Alright. So last month, I got my period a week late. For a couple days before my period, I had large amounts of a clear mucus with brown spots in it. When I finally got my period, it lasted 10 days and was on and off (one day it would be normal, then it was gone for a day and it'd be back etc). That's not normal for me. My period is usually spot on with no fluctuations. Now, my period is due on the 15th, and I'm having a lot of white discharge (almost looks like lotion) and a LOT of clear mucus. I know it's not a yeast infection and I definitely don't have an STD (I get tested regularly). I'm 18 years old and sexually active. My boyfriend and I only had unprotected sex twice (I was on my period both times) and he came inside both times. TMI, I know, but I figured it was important. Please help me figure out what's going on!
Dear An: A period which is late/missed and accompanied by erratic bleeding MIGHT be a sign of an undetected pregnancy. So that should be ruled out first.
If the pregnancy test is negative then the most common reason for a menstrual pattern like you have described is not having an ovulation every month. In a normal cycle, estrogen is produced all month. Estrogen is responsible for building up the lining of your uterus so you have something to shed each month. .
In a normal cycle, progesterone production increases following ovulation and release of an egg.. Progesterone "stabilizes" the uterine lining in preparation for a possible implantation of a new pregnancy. If you are not pregnant that month the levels of estrogen and progesterone fall, triggering the release of the uterine lining—your period.
So, if you do not ovulate, the estrogen build up of the lining continues, but without the usual ovulation associated progesterone. Thus, the hormone levels don't decline, and the lining stays up inside the uterus—your missed period. Alternatively, the built up lining can begin to shed on its own creating erratic bleeding patterns which are usually "too-light" or super heavy and prolonged.
Causes for not ovulating are multifold: thyroid problems, pituitary problems, ovarian cysts, physical stressors (eg sudden increases in exercise, crash dieting), emotional stressors (problems with parents or boyfriends/girlfriends, exams), increased body weight, anorexia, rotating shifts at work, etc.
If your pregnancy test is negative you could choose to monitor and see what happens this cycle. If you still have prolonged erratic bleeding, or pelvic pain (eg an ovarian cyst) you should see a GYN or your local county family planning clinic.
PS The profuse amount of clear mucus-like secretions can indicate either time of ovulation (in this case flow should arrive in 14 days) OR increased estrogen production (eg from a missed ovulation so period would again be missed or late). J
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