Not going with the flow
Is there a point when you should get worried about your irregular flow?
My reproductive system had been betraying me for nearly seven months before I even considered seeing a gynecologist. What do I mean by betrayal? Well, my period had become so irregular I was no longer able to gauge any aspect of it. It was a nightmare to say the least.
I mean, I have never been one of those girls who could track their cycle so well they could tell you the exact second their period would start. The trouble had, however, begun with a three month stretch of no period. Initially, I was excited to be rid of it but somewhere in the middle of the third month I started to get worried. Was this a sign of infertility? I wasn’t exactly trying to procreate but I wanted to know my system could if I decided to go that way.
I felt though that there was no cause for alarm because a month later, in a manner to suggest that my uterus had heard my cry, the blood gates opened. I had the heaviest period in my 15 post-pubescent years. It lasted ten days and I had to change my tampon hourly. You can imagine the pressure this put on my finances and iron levels. I assumed the heavy bleeding was due to over four dry months, so I didn’t think much of it.
The following weeks however, I had to wear a panty liner every day because I was experiencing daily spotting. I had never spotted before and two weeks in, I decided to mention this phenomenon to my doctor as I was going to get a sore throat checked.
‘Something seems off with my period. I’ve been spotting for days and I just got off my heaviest period ever.’
‘It’s normal for women your age to spot. It could be anything from stress to diet change. Monitor it and if you’re still worried in two weeks, come back.’
Two weeks didn’t go by because a few days later I was on my period, weeks before it was due. This was beginning to irritate me but the doctor’s words were reassuring. And I found gynecologist appointments extremely tedious.
This time it lasted two days and was even heavier, leaving me feeling dizzy and anemic. What in the world was going on? Incidentally that was a very busy time of my life and week on week I kept postponing promises to get the baby making chamber checked. When months later I couldn’t remember the last time I was truly not spotting or on my period, I went to see my gynecologist.
‘How long has this been going on?’ he asked as he took a glance at my vagina while I lay on the checkup table.
‘Give or take seven to eight months?’
‘Why has it taken you this long to come in? See this is the problem with people in this country. Waiting to be on your death bed before…’
He went on and gave a deserved lecture as I stared on shamefacedly.
See the right doctor
Turns out I had extreme hormonal imbalance causing the bleeding, Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding, he informed me. The lining of my uterus was getting too thick. The hormones were also confusing my uterus on the correct time to shed, causing the spotting. He immediately recommended birth control pills for six months that would stabilize my flow and reduce the risk of facing full blown anemia. The whole situation could have been controlled a lot sooner though.
My lesson was learnt on being ‘too busy/lazy’ to see a doctor.
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