T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 72015
posted 08-20-2012 12:56 PM
I'm almost 19 and have been having my period for 6 years. I was having "regular" periods for most of that time, but they were always between 32 and 35 days. I was also having very painful breasts for a week before every period. I had a wonky period, about 10 days later than usual, in May, and ever since then my periods have gotten uber-regular, as in, always starting during the night, always at 30 days. Also, there has been little breast pain, but I now can very reliably tell when I've started because I get vulvar heaviness and cramping, which has also gotten progressively worse than ever before, enough to require pain meds. My question is, is this unusual? I've never experienced clockwork periods, and I'm finding this extreme regularity a bit "irregular" for me.
Member # 3
posted 08-20-2012 01:05 PM
So, what's most typical with menstrual periods is for the first few years -- and sometimes more -- to be more irregular than the years after. That doesn't account, mind, for pregnancies or breastfeeding, both of which, if and when they occur, will tend to massively change menstrual cycles for a long time. That also doesn't take other health or lifestyle issues into account, nor what tends to happen once menopause is on the horizon later on.
With cramping, that usually decreases after the first few years of menstruating, so if you have been finding that to increase for you, I'd just check in with your sexual/reproductive healthcare provider about it. If they don't see any physical reason for increased menstrual pain -- like PCOS or endo, for instance -- then I'd look at your lifestyle issues to see if you can't find culprit, like how you eat during and around your period, sleep, levels of activity, etc. Mind, it is August, so with the timing of your cycles, this exactly every 30 days may or may not hold. While there's nothing to worry about with a cycle that regular, over more months, it'd be more common to have some deviation with cycles or a day or two sometimes.
Member # 72015
posted 08-20-2012 01:37 PM
I had an appointment a few months ago and told my doctor I had been cramping, but she said as long as an OTC pain reliever was working, it was nothing to worry about. Also though, I've never had a pelvic exam; last time she seemed to be in a hurry, and since I answered that I was not sexually active, she told me it could wait. (I know now that this was wrong even though I've never had intercourse, so I probably should go back for an exam.)
Member # 3
posted 08-20-2012 01:48 PM
One thing to often bear in mind, too, is that our level of tolerance to pain can change throughout our life. I'd agree that if OTC analgesics are working fine, we're clearly not talking about severe pain, so this likely isn't any cause for concern. And it's also entirely possible your tolerance has changed as you've grown, which is fairly typical.
With the pelvic, the standard recommendation now is that pelvic exams and paps start either: • Within a year or two of someone becoming sexually active (not just intercourse, any kind of genital sex) • At the age of 21 if someone has not been sexually active before then, or • If any health issues arise which facilitate a need for those exams