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Thread: Sudden abnormal period... seems to be exercise? page

  1. #1
    zsadie's Avatar
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    Sudden abnormal period... seems to be exercise?

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    First and foremost my menstrual cycle since august has been way abnormal for me. I do not take any medications or birth control. The only changes I can think of that may have increased my phsyiological stress is added exercise, more mountain biking specifically, and I have been eating mostly primal in an effort to prevent the tummy troubles i experience eating conventional. It hasnt been a drastic change though and I have had bouts of added exercise without it effecting my cycle before. Been to the dr.... blood tests normal..not pregnant, no pain when dr was poking and proding.... unbelievable considering how much blood I think I have lost. Going to start progesterone cream tomorrow.

    My periods have been like clockwork for years and years. They last 4-5 days, the first two days being the worst with cramps and moderate to heavy bleeding and by the third day light and ending quickly by the 4th and 5th day. This time around I started it aug 10th and it was quite abnormal to begin with, no cramps and steady moderate bleeding for 7-8 days and then it stopped. Went for a mountain bike ride a week after it stopped and it started back up again and it has not stopped officially for 28 days, most days it is moderate bleeding. Some days it has been heavy mostly it seems triggered by exercise. The ladt 4 days my bleeding has been light spotty. Very little and I thought I was done. Played softball tonight...bleeding again, not heavy.... yet.

    Doctor says it is normal for women to go through a summer transition period where the uterine lining will double lengthening the period. I usually do have two periods during the month of august but usually bookending the month buy never have they lasted long. I have never heard that before and this is a first.. I turned 36 in aug.... I'm too young for pre menopause symptoms aren't I? Going to have further tests donr to see if I have fibroids....doc doesn't think so though. Other possibilities don't seem likely as they entail pain... excruciating from what I hear.

    Have other women here experienced this?



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    On wow, that is unbelievable. I'm so sorry it's been going on so long. I would have gone nuts by now. I don't know how it could be exercise related though. Exercise shouldn't impact how much lining your uterus puts down. Maybe it's your body adjusting to primal. What is your iron intake like? I had a friend who had really irregular periods and when she started drinking water from a rusty pump in Africa her periods synced up like clockwork. For what you have though, that would be massive amounts of iron. Other than that I have no ideas, I'm just sorry it's been so bad. Aunt Flo won't take a hint and leave!


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    When you say "blood tests normal" what were those testing? If you have not had your hormones tested, I would.
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    Everyone has a different time of perimenopausal symptoms. Perimenopause - Symptoms, Treatments, Weight Gain, and More

    I went to school with a girl who went through menopause at the age of 17 - somewhat heartbreaking for her! Other women I know are only just becoming irregular in their 50s :-P. Without getting a complete hormone workup one couldn't say if you are pre-menopausal or not.

    Fibroids do increase the pain severely - mine were so bad that when I was in labour I didn't realise as the cramps were about the same as when I had my period and I'd been told labour was really only when the cramps became unbearable .......

    Get your hormone levels monitored, and maybe have an ultrasound to rule out any other kind of tumours on your ovaries or in your uterus just to be on the safe side. If it all comes back 'normal' then maybe it is a pre-menopausal blip.

    Abnormal Menstruation

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    I've been bleeding now for 36 days. It's making life more of a challenge, but I'm rolling through punches. It's heavier today. I've been more active in doing stuff around the house, which does increase the flow.

    I wish I had the money to go see other doctors, have my hormones monitored, go through more tests, and get different opinions. I do have insurance, but it's high deductible up to $2000. I already owe the hospital almost $500 JUST for blood drawn and lab tests which I have no idea when or if I'll be able to pay. Dr visit is generally $100 a visit! Crikey! health care is nutty and I know I'm only contributing to the high cost of it as hospitals/docs have to increase their costs in order to cover lost revenue from people like me who can't pay! Anyway, at this point I'm doing what I can in taking supplements to help regulate my hormones, and sticking with progesterone cream as my family doc recommended. As soon as I have a semi-free pay check, I'm going to check in to my local women's clinic here to see an OBGYN. My family doc doesn't suspect fribroids, endometriosis, or PID as I'm not exhibiting other symptoms associated with those. But I want to get other opinions, and soon I hope, just depends on when the money will free up a bit. Bleed on!
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    I am a physician, however I am a far cry from a gynecologist....

    My first question would be whether the bleeding is heavy, consistent, or spotting? My second would be to know how many cals you were taking before primal vs after, as well as exercise amounts.

    In many cases, it is not a disease process or imbalance, but a natural adaptation. In short, your body will do everything possible to prevent ovulation if it is getting information that times are tough. Women are adapted to conserve eggs if famine is hitting, or if the group is in flight (migration). I have read this in many places, and is part of the reason many women endurance athletes have odd cycles. (If we are covering 300 miles to get to better food sources, don't be getting knocked up please!)...if your cals have been markedly lower, with exercise increased, all of this could be sending it all into defensive mode. I am not saying this is causing it, but it the first rule-out.
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    My cycle has always been consistent but when I started eating primal in May, they've been all over the place. June was two weeks late, in July I bled for over 3 weeks (light), August was pretty "normal" and then had a two week cycle in September. Since this started with primal eating, I'm chalking it up to that.

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    You may have had an anovulatory cycle (a cycle in which you did not ovulate). This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as rapid weight gain or loss and stress. I had an anovulatory cycle once right when I was about to graduate from college. It was caused by stress. I didn't have a job lined up at the time so I was under a lot of stress. I skipped my period one month (only had light spotting), but I wasn't worried cuz I wasn't having sex at the time so couldn't be pregnant. Then, the next month, I started bleeding and didn't stop. And the bleeding was heavy (like the heaviest day of my period, except it went on for days). I went to student health, and they tried to tell me that it was normal (because they asked me if I used more than one pad/tampon per hour and I said no). But I knew that it wasn't normal so I insisted on a blood test. When they got the results, they freaked out, but I was calm. I thought they were ridiculous cuz they went from trying to send me home to freaking out like crazy people. They said I was severely anemic, but the gynecologist was on vacation. And blah blah blah. So I had to wait a few days for him to get back. He put me on high dose birth control--three pills a day. That stopped the bleeding right away. Fun times.

    ETA: The reason anovulatory cycles can cause prolonged bleeding is that when you don't ovulate, your uterine lining will continue to thicken until finally the amount of estrogen you have is insufficient to support it, and then the lining sheds. You bleed and bleed because the lining has built up so much. Anovulatory cycle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by diene; 10-01-2013 at 01:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diene View Post
    ETA: The reason anovulatory cycles can cause prolonged bleeding is that when you don't ovulate, your uterine lining will continue to thicken until finally the amount of estrogen you have is insufficient to support it, and then the lining sheds. You bleed and bleed because the lining has built up so much. Anovulatory cycle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I thought progesterone was needed to maintain womb lining...? I don't ovulate and my periods are frequent but light. My progesterone is low and my oestrogen is high.

    OP, I really recommend getting your hormones checked. Are you under a lot of stress lately (could the biking be upping your stress levels that much?) High cortisol can cause excessive bleeding.
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    diene's Avatar
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    Yes, it is sort of explained (not in very much detail, unfortunately) in the Wikipedia article:

    Normal menstrual bleeding in the ovulatory cycle is a result of a decline in progesterone due to the demise of the corpus luteum. It is thus a progesterone withdrawal bleeding. As there is no progesterone in the anovulatory cycle, bleeding is caused by the inability of estrogen - that needs to be present to stimulate the endometrium in the first place - to support a growing endometrium. Anovulatory bleeding is hence termed estrogen breakthrough bleeding.
    From a different Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menorrhagia):

    Either that or they don't develop an egg, and thus no progesterone is produced. Without progesterone, the estrogen is "unopposed" and keeps building up the lining of the uterus.

    During a woman's period, the endometrial lining which is normally shed never gets the signal to stop thickening. It keeps growing and sheds irregularly. Due to the extra thickness, the bleeding is unusually heavy.
    That part of the article is talking about peri-menopausal women, but the phenomenon is the same when you just have an anovulatory cycle. But not every woman who experiences an anovulatory cycle experiences heavy bleeding. I'm not sure why that is, but some women will experience shorter cycles with frequent but light periods. I don't really know enough about this stuff to be able to explain why different people experience different symptoms. But I'm guessing that there is some other mechanism that prevents the uncontrolled build-up of the endometrium, which causes the heavy bleeding. And only when that mechanism fails do you experience that kind of bleeding. This is because the kind of bleeding that I'm talking about will kill you if untreated so if we were actually living in paleolithic times (no birth control pills), I almost certainly would have bled to death.

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