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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Old Dog, New Tricks..

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Author Topic: Old Dog, New Tricks..
Lillith Ambrose
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So, as if being a woman wasn't hard enough, the dreaded Week of Death (also more commonly known as my period) has decided to start worrying me. It's nothing too serious, but I have recently become sexually active and I'm wondering if that has anything to do with whats going on. (I've only done it 3 times mind you)

I am 16 and my periods have always been irregular and a GIANT pain in my butt.. I usually get breast tenderness, get kind of moody a few days before, and also (can't believe I'm admitting this but oh well..) I tend to get more sexually excited then normal. But as of late, I've been getting mini cramps. This has never happened before.

As I said, I only recently became sexually active and I'm just wondering if that might have something to do with it. The cramps aren't bad, just a small pain every now and again, but I still can't help but worry. (Seeing as how everything normal during periods could be a pregnancy symptom.. Why can't we grow a tail or something? Seriously..) I'm not on a birth control and I'm working on getting an IUD (terrified of that as well.. Help? Kind words would be lovely..)

I'm fairly certain that my period should be soon because my last one was on April 22nd and I should be due either this week or next week but since my boyfriend and I recently had sex, protected with a condom and nothing went wrong there, I'm just worried that something more serious might be wrong. My body has never done the premenstrual cramps so I'm freaking out..

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Karybu
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Sex doesn't have the power to change your menstrual cycle all by itself: if you're stressing about sex or pregnancy, that can have an impact, but not the act of having sex. What it sounds like is that you're experiencing one of the changes that can happen with cycles every so often. The length of your cycle, duration of your periods, and what you experience with PMS or during your period isn't going to stay the same for the whole of your life, so it really doesn't sound like you have anything to be concerned about. Irregularity is something you may want to look into (especially if you've been menstruating for more than a few years and your body hasn't settled into any kind of pattern yet) but mild cramps like the ones you're describing are normal with a period.

If you'd like though, you can always ask your doctor just to double check.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Lillith Ambrose
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Well, I've always been very irregular. Only somewhat recently have I settled into some sort of a cycle. I did freak out quite badly the first time I had sex, just due to lack of birth control other then a properly used condom, and so I'm trying to stay relaxed at the moment.

I'm hopefully getting an appointment to get an IUD soon, but I don't know what to ask or what they will ask me. My mother hasn't really been to open about getting me a birth control method even though I've asked her. I don't want it just because I'm having sex, I'd like to have it to help keep myself regular. (I hate being on pins and needles waiting for it now that I am having sex though my partner and I are waiting till I'm on my IUD)

Because the IUD doesn't give off hormones, will it even help regulate my cycle?

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Heather
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Some methods of contraception can make withdrawal bleeds/periods occur in a more regular pattern. bleeding are more predictable.

But IUDs aren't one of them, alas (and one kind has hormones, while another does not, but neither does that). In fact, with IUDs, it's much more common for them to make things like bleeding more irregular, rather than less. With the non-hormonal IUD, periods are often heavier and crampier, and spotting is common. With the one with hormones, that bleeding is usually lighter, though spotting is common again, sometimes to the point of skipping for months at a time, or even going away entirely for some users.

So, if you know menstrual regularity is really important to you, and feel you'll be freaking out a lot with very irregular bleeding or spotting, an IUD probably isn't your best choice in a method.

Your better bet for that would either be to stick with barrier methods or to consider a combined hormonal method like the ring, patch or pill.

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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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Lillith Ambrose
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Well, I can't have anything with a hormone in it or else I will get blood clots.. My sister and mother both had that happen on regular birth control. My sister has the IUD and it's working well for her I don't mind if it doesn't make my periods regular.

I just want an extra protection against getting pregnant. My partner and I use condoms, but I would just like to have a birth control so in case something happens, I don't have to get as worked up as I did last time. (I had frequent panic attacks for that whole month.)

Is there anything that comes to mind that might help?

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Heather
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I only answered like I did because I understood you to be voicing that you were really uncomfortable with a method which might result in more irregularity, that's all. If that's not an issue for you, then an IUD might be a great method. It's certainly one of the least expensive long-term and also one of the most goof-proof.

But you could also ask about hormonal methods without estrogen if blood clots are a health issue for you, though progestin-only methods also usually equal more irregularity with bleeding/periods. As well, cervical barrier methods are something else you could use (with condoms if you want the kind of effectiveness an IUD provides), and those have no hormones and no effect on cycles.

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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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Lillith Ambrose
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Oh no! I'm glad you said what you did. I am just slightly worried about being irregular but i've lived with it this long I guess I can live with it for a bit longer.

What kind of forms do those come in? I'm mainly looking at an IUD because I'm known to be busy and I'm afraid of missing taking a pill or getting a shot.. So something like thought would be very helpful.

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Heather
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Forms of....?

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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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Lillith Ambrose
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Oh, the hormonal methods without estrogen. (Sorry, I spaced on putting that in there)

((On a quick side note, I've been reading other posts and I truly admire how you handle some people in your responses.))

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Heather
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Got it!

So, what you're looking at then is either a minipill, depo-provera or the contraceptive implant. Since you're worried about missing pills, so the minipill is probably out for you (especially since taking it on time is much more important than with the combination pill), and it seems you're still considering the IUD, this page of our Birth Control Bingo is probably the right one for you: http://www.scarleteen.com/birth_control_bingo_an_implant_the_shot_or_an_iud

And thanks for the lovely compliment! [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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Lillith Ambrose
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Thank you very much. You and your staff have truly been a great help. I will check that out and see what would work best.

Of course! You deserve it!

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Lillith Ambrose
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(I don't mean to double post, but rather then start a new thread that has to do with what I've already stated seems a bit odd to me.)

I've been having this weird like... gurgley/bubbly noise in my lower stomach area for a while and i'm just wondering whats causing it. I've also been kind of gassy lately.. Would that have anything to do with my soon to arrive menstrual cycle? I do normally get very hungry (or nauseous) before my period so maybe its that? It doesn't fell like my stomach is growling though..

[ 05-19-2011, 04:55 PM: Message edited by: Lillith Ambrose ]

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Karybu
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Stomach upsets can be related to where you are in your cycle, but can also be caused by any number of other things. Unfortunately, there's no real way to know for sure what it is.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Lillith Ambrose
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Well, I haven't started it yet but it should start soon.

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Karybu
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I really don't know what to tell you other than that you really just have to wait for your period to show up. It doesn't sound like you've got anything out of the ordinary going on with your body, and focusing on every single minor change going on with your body is only going to make you more stressed. Easier said than done, I know, but do you have anything you usually do to help you relax that might help now?

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Lillith Ambrose
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Well, I know when I read I feel better. I've been doing that lately. I'm just anxious for it to come so I don't feel like this anymore.. I haven't eaten yet, so maybe that is it.

I've tried to plan out when my period should start, but every time I do, I always come out with different dates but they aren't many days apart. Plus I'm normally towards the end of the month anyway. So, I'm pretty sure I'm stressing for nothing.

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Heather
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Why not do yourself a favor when it does come: start keeping track of it so that you do have a better idea of when to expect it from here on out.

We really like this online tool for charting: http://monthlyinfo.com/

If you know some of the last dates when you got your period, you can put them in now.

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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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Karybu
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The most accurate way to track your cycles isn't actually by keeping track of what day of the month you start, but by how many days are in between periods. So, you start counting from the first day of your period (day 1) and then count until your next period starts. If you do that for a few months, you'll get a pretty good idea of how long your cycles usually are. Even the most regular cycles usually vary by a day or two or three, but if you keep track you'll probably start to see a pattern emerge over the course of a few months.

(Oops, Heather beat me to it!)

[ 05-19-2011, 05:32 PM: Message edited by: Karybu ]

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Lillith Ambrose
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I normally do, but they are super irregular and only recently have been normal.

I know my last one was on the 22nd of April, so I will use that now. Thanks.

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Heather
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Even if they are irregular, being able to see how much they are and have been clearly may be a comfort at times like this.

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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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Lillith Ambrose
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Yes. I just want it to happen. hahaha Then my anxiety will go away hopefully.

Well, i checked out that site, and I think I have it set up right.

[ 05-19-2011, 07:13 PM: Message edited by: Lillith Ambrose ]

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