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    Health problems
    An_249271 posted:
    I have quite a few worries about my overall health. I'll start with the first set of problems, then work to the most recent.

    Okay, so my first problem is that my last period was some time in March 2012. I've only taken one home pregnancy test and it came up negative. I haven't had money to buy any or even see the doctor, because I am currently unemployed. I've had cramps in both my uterus and my cervix. The cramps don't occur often, but the past couple weeks they have been more often than before. The cervix cramps are usually sharp and go away in a few minutes, the uterus cramps are dull and last for about half an hour. Again, the cramps aren't too often, but sometimes I do worry about having them without a period. I am sexually active with my fiancee of almost 5 years, and we don't use protection. Sometimes my cervix hurts during intercourse, which may or may not be tied in with my cramps and lack of period.

    My next problem is my skin. I get tiny bumps on my palms and fingers that are filled with clear liquid, they itch pretty bad when my hands are warm, but running cold water over them does help it subside for a short while. I also get spots on my stomach, legs and butt that are dry, and itchy. I highly doubt that it's something like ring-worm or scabies, because nobody around me that I come in contact with gets it. My fiancee's bumps are worse than mine, they seem more like a rash that's all over him, but only him and I have these spots, nobody else. I don't know if its something that him and I both came into contact with, or if its some sort of non-contagious fungus. The bumps on our hands came around the same time as the spots on our skin. We've had these for at least four months, if not more. It does worry me a little bit, but it doesn't seem harmful. Itchy, but not harmful.

    The most recent thing is a bump on my rectum. Its slightly . I'm not sure what exactly it is, but it doesn't hurt much at all. It's only visible when I am sitting, like on the toilet. It's soft, and slightly purple, but still mostly skin-colored. Not sure what it is, but I can't afford the doctor.
    Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
    Dear An: The bump on your rectum, if it is actually around the anal opening MIGHT be a hemorrhoidal tag or an another type of anal skin tag. Here is a good description of these types of anal bumps:

    Skin issues are very difficult to diagnose with out an exam. Spots on the stomach legs and back that are dry/itchy MIGHT be a fungal infection like tinea. Even "ringworm" is a fungal infection (not a parasite) in the shape of a circle. Fungal infections can be transferred between close contact (eg sleeping together). If it is fungal, an over the counter anti-fungal treatment can be tried. Ask you local pharmacist for advice about products they carry.

    The tiny bumps filled with fluid on hands/fingers MIGHT be a specific form of eczema. Here is a link to additional information from the New Zealand Dermatologic Society (also some photos):

    As for the missed periods, 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. The good news is that you have enough estrogen to make a lining that does shed sometimes.

    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 missed ovulaitons: low thyroid, pituitary problems, ovarian cysts, physical stressors (eg sudden increases in exercise, crash dieting), emotional stressors (problems with boyfriends/girlfriends, money worries), increased body weight, anorexia, rotating shifts at work, etc. You mentioned both cramps and pain near the cervix, this MIGHT suggest that you have an ovarian cyst (s). This can prompt both missed periods and abdominal pain.

    Bottom line, you deserve more "for sure" answers. You can get the pelvic pain and missed periods checked out at your local county family planning clinic. They will also do a check of the anal bump.


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