Donate Now
  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » (Ir)regular Menstrual Cycle?

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: (Ir)regular Menstrual Cycle?
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey!

So I came here awhile back with a pregnancy scare. Took plan B and everything. Had two periods, a bajillion negative pregnancy tests, but I was just wondering how long can Plan B kind of mess with your cycle?

So just a brief timeline:
Sex on May 29, took Plan B a few hours later. This is towards the end of my period.
A few days later, around June 1, I experience some irregular bleeding - almost like a period - bled for 5 days, but lighter than my usual period. I know that's normal. But I didn't know whether or not to count that as part of my menstrual cycle, or just a period, or it "resetting my cycle."

Assuming it's not - I then got my period on July 1st - a 38/39 day cycle. (If I assumed it was a "reset" of my cycle - it would be a 30 day cycle).

THEN.. I got my period on July 30th - a 29 day cycle.

Now.. I'm on Day 35 of my cycle. Slight PMS - but still haven't started my period.

Could this weirdness in my cycle just typically be my cycle? Or Plan B? I have been pretty stressed out recently because of work.

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Sunday Morning,

It's really not possible for us to say why exactly you're experiencing this irregularity. Stress can certainly be a factor, and some people's cycles are just naturally not consistent. What were your cycles like beore you took the Plan B?

What we can tell you though is that it can take a good few months for the effects of emergency contraception on the menstrual cycle to subside.

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I started my period that month on May 24th, and prior to that, I started on April 17/18th. Can't remember - so 36-37 days.

Can't remember my March cycle - but I think it's somewhere around 31/32?

So in sum-
March to April: 31/32 days
April to May: 36/37 days
May to July: 38/39 days.
July to August: 29 days
August to Now: I am now on day 35.

The last time I had sex/the only time I had sexual intercourse during this entire time and took plan B was May 29th.

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Molias
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 101745

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Molias     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Sunday Morning,

Have your cycles before Plan B been super-regular? What you're showing here seems well within the range of variation for folks who don't have extremely regular cycles. Certainly, as Robin said, it's quite common for Plan B to throw things off a bit. Plus if you're feeling stressed, that can also contribute to cycle irregularity.

So while we can't know exactly why your cycle is the way it is right now, I don't see any cause for concern here. =)

Posts: 1352 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I didn't track my period that much before- so I'm not quite sure honestly. Though I don't think my period was ever super regular.

So nothing to worry- variation like this is normal for people who don't have super regular cycles?

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Molias
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 101745

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Molias     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yep! You might find it helpful to continue to keep track of your cycles and see if a pattern does emerge eventually, but that's up to you. And some people just don't have particularly regular cycles at all, or for the first several years they menstruate.
Posts: 1352 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Aha! Thank you!

Would the birth control pill be a good way to regulate an irregular cycle?

And correct me if I'm wrong - but hormonal birth control methods, like the birth control pill, do NOT cause weight gain? I'm trying to lose weight. Not sexually active at the moment.

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
some people do use the birth control pill to make their cycle more predictable. It doesn't actually regulate it; that is, once you stop taking the hormonal birth control your cycle will, after an adjustment period, go back to whatever pattern (or lack of pattern) it usually takes.

An irregular cycle, in itself, isn't a bad or harmful thing. The most inconvenient thing most people ind about having unpredictable cycles is the difficulty of getting periods at unexpected times. (My own cycles are chronically irregular, so I have some experience with this.) [Smile]

Some people do experience weight gain when taking hormonal birth control, but that's something you could discuss with a healthcare provider prior to taking the pill.

Your healthcare provider, if you have one, would also be the best person to consult about whether taking hormonal birth control would be the best way to handle your menstrual cycle. Do you have a healthcare provider you could book an appointment with to discuss this?

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I typically go to Planned Parenthood for this, so I'll probably schedule an appointment for it.

Do you know of any good sites or apps to track menstrual periods?

Yeah having an irregular cycle can be a little scary when being sexually active. I haven't had sex though since May, and I've had 2 periods since then, so I'm not worried.

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, to track your period you could always just keep notes of when your period starts, any changes you notice in your cycle, and so on. [Smile]

This app tracks fertility, specifically, so may not be exactly what you're looking for, but here's the site if you want to take a look: https://www.kindara.com/home

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Okay, so last night I went to this intense boot camp class after a hiatus from working out. I was cramping a bit so I put a pad on. Then I think my period started late last night. I had fresh blood. Changed my pad and went to sleep.

And then when I woke up this morning, I just had some rusty/brown - and it hasn't completely started flowing. My pad is clear at the moment.

Has my period started? I'm a bit confused. It's kind of freaking me out but I'm trying to just be patient and wait it out. Is it just taking a little while to really get started?

Edit: I've had on and off cramping, and breast tenderness.

[ 09-04-2013, 02:16 PM: Message edited by: Sunday Morning ]

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

Icon 1 posted      Profile for September     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Are you due for your period? It is not unusual for periods to sometimes be slow to get started.

--------------------
Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes I am. I've just been spotting today.

Not the first time this has happened so I will assume that this isn't anything out of the ordinary.

Do you count spotting as day 1 of your period, or do you count the day with full on flow as the beginning?

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So I've just been spotting today. That's normal yeah? To spot/start a little slowly for period?

And does this count as Day 1?

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

Icon 1 posted      Profile for September     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, it is normal for a period to start with a day of spotting. Give it another day or two.

--------------------
Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just an update - my period started normally the day after spotting.
I'm currently on my 3rd day of bleeding (4th day if you count the day of spotting).

When you track the beginning of your cycle - do you count the day of spotting?

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jacob at Scarleteen
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 66249

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jacob at Scarleteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The first day of the cycle is when menstrual bleeding starts, so I would say the spotting counts... but there maybe there's other interpretations. It's not the most exact thing ever. But in any case if your periods happen the same way you can count it from either day so long as you're consistent. A few days variation may happen anyway so there's a big enough margin of error anyway.
Posts: 694 | From: Leeds UK | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Quick question! So my period ended about 3-4 days ago, and I just saw some dark brown spotting or discharge in my underwear today.

Is this normal? I'm on day 12 of my cycle. I remember reading on your site and this other site: http://www.pamf.org/teen/health/femalehealth/discharge.html

that it's normal to have brown spotting or discharge after a period. Just old leftover blood.

Is this correct? Nothing to worry about?

[ 09-15-2013, 09:37 PM: Message edited by: Sunday Morning ]

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
yes, that's correct. [Smile]

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Phew! Cuz I ended my period around Wednesday/Thursday, and when I came from the gym and saw that yesterday, and wiped brown discharge, I was so confused.

But there's nothing to worry about.

So just out of curiosity, then, and my sister tried to explain it to me (she's a nurse), it's just part of the lining that didn't shed completely during my period? That's why it's brown = old blood?

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yep. [Smile]

--------------------
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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Okay, cool! Thank you so much! [Smile]
Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You're welcome. [Smile]

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ah - another quick question - how long does spotting like this last? So it happened a little bit last night. And it happened a little bit again today.
Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There's really no way we can tell you how long this will last. Spotting is just one of those things, like many things that happen with the human body, that is unpredictable.

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ah okay, I see. Can stress also be a culprit of this as well?

I've been pretty emotionally and physically stressed recently- from working and grad school applications.

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I also want to add that I just started working out again and started boot camp today.

And today - I wiped a little bit of red blood. And had dark brown spotting after the workout.

This probably a mix of irregular cycles to begin with, end of menstrual cycle/old blood, stress, and new exercise routine, yeah?

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Molias
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 101745

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Molias     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We can't know exactly, but what you're describing doesn't sound out of the ordinary for spotting. Like Robin said above, spotting can be a little unpredictable, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong.

Also: did you ask this question on our texting service as well? We had a similar one come through today. Often the same folks will be answering questions across our various direct service lines, so if you don't feel like you're getting the information you want in one place, it's easiest to just stick with wherever you asked first and let us know what you need that we haven't told you already. =)

Posts: 1352 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sunday Morning
Activist
Member # 107774

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Sunday Morning     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I apologize - I was the one who asked this over the texting service. I was just getting a little concerned and I was at work haha. So my phone was convenient at the time. The spotting is still going on today and has increased a bit. It's all dark brown/red - so old blood. Liners have been sufficient.

But I'll trust all of your advice and just try to relax from all of this!

[ 09-17-2013, 08:33 PM: Message edited by: Sunday Morning ]

Posts: 57 | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3

Google
Search Scarleteen