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Old 11-08-2012, 04:32 PM   #1
GrrlFriday
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Menstrual information for the gynecologist?

My doctor has recommended that I go to the gynecologist's for some menstrual issues I've been experiencing. The main side effect is effectively a temporary spinal injury - everything below my bellybutton turns into dead weight and feels like pins and needles until my uterus stops shedding.

My doctor, when I first mentioned it to him, told me it was normal, and my physiotherapist once explained it as 'The uterus expands and presses on the internal organs, including the lower part of the spine. The spine sends mixed messages to your body, which results in this feeling.'

This has been essentially my normal period for about five or six years. As it's been happening for so long and I was told it was normal (if blessedly rare), I've accepted it as such. I've never really thought about seeing a gynecologist about it, as I thought it'd be a waste of time for the gynecologist, and unnecessarily invasive for me. I'm probably a bit scared, too - I've had what I think is vaginismus since at least the same year I got my period. (My first tampon was my last tampon - after a couple of times with pads, I tried it and it got stuck up there for hours longer than it should have. I had to force myself to relax and then had to rip it out.)

My doctor has recommended that I chart my period for three months prior to seeing the gynecologist. I've never been before, so what should I expect? What kinds of information would be useful to the gynecologist? My doctor said 'days that I bleed', but what else would be good?
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:30 PM   #2
SweetErika
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I use the free part of MyMonthlyCycles; there are a bunch of things you can track (heaviness, color of the blood, clots, period-related symptoms...) and you can also add notes on anything that isn't covered (like for you, exactly when the neurological and vaginismus symptoms start/end, the quality and severity of those symptoms, what they prevent you from doing, etc.). I have looked for apps that do the same in the past, but haven't found any that are free/cheap and as extensive. However, there may be something out there now.

Anyway, at least taking a look at MyMonthlyCycles and some of the better apps might give you an better idea of what you should note, even if you end up using a calendar or spreadsheet instead.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:46 AM   #3
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Thanks, SweetErika! I'm all signed up now, I guess I'll start working out how to use it as I need it. I have worked out how to add a symptom, so that's a start, at least. Now I just need more data.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:30 PM   #4
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Two beautiful women.

Damn, but I'm clueless.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:44 AM   #5
Eilan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by box13 View Post
Two beautiful women.

Damn, but I'm clueless.
Bless your heart.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrrlFriday View Post
My doctor has recommended that I chart my period for three months prior to seeing the gynecologist. I've never been before, so what should I expect? What kinds of information would be useful to the gynecologist? My doctor said 'days that I bleed', but what else would be good?
Charting - I would do exactly what Erika suggested. I chart, but I do my basal temp and charting cervical fluids, both to track fertility. However, lots of apps allow you to add notes for anything you want. I've used both My Fertility Charts (app and website sync. Super convenient) and Pink Pad Period Tracker (Nice interface with lots of room for notes, includes an online forum in the app).

As for the first visit. I had my first visit this year as well. First thing is to keep relaxed. Because I knew that I would be working with women who were competent, sensitive, and knew why I was there, I felt relaxed and noticed that they were very pleasant and calm as well. The doctor will go through your basic history, so bring your chart and talk about the medical concerns. They will likely do a routine check up because it is your first time. Mine included physical external exam, breast exam, and then internal (which went much quicker and easier than I expected). Most of the visit was spent in conversation about my concerns. As long as you go in with confidence that they are not going to think you are weird or make fun of you, the visit shouldn't be unpleasant.

I hope you can figure everything out and get a healthy result!
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:47 PM   #7
GrrlFriday
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Thanks!

I've been experimenting with MyMonthlyCycles, but it seems to only let me enter data up until the floating yesterday - never on today's date. I've checked my computer's time, and all of the options I've been able to find on the site, but not been able to fix it. I've also emailed the site, and not had a response, despite waiting for about a week. Is this typical, or am I just missing something obvious?
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:19 PM   #8
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Hmmm. I just checked, and the Menstrual & Fertility Calendar lets me enter stuff for today by clicking the Edit link in the upper left corner of today.

Are there options for time on the site itself (like there is here, in the User CP Options)? My only thought is that if you're on the other side of the IDL, but the site's clock is for this side of it, it'd call our today your yesterday/be a day behind for you. If there's no option to change it, you might just have to keep that in mind when you look at the dates. If that's the case, you could also make a note of the actual day and time you started in the notes/comments section of the first and last days of your period and/or chart the actual dates via Google Calendar or another calendar you use. I always note it on my Google Calendar first because it's always open on my computer and easy to get to on my phone, then add the data to the MMC site whenever it's convenient or I remember.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:30 PM   #9
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I looked again, and can't find any options/preferences for time zone. Even if you're in Europe, I'd imagine the date thing could be an issue if you, say, enter your info when it's already the next day there. I'd just note your start day and any info you need to remember elsewhere, then transfer it over once the site's calendar has reached the proper start day. And, yeah, maybe write the site again and ask if they could add time zone as a user preference for the members who aren't on North American time. I get the sense MMC is a pretty small operation, so they're probably overwhelmed by questions all the time.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:19 AM   #10
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Belated thanks, SweetErica, I did just that on your recommendation.

Just thought I should post a follow-up - the gynecologist said 'the pill is the only way'. She did not seem interested in what I'd been doing to manage things on my own (though I earned myself a blood test from my regular GP once he found out how much milk I've been drinking - oops...). So now I have two starter packs of Zoely, which is supposed to be a fairly new pill, with an oestrogen that's chemically similar to my own oestrogen, and I'm still not sure 'what I'm supposed to be doing'. I guess it's back to the research, recording, and trying things out on my own again.
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