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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Swimming affecting period/vaginal discharge?...

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Author Topic: Swimming affecting period/vaginal discharge?...
FrankieFrog
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Hey again!

So, my girlfriend told me on Day 25 of her usual 30-day cycle that she experienced this weird large amount of brown discharge.

We had been having very low-risk sexual play like oral sex or spermicide-laced condoms on "safe days" and such, so I highly doubted it was pregnancy related.

I asked her if it was spotting (because that could mean implantation bleeding/ I injured her internally etc.), but she said it was like a period!

She said it was about 75% the amount her period would usually be, and Day 26 has been the earliest her cycle has ever ended.

And from Day 25 til Day 29 (today), she's been having this brown discharge!
She says it has no odor, she feels no pain, it's not weirdly colored other than brown, and it looks a lot like old blood but she can't be certain.

We haven't done anything that rough, she hasn't gone on any birth control, the only difference is that I just moved into a new condominium with a swimming pool and we've been swimming about 5 days a week.


In all her past cycles, she'd always get various discharges and "false alarms" as she nears her next period but this cycle, none of those are present, and only these large amounts of brown discharge are there!

This is first time she's swam in YEARS and this is the first cycle she's ever had that's turned out this way- could our recent swimming really be messing up her cycle?

We don't do it high-intensity, just splashing around, but it's truly been the first time in maybe 6 years that she's swam.

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Heather
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Hey there, Frankie: how have you been? How are things with your home situation?

If she hasn't been engaging in a lot of physical activity before, and she is now, then yes, that often will impact menstrual cycles.

Is she up-to-date with her general sexual and reproductive healthcare? If not, then I'd suggest she do that. The brown discharge could just be an early period or old blood hanging around her uterus, but if she's not current with that care, this is something she can ask about when she gets current.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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FrankieFrog
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Hey Heather!

Thanks for asking!!
I managed to contact the Samaritans and got a counselor at a local organization [Smile]
It worked out fine for about a week til my dad found out and now he won't stop making snide remarks about it but overall i'm fine, been doing a lot of healthy soul-searching things like evening walks, swimming- hence this question, haha [Razz]

Anyway, she's always been very physically active but never swimming, just jogging.

She's not on any hormonal birth control yet but she will be by next month!

Is it odd though, to have such a discharge?
Or is it somewhat explainable, because the only variable in this compared to all her cycles is the swimming.

Prior to this, we've had the exact same sexual practices, she's had the same exercise regiment, same diet and so on.

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Heather
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I'm so glad you were able to find a counselor! That's excellent news. Hopefully you're keeping them abreast about how it's going at home so they can keep an eye on your safety, okay?

I'd stick to the advice I gave up there. If she's current with her sexual healthcare, and they've determined she's healthy, I'd not sweat this were I her. If she's not current, she should get current anyway, and when she has that app't, she can let them know about this so they can look into it.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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FrankieFrog
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OH!

I forgot a few other minor details that could have affected her period but you be the judge:


We recently received our results for our college applications and she got accepted to her first choice college! [Big Grin]
She was so scared she wouldn't get in that she nearly fell sick thinking about it.

We've been waiting about 3 months for these results, she started worrying about not getting in months before even sitting for the first exam.


And also, both she and I moved house in this past week, from living opposite each other's houses to now about a 1 hour commute away.
We've both been heavily involved in each other's moving and between shopping with her family for furniture and organizing the sleeping arrangement and all, it's been very exhausting, even if just for a few days.


She also took a huge step with this swimming thing by finally wearing a bikini (she's always been very VERY VERY self conscious).


I would think those might add up to something that'd affect her cycle, considering the emotions involved..

Are any of those realistic factors that would cause these discharges and other irregularities in her cycle?

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FrankieFrog
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Yeah..okay, her doctor will probably be able to tell her best.

Just..me being me..even if we live in a different country for a month, if she comes back and says she's having any weirdness down there, I automatically wonder if it could be pregnancy-related first.
Even if she goes on a sex drought for a few months, i'll still wonder.


Like a reflex it is!
First thing to my head- "could it be pregnancy related?"

Sigh..I am not a smart man..:S

[ 01-17-2013, 12:12 PM: Message edited by: FrankieFrog ]

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Heather
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I just linked another user to this, and it sounds like you and she could both benefit by reading this: M.I.A or, Dude, Where's My Period?

(Plenty of the same things there apply here. But, yet once more, if she is not current with her regular sexual healthcare, then she should get current anyway, and she can ask about this there so they can look into it in case it is due to something like an infection or health issue.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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FrankieFrog
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Thanks!

I've looked into all of that and we took a pregnancy test that came out negative!

But she's about 5 days late on her period already and she can't afford to go to a women's clinic but we'll go get her checked out as soon as we can.

Is it possible to have a missed or late period without being pregnant though?..

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Heather
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You read that link, right? [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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FrankieFrog
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yea! [Razz]

But what I want to know is..how much stress is enough to "mess up" a cycle?

I know she was under a fair bit of stress which was definitely a departure from her normal worries and her emotions have run quite high for some incidences during this cycle, but how much is enough?

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Heather
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It depends on the person. There's not one "stress threshold" (or even a way of measuring stress to have one) that will have a given impact on everyone's menstrual cycle.

As well, it's really less about "stress" impacting a cycle than how people do or don't manage stress, like if a given person under stress gets more or less sleep, eats more or less, or more or less well, if they get more or less activity, how much they internalize it, etc.

So, there's no telling if stress is why her period is late, nor figuring how "much" would have that impact, save that over time, as she observes her cycles, she'll likely get a sense of that for herself.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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FrankieFrog
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Oh I see, well my girlfriend has always been known to keep her emotions bottled up rather than voice them out..

And stress has affected her period before. I remember when she was taking a similar exam two years ago and her 30 day cycle took 42 days that month!

1 week or so late now and yet another negative test result.
On top of that, she's saying she knows her body best and I shouldn't worry about it possibly being pregnancy because she doesn't believe even for a second that she's pregnant.

She says this is normal for her on occasion and she's normally irregular anyway, ranging from 26-33 day cycles.

Probably just my paranoia but still!
A week late? Even with the two negatives, a week late is still spooking me a little!..

I spoke to her about going to the women's clinic about it but she says she doesn't want to because it makes her feel like we did a bad thing by having sex and they'll judge her- I tried to quell her concerns and told her that was absurd but she's not having any of it :|

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