Hi, I'm 21, had my first period at 10--and this year's seen a lot of hormone-related changes.
First, random dark hairs popped up on my chin--like real beard hairs. Only a handful (the lighter hairs are thicker though).
Second, my period symptoms have changed. Now I get feverish, alternating between hot and cold, feel like I have low blood pressure, and get nosebleeds as well as dizziness/bad balance, bad cramps, a variety of emotional and appetite effects, diarrhea, nausea, and bloating, and thighs aching and weak. The ones before "as well as" are new.
Also, was reading the menstruation article and it said that you can expect irregular periods for up to 5 years after your first--I'm at or over 11 years since, and gave up the last time I tried charting (at the beginning of this year) since in just two or three periods the cycle length varied by 5 days--it didn't seem worth the anxiety of expecting it to happen at any given day. I assume that's within the normal degree of irregularity, though.
Is it normal for these changes to happen throughout one's 20s and 30s, or is it normal for them to happen in the early 20s, or when things like that change should I go find a doctor somewhere? I managed to suffer from asthma that kept me from doing normal activities for over a decade before it came up in conversation with a doctor--I'd rather not repeat that sort of mistake with a reproductive problem.
I kinda hate the menstrual cycle--so many hormonal variables screwing up all the other complex cycles of my body. I also don't want to take the pill and risk the hormones screwing up all the complex cycles of my body, but for the first time I'm considering it--I figure I need to weight the pros and cons and make a decision instead of griping about it. I'd appreciate links to any threads where people have discussed that question.
Thanks, guys. Please alleviate my ignorance, or just tell me to go talk to a doctor. I fled my first Pap smear years ago and never went back, but I figure I'm going to have to work out how to use my shiny new health insurance and get excused from work for a doctor's appointment and all that anxiety-inducing jazz soon anyway.
Posts: 11 | From: SLC, Utah | Registered: Oct 2008
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Hi brighter_from_ashes. Puberty does tend to lead into the early 20s, and it's around the early 20s that your body sort of "settles in" to its adult form (in terms of proportions, fat distribution, hormone cycles, etc). However, it's always good to talk to your doctor about things like this, just so you can make sure there's nothing else going on.
At the very least I would suggest talking to your doctor about the symptoms of your period to find ways of managing those symptoms. Although taking the birth control pill can lessen symptoms, it does not actually deal with the root cause. So if you talk to your doctor about it they may be able to figure out what the root cause IS and find a better way of managing the symptoms.
Would you like to talk about the anxiety you feel around going to see your doctor? What part of visiting the doctor is it that makes you anxious?
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