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Omg owwwww

Kio

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Hashtag FLO - For Ladies Only!  :) 

So before surgery, for about six years, I had no period, or maybe like... one a year.  I'm only 46 now, so my docs did tests to find out if I was in early menopause, and I wasn't... it was obesity-related amenorrhea.  (I have probably spelled that wrong.)  Before that, my periods were always super light - we're talking maybe a teaspoon a day, rarely enough to even bother with a pad.  I had cramps right before, and they were in about the area you'd expect, and not at all bad.  More like tenderness and vague discomfort.  Occasionally a sudden sharp OW and then done. 

Now that I've lost so much weight - about 40 lbs more now than I ever lost even on Paleo - my periods are coming back.  Again, my doc wanted to make sure I was not in menopause and this was not abnormal vaginal bleeding, so I got tests done again, and I am still not in menopause, and this is just a period. 

BUT IT IS SO DIFFERENT.

I mean... different in some ways, but in other ways just the same.  Like, totally recognizable as a period; I knew it was just a period even before the test results were in.  But... my first period after surgery was bad, but I had been told to expect that, and I was ready for it.  It was only bad in terms of heavier bleeding, and lasting longer.  And now... this month... not a ton of bleeding this time, but I'm just miiiiserable.  My stomach - ok, not really my stomach, but my digestive area in the belly region... is just tender and bloated and owwie.  Which is making me tense up there, and that in turn is more discomfort.  I'm totally constipated and nothing is working on it, and there are cramps, and I feel gross, and just... UGH.

Is this what a normal period feels like?  Or is this some kind of post-surgical hopped-up period and it won't always be this bad?  I kind of missed my period while it was gone, mostly because it meant I was too unhealthy to have one.  But it was also kind of nice NOT to have one!  If this is going to start being a once a month event... DO NOT WANT!



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My periods are completely and totally as awful as you described EVERY TIME (before and after surgery). My painful periods and need for NSAIDs played a huge role in me choosing the sleeve. I'm still thinking of getting an IUD in hopes I'm lucky enough to stop them altogether. Much much sympathy to you. It really sucks.

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Sorry!!! Not fun. 

Mine are awful unless I’m on the right BC - best for me is IUD. This way, I barely notice or don’t really have anything happen. Beforehand, though, it was an ordeal every month. It seems to just vary a lot from woman to woman. I have friends on every part of the pain/discomfort spectrum.

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I'm sorry you're dealing with this now :unsure:

I can't speak to the post op WLS period question, because I had a hysterectomy in 1996...so 21+ years without one. But prior to my hysterectomy, and the cause of it, I had endometriosis. That caused the most God awful, gut wrenchingly painful periods I could have ever imagined. And so heavy. They put me completely out of commission for 2 days every month. If the docs have confirmed that you are not going into menopause, I wonder if that might be what's happening to you? Obviously only a few periods can not automatically bring that thought to the forefront. And the last I knew, the only way to diagnose endo is through exploratory surgery (it's been 2 decades since mine so that could very well not be the case anymore). I hope for your sake, that's not what's happening in your case. Just thinking out loud.

I hope you feel better soon, whatever the cause ❤️❤️❤️

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I also can't speak to post WLS changes as I had a hysterectomy almost three years ago. That said as an older female I can honestly say that the older I got the worse my periods became. They got heavier and they lasted longer than when I was younger. I would be unable to leave the house for more than 30 minutes two days a week for fear of uncontrollable flooding. Every woman I spoke to heading into menopause talked about a similar worsening of both flow and pain. Sorry you're experiencing such discomfort but glad you've had it checked out. It sounds like you've just missed the gradual changes in cycles and been hit all at once.

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This must rank up there with the Freezing to Death All the Time effect. Um, saying congratulations on the weight loss and getting the normal physiology back doesn't seem appropriate...

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I haven't been normal since my surgery either.  my surgeon says it isn't WLS related but it just seems so coincidental to me.  Last week I nearly died from mine!  I just had blood work done on Saturday to determine where I am on the menopause spectrum but I have been very regular so I am thinking I am not there yet.  I feel your pain (literally).  I am glad your body is back to normal but I am not glad it is such an uncomfortable situation!  Hope it eases up!

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@CheeringCJ  I posted about being abnormal with periods previously - my surgeon and his nurse had no insight but I figured it was simply due to the trauma of surgery and the weight loss.  Unlike you @Kio, I had a normal cycle and now have a normal cycle again with many of the symptoms you describe.  Mine last approximately 4 days with day one being a ramp up to intense cramping (lower back and abdomen) in day 2, heavy flow days 2-3 and tailoring off day 4.  My cycle is back to relatively predictable after two months of more frequent periods immediately after surgery.  I use the app "Flo" to track my cycle and symptoms - I particularly like this app for the plethora of symptoms you can input and the pretty, pretty graphs you can create (thinking of you @Jen581791 ;) )

My insurance refuses to cover the hormone-free IUD Mirena, only the hormone-filled one so I am passing for now.  Hopefully we'll eventually get to the point of unrestricted coverage of birth control options.

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1 minute ago, CurvyMermaid said:

My insurance refuses to cover the hormone-free IUD Mirena

:o:blink::(:angry::angry::angry:

Seriously. I mean, I love mine so much I'd pay cash money for another, but you shouldn't have to. 

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43 minutes ago, CurvyMermaid said:

@CheeringCJ  I posted about being abnormal with periods previously - my surgeon and his nurse had no insight but I figured it was simply due to the trauma of surgery and the weight loss.  Unlike you @Kio, I had a normal cycle and now have a normal cycle again with many of the symptoms you describe.  Mine last approximately 4 days with day one being a ramp up to intense cramping (lower back and abdomen) in day 2, heavy flow days 2-3 and tailoring off day 4.  My cycle is back to relatively predictable after two months of more frequent periods immediately after surgery.  I use the app "Flo" to track my cycle and symptoms - I particularly like this app for the plethora of symptoms you can input and the pretty, pretty graphs you can create (thinking of you @Jen581791 ;) )

My insurance refuses to cover the hormone-free IUD Mirena, only the hormone-filled one so I am passing for now.  Hopefully we'll eventually get to the point of unrestricted coverage of birth control options.

I have tracked mine for years on an app (can't remember which one, it's on my iPad) but I have years of data on it which is really if this becomes a problem and I need a Dr to ok at it.  This month, I literally bled my entire week's worth in one minute! Good thing I was home because it was running down my legs!!! I can't function like THAT, so it had better not do that again!

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@CheeringCJ, @Aussie H, @CurvyMermaid, @Jen581791 - I tracked mine for a while, but then they slowly stopped happening as I gained weight.  I'd be great about tracking them for a couple of months, and then I wouldn't have one for a month or two, and then by the time I had another I'd forget I was meant to be tracking.

They used to be pretty regular, though, and I never had any issues about when they were going to be.  One weird thing about my cycle was that the night before I started actually bleeding, I would always have a dream about having my period.  Like, every single time!  I think subconsciously I could feel the physical ramp-up, so my sleeping brain just knew, and provided me with a preview.  ;) 

One other interesting thing - one of the tests I had to have done was a transvaginal ultrasound.  I had one before, when I was close to my high weight, to figure out why my periods had stopped.  It was so horribly uncomfortable and painful, and they had a really hard time finding one of my ovaries - it was just UGH UGH UGH.  I went into this one prepared for exactly the same experience - I even warned the tech that I'd be flinching and whining the whole time.  And then - I didn't have to flinch or whine at ALL!  I mean, it wasn't the most comfortable thing I've ever experienced - it's still someone sticking a wand inside you and moving it around to take pictures - but I've caused myself more discomfort inserting tampons.  I'm wondering if the weight loss makes the difference... there has to be less fat tissue in there making stuff hard to see....

Oh, and I got through the period...not the best week ever, though.  Several times I woke up in the night with stomach pain, which I suspect was from constipation.  That seems to be over now, so I should get three weeks of smooth sailing.... ;)  

Edited by Kio

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Kio, I suspect it really is the skill of the ultrasound technician. I had to have one a few years ago as a result of post menopause spotting. I'm so glad I'd googled before because I wasn't even aware these ultrasounds existed and my scan request mentioned nothing of the internal ultrasound. What a shock that would have been on the day! I probably shouldn't be saying mine was actually rather pleasant. On the day I was scheduled for my hysteroscopy and D&C, the other woman who'd had the same scan said it was the best sex she'd had in a while! I wouldn't go that far, but it certainly wasn't painful in any way. The fat would more likely make a difference in how deep they need to push the probe in order to find what they're looking for. As an ENT surgeon once said to me, fat grows everywhere within the body, in that case even in your nose.

Edited by Aussie H

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On 1/16/2018 at 5:12 PM, Kio said:

@CheeringCJ, @Aussie H, @CurvyMermaid, @Jen581791 - I tracked mine for a while, but then they slowly stopped happening as I gained weight.  I'd be great about tracking them for a couple of months, and then I wouldn't have one for a month or two, and then by the time I had another I'd forget I was meant to be tracking.

They used to be pretty regular, though, and I never had any issues about when they were going to be.  One weird thing about my cycle was that the night before I started actually bleeding, I would always have a dream about having my period.  Like, every single time!  I think subconsciously I could feel the physical ramp-up, so my sleeping brain just knew, and provided me with a preview.  ;) 

One other interesting thing - one of the tests I had to have done was a transvaginal ultrasound.  I had one before, when I was close to my high weight, to figure out why my periods had stopped.  It was so horribly uncomfortable and painful, and they had a really hard time finding one of my ovaries - it was just UGH UGH UGH.  I went into this one prepared for exactly the same experience - I even warned the tech that I'd be flinching and whining the whole time.  And then - I didn't have to flinch or whine at ALL!  I mean, it wasn't the most comfortable thing I've ever experienced - it's still someone sticking a wand inside you and moving it around to take pictures - but I've caused myself more discomfort inserting tampons.  I'm wondering if the weight loss makes the difference... there has to be less fat tissue in there making stuff hard to see....

Oh, and I got through the period...not the best week ever, though.  Several times I woke up in the night with stomach pain, which I suspect was from constipation.  That seems to be over now, so I should get three weeks of smooth sailing.... ;)  

It does make a difference! I talked to my gyno at my last visit about my upcoming surgery. She told me that a major benefit will be that my pap smears will not be as painful once I lose the weight!

I had no idea that my weight is why this procedure became so painful when it was not in the past. I had been thinking that this Dr was just more rough than my previous one. So, you are correct. One of the benefits that I truly look forward to. :)

Edited by Readytobeme

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@Readytobeme, pap smears and trans-vaginal ultrasounds are two very different beasts. A narrow condom sheathed probe vs a speculum....no comparison really. There's no reason for an ultra sound (even an internal one) to be painful. A very real benefit of weightloss for females other than pap smears is the reduced risk of prolapse and the easing of symptoms related to those who already have prolapses. Also the reduction of the very real risk of uterine and endometrial cancers in the obese.

I had a regular routine post endometrial cancer follow up with my Gyn on the same day I had my two week post surgery followup with my bariatric surgeon. My gyn was so happy to see how much weight I'd lost. My prolapse is now nowhere near the level that surgery needs to be considered....and that was at least 40lbs ago. He'll be really surprised at my next followup in three weeks. When I first saw him and had my cancer diagnosis I was 126.5kg (279 lbs), last time I saw him I was 87 kg (191 lbs), even with no further weightloss at the next followup I'll be 69 kg (152 lb). In my experience gyns are as bad as orthos when it comes to nagging obese clients. Mine will have a fit when he sees me!!!!

Edited by Aussie H

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