else. It seems like the primary complaint at this point might be the abnormal unterine bleeding, and not the hives or whatever you were taking the antibiotic for. A GYN will be able to approach the problem of bleeding, while taking into account the medication history, while an internist will--as you've discovered--simply say there's no reason for the bleeding. Bottom line is you need the bleeding to stop. Some episodes of irregular periods are normal, even for us very regular women (and I chart, too, so I feel your pain!), but the proximity to the other medications is suspect.
posted by cocoagirl at 10:29 AM on July 17, 2007

I had a 3-month-long period once, and it completely sucked. My Gyn finally gave me progesterone, which made the bleeding stop pretty quickly, thank god. In my case, we knew what the cause was, though.

I'm nthing seeing a Gyn ASAP. When you call, make it super clear that this is an emergency and you need to be seen in the next couple days, and ask for recommendations of other doctors if the receptionist won't get you in. Sometimes they know which doctors aren't very busy...
posted by doubtful_guest at 10:43 AM on July 17, 2007

....I also meant to wish you good luck.
posted by juva at 10:47 AM on July 17, 2007

Or suggest that changing your diet will fix your immediate problem of bleeding from your uterus.

Perhaps I should clarify: my suggestion that the OP take in more iron was not that it would stop the bleeding; rather I was simply pointing out that it might help her feel better while she is seeking treatment.
posted by AV at 10:53 AM on July 17, 2007

nthing the suggestion to find a GYN that can see you ASAP. A doctor who will simply dismiss weeks-long uterine bleeding as well as refuse to tell you what medication she has given you should be avoided. That doctor is negligent at best.

I completely understand your aversion to doctors, as I have experienced some extremely bad care in the past as well. However, this is a situation where you need to overcome that aversion and see a gynecologist immediately. Unusual bleeding can be caused by a number of different things, varying in severity, but bleeding that has been occuring for this long needs to be addressed by a competent physician.
posted by bedhead at 11:27 AM on July 17, 2007

Best answer: It's the steroids. This happened to me after getting a shot of cortisone once for allergies. A good GYN will probably put you on the pill to stop it.
posted by ubu at 11:33 AM on July 17, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I'm on the hunt for this alleged "competent physician" that bedhead speaks of. I've called around, but most obgyn staffers aren't thinking this is that big of a deal, so I just may be stopping by my local, competent, efficient, respectful planned parenthood tomorrow afternoon.

Thanks again. I was sort of thinking that because the allergist said it was no big whoop, that it wasn't, but now I see that yes, this neverending period may in fact not be totally not a problem.
posted by bash at 11:39 AM on July 17, 2007

Best answer: Bash, since you're a charter, I also wanted to mention that you might ask for a FAM-friendly doctor recommendation on the boards. I've found the ladies there extremely knowledgeable and helpful.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 11:45 AM on July 17, 2007

Be sure to bring all information you have on all your medication and supplements (if you have to, bring the container they came in and the bill from previousdoctor) when you go to the OB/GYN. Don't make the mistake of neglecting the vitamin bottles, or thinking "oh, the doctor doesn't want to know about my herbs", because they occasionally can interact with prescribed medication.
posted by ilsa at 12:14 PM on July 17, 2007

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