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prolonged period
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chelsea_89 posted:
Hi, let me back track, in June i had light bleeding, in July my period was a 7 days late, took a home pregnancy test that said i wasnt pregancy test that showed negative, 2 days later my period came, it started off as light brown/red streaks for the 1st two days and then my normal flow came down. when it went away, a week later i started the brown streaks again, i went to the hospital and took a pregnancy test that proved negative again. normal period in august.on Sept 5, i had a brown discharge, in a liquid consistency, later that night my period started with a redish color and ended on sept 9. On Sept 28, my period came again and was light in flow until it ended on Oct 3. Me and my husband had sex on Oct 29 and when i went to clean myself i seen a light red streak, so i thought my period was coming down. put on a tampon and then next morning there was no blood. 2 days later on Oct 31 my period came down just like a light red/brown streak, put on a tampon and when it was time to change it, there was just a dot of redish/brownish, the next day there was nothing, on Oct 2, there was only a little streak in my underwear, i put on a tampon and later that night it was just a little bit of blood on it but really wasnt enough to change the tampon, it was just on and off for the next couple of days. today is Oct 8 and my period was suppose to go up on Oct 4, and it didnt, i still have reddish/brownish streaks 9 days after my period started. is something wrong? im scared to go to the doctor because im afraid they will tell something is life threatening? do you have any idea, or is getting in contact with my gynecologist the best answer
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Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear chelsea: If you happen to be on some kind of hormonal birth control (pill/patch/ring/Mirena) the most likely explanation would be "normal" breakthrough bleeding/spotting due to the hormones in the birth control. However, if you are not using hormones then the following is my best GUESS.

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.

There can be many causes for not ovulating: low thyroid, pituitary problems, ovarian cysts, physical stressors (eg sudden increases in exercise, crash dieting), emotional stressors (problems with relationships, money worries, etc.) increased body weight, anorexia, rotating shifts at work, etc.

Chelsea, after almost five months of this you deserve the most "for sure" answer. A GYN or your local family planning clinic can do an evaluation. If you are about 23 years old (ie were born in 1989) the risk of worrisome GYN conditions such as cancer is very remote.

In Support,
Jane


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