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Odd period symptoms?

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:40 pm
by sodabutt
So I've been menstruating since I was 12 (about 7 years) and I thought that I had finally started to have consistent symptoms/cycles but recently I've started noticing new stuff. I usually take midol the day before and three days into menstruation, and I feel both of these symptoms despite that.
edit: Also to note, about 8 months ago during my period i suddenly developed a sharp pain outside my normal cramp areas, that was exacerbated whenever i took a breath. This hasn't happened in a while but when it was happening i couldn't walk and had a panic attack about if it was a serious medical issue and had to leave work early. I started noticing these symptoms after that happened.
1. I get an odd sensation in the outer parts of my vagina? Like inner and outer labia and urethra (I know urethra isn't part of the vagina but idk what else to call that area) It all just feels sort of warm and tender, and rubbing it relieves the sensation but it usually comes back, and I obviously don't want to sit around rubbing between my legs all day. Overall, the sensation is noticeable but not nearly as uncomfortable as my pain is. I'm gray-ace and i've never been sexually active with other people, so I've never had a sensation I've recognized as arousal and I'm wondering if thats what this is.

2. Whenever i feel proper cramps, my thighs will hurt as well - like, debilitating, can't walk. I kind of wonder if this related to the above symptom, as i've heard that people can be in pain if theyre in pain and unsatisfied, but it really just feels like pain too.

Are these symptoms normal? is this just how people with vaginas feel when they're aroused? Am I just a little weirdo???

Re: Odd period symptoms?

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:38 am
by Heather
Hey there, Sodabutt (great handle!).

So, one thing to know is that it's pretty common for menstrual cycles -- how they feel, when they happen, what they look like, how long they last -- to shift quite a few times in life, not just once.

That said, I am a little bit concerned about that unusual cramp you mentioned, and with the issues you have walking and thigh pain. Do you have access to healthcare so you can talk to a provider about this (even if it's telehealth for now)?

In terms of asking if something is arousal, I think it's important to see arousal as more than just physical. I think making it only physical robs us all of some agency, and, of course, our bodies acting in a way can't speak for our feelings, you know?

That area you're talking about is the vulva. Here's some basic info about it here -- Innies & Outies: The Vagina, Clitoris, Uterus and More -- and a little more that might be pertinent to questions about those body parts and sexual sensation -- With Pleasure: A View of Whole Sexual Anatomy for Every Body.

What you're feeling might just be circulation, honestly, and just...well, having a vulva. When you ask if it's arousal, do you feel like you're having sexual thoughts or feelings when that's happening? Sexuality isn't just other-directed or influenced, so we can have those feelings and either not have them be about sex with other people, or have them and still not want to have sex with other people.

Re: Odd period symptoms?

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:42 pm
by sodabutt
Hi Heather!
Thank you for replying. I honestly had no idea thigh pain wasn't normal, and I thought is was more like an extension of the feeling in my vulva. I mentioned what you said to my therapist, and she said that it could be endometriosis, so I decided to make an appointment with a gynecologist (which is honestly kind of relieving, considering i'm nonbinary and do not like having a working uterus). With the virus, my normal hospital has put in a lot more steps before just making an appointment, but I have taken those first few steps and now I just have to wait for them to call me back.

On what you said about arousal... no I do not have any sexual thoughts for feelings while its happening, so I guess its not? The feeling itself isn't inherently pleasurable, more like its just this side of uncomfortable. Without any medication, the entire area feels hot and painful and contributes to my not being able to walk. I've heard that people with vaginas can get a sort of "blue balls" in that if they're unsatisfied it can become painful, which I what I thought I was experiencing. However, with the knowledge that my thigh pain isn't normal, I'm thinking now that my vulva probably shouldn't be in pain during my period either.

Re: Odd period symptoms?

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:32 pm
by Heather
Yeah, so that "blue balls" feeling -- which is called vasocongestion, and yep, it can happen to everyone, no matter their gonads -- is generally felt in the area around the uterus, but it also should pass fairly quickly and not get in the way of you walking. That feeling of heat and pain also doesn't sound like a fit for that, IMHO, and I agree, vaginal pain during menstruation should be investigated.

I do think getting a health screening is a good idea of possible, and I agree with your therapist, screening for endo and a couple other things would be a good idea. I always feel like so long as a person has access, it's better safe than sorry, and certainly better to find out what the source of any given pain or discomfort is so you can do whatever can be or needs to be done with it.

I hope you can find an answer soon! Is there anything else we can help you with in the meantime?