I Thought I Had Period Cramps And Constipation Then I Was Diagnosed With Ovarian Cancer
The symptoms of ovarian cancer may feel ordinary at times, but its important to listen to your body.
I first began experiencing strange symptoms at the end of summer in 2012. I remember it was Labor Day, and I had the day off from work. That morning around 10 a.m., I felt lightheaded and began to experience severe abdominal pains. I thought I was dealing with intense constipation and menstrual cramps.
Id felt completely fine the day before. And while Id noticed that my periods were a little heavier than usual lately, when you get into your mid-40s, they say sometimes your period is light and sometimes its heavy. So I didnt think that was anything out of the ordinary.
As the day went on, though, my symptoms continued to worsen. I drank some coffee, thinking it would help with the constipation, but the pain wouldnt go awaynothing worked. I started having more GI symptoms including a stomach ache and heartburn.
Around noon, my symptoms worsened dramatically. I felt pressure building up in my right shoulder, which became so strong I could no longer move it. The stiffness was paralyzing. Unable to take the pain and discomfort anymore, I called my dad around 4 p.m. and told him what I was feeling. He picked me up and drove me to urgent care.
Signs You Need To Take A Pregnancy Test
4 min Read Time
Most over-the-counter pregnancy tests are 99% effective when you take them after a missed period. But how do you know when its time to pee on a stick?
Pregnancy symptoms are different for everyone, and as the levels of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin rise, your symptoms may increase, says OBGYN Jessica Brown, MD. At four weeks, you may have a little bit of cramping, but classic symptoms like sore breasts, nausea and fatigue may not begin for six or seven weeks, she says.
So, how do you know if your symptoms point to pregnancy? Brown discusses some of the very first symptoms, along with how to ease the discomfort and the best time to take a pregnancy test.
When Bowel Issues Could Mean Something More
There are many reasons why your bowels may feel off during or around your period. One aspect to consider is a uterine fibroid. Fibroids are benign tumors that develop within the uterus or uterine lining. They can cause frequent urination, difficulty emptying your bladder, constipation, or a protruding belly that resembles bloating. Depending on the fibroids size and location, they may enlarge the uterus, pushing on the intestines and bladder.
Many women dont think that fibroids will affect them however, between 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids before the age of 50. Everyone experiences fibroids differently, some women dont experience pain, while others will experience immense discomfort that negatively impacts their everyday life. Other symptoms of fibroids may include:
- Heavy periods lasting more than 10 days per month
- Fatigue caused by anemia
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Reasons For A Late Period
Now that weve explained what qualifies as a regular menstrual cycle, lets go over why some people have late or irregular periods.
During the early stages of puberty, its common to have irregular cycles. Its normal for adolescents to have irregular cycles for the first three years after they get their period. This is because the ovaries may not be releasing an egg every month yet, since hormone levels are still changing. However, for people who are already past that phase, there are lots of other things that can cause a late period and irregular periods.
Here are eight common causes of a late period:
Prostaglandins Speed Things Up
These hormone-like lipids are to blame for your period cramps. They cause the uterus to contract to expel the uterine lining. If you have a lot of prostagladins, some of them can go rogue and head over to the nearby bowel, causing it to contract too. This can lead too farting, more pooping than normal, and for some women, even diarrhea.
Now that you understand the relationship between the menstrual cycle and digestion, whats a constipated or diarrhea-afflicted girl to do?
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What Really Causes Perimenopause Constipation
by Sara Kahn | Nov 7, 2021 |
If you are a woman in her 40s like me, Id like to officially welcome you to the incredibly erratic time known as perimenopause! Ive experienced all of the fun such as hot flashes, sleeplessness, irregular periods, brain fog and bouts of perimenopause constipation.
Oh, you didnt realize that constipation can be a symptom of perimenopause? Neither did my gynecologist who is a National Certified Menopause Practitioner and wrote a book on the subject of perimenopause and menopause. In fact, she was quite dismissive of this symptom when I let her know it was a struggle. Ugh!
So, what is the deal with constipation during perimenopause?
Well, constipation is a common problem for many women, but it can be especially difficult to manage during perimenopause. Hormones are changing and the bodys metabolism slows down with age, both of which can lead to constipation.
This blog post will discuss how perimenopause impacts constipation and what you can do about it!
Less Common Reasons For A Late Period
Missing a period is not uncommon. But it can be the cause of much distress for young girls and women. While sexually active girls and young women may think of pregnancy as being a possible reason, older women may be concerned about the onset of menopause. However, there are a number of different reasons why a woman may miss a period and it has nothing to do with with pregnancy or menopause. Although it is always advisable to get the advice of a doctor, there may be some less common reasons that you should bear in mind.
Remember that you can only say that you have missed a period if you do not get it about a week after it was due. It could just be late and you may get it afterwards. But in many instances it may not come at all for a month or two, or even longer. If you have missed 3 consecutive periods then it is known as secondary amenorrhea. If your periods never started then it is known as primary amenorrhea.
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Varicose Veins And Leg Oedema
Varicose veins of the legs are very common in pregnancy due to a combination of factors, including increased volume of circulating blood during pregnancy, and pressure of the pregnant uterus on the larger veins. This increased pressure on the veins can also result in swelling of the legs that can cause pain, feelings of heaviness, cramps and other unusual sensations.
If you have varicose veins, it is recommended that you:
- Wear support stockings.
- Avoid standing for long periods.
- Exercise gently and regularly .
- Lie down to rest with feet elevated, when you can.
- Try massaging your legs.
What Causes Cramps No Period And White Discharge
If youve missed a period, have cramping and a white discharge from your vagina, you may be pregnant, although there are other causes for these symptoms.
Vaginal discharge is normal. During your menstrual cycle, your vaginal discharge will usually change in colour and texture. A few days before your period starts, your vaginal discharge may be cloudy or white. This means white vaginal discharge and cramping could mean your period is late.
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Sohow Much Of A Delay In Your Period Is Still Considered Normal
âIf you have one or two irregular periods it is definitely something to pay attention to,â says Sherry Ross, MD, an ob-gyn at Providence Saint Johnâs Health Center in Santa Monica, California. A period is considered late if it hasnât started five or more days after the day you expected it to begin, according to Summit Medical Group. So if your period is, say, 10 days late, definitely take a pregnancy test and check in with your ob-gyn regardless of the results. In general, if your flow has been MIA for a week or more, that’s a sign you should take the test and also check in with your gyno to see what might be going on.
But again, you can miss a period and *not* be pregnant. If there’s no way you’re pregnant and/or your test comes back negative , one of these factors, including all the stress you might be under right now, may be to blame for your late period problems. Then, your next step is definitely calling your doc so they can help you suss out the best solution or treatment for your situation.
What Do We Know About It
In fact, very little is known about the scale and scope of gastrointestinal complaints by women during menstruation. Its not a surprise really. Lets face it, no one likes talking about what happens on the toilet.
But researchers are beginning to dig into the issue.
A 2014 study of 156 healthy, premenopausal women attempted to resolve this lack of research by investigating the GI symptoms women experience before and during that time of the month. The study found a whopping 73% of respondents experienced at least one of the primary GI symptoms both before and/or during their period. Abdominal pain was the most common followed by diarrhoea .
There are also certain chronic conditions, like endometriosis, that are well known for causing painful bowel motions. These symptoms can occur at any point of your cycle particularly just before and right after. For a great read on how endometriosis causes pain in the pelvis and bowel, check out Endometriosis Australias guide here.
Theres still a lot more to be done when it comes to researching bowel movements during menstruation. But, some helpful insights do explain why we experience bloating, diarrhoea and constipation during that time of the month.
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Can You Have A Period And Not Bleed
Yes you can experience the symptoms of your period but your usual menstrual bleeding may not happen as you expect it to. If you have cramps, bloating and fatigue but no period this is because there is an imbalance of hormones in your body. Your age can play a big part in this, if you havent started your period yet your body could be getting ready for your first one, or if you are in your late 40s to mid-50s you may be starting the menopause. You might also be wondering why your period is late or whether you have missed a period for some reason perhaps you are pregnant.
How To Prevent It From Happening Again
If you regularly deal with period constipation, there are several things that can help you stay two steps ahead of it and potentially avoid it altogether:
- Give hormonal birth control a try. It can help to keep your hormones at stable levels, which can prevent constipation and other digestive issues. The pill also has a number of other benefits outside of preventing pregnancy. But its not right for everyone. Talk to your healthcare provider if its something youre interested in trying.
- Avoid dietary triggers. To keep constipation at bay, cut back on processed foods, along with any foods high in fat, sugar, and starch. When possible, replace these foods with fresh produce and whole grains. As your period approaches, also consider replacing some of your caffeinated or alcoholic drinks with herbal tea and water.
- Try probiotics. Some people find probiotics helpful for treating constipation and other gastrointestinal issues. Try including more probiotic-rich foods in your diet, such as plain Greek yogurt with fruit, kimchi, pickled vegetables, or miso.
- Talk to your healthcare provider. If you have severe constipation or constipation that bothers you every month, your healthcare provider may be able to recommend additional treatments, including medication.
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How Soon Can You Tell If You Are Pregnant
Most health care providers recommend that you wait until the first day of your missed period to take a pregnancy test, because taking a test too soon after conception can lead to a false-negative result. However, some tests are more sensitive than others and can be taken as soon as 7 to 12 days after conception. The most precise way to determine pregnancy is to take a blood test to measure your level of hCG.
Having a late period might come as a surprise, especially if youre not trying to get pregnant. Should you take a pregnancy test? The truth is, there are many reasons for late periods other than pregnancy. Your health, age, diet, stress, and exercise can all affect the regularity of your menstrual cycle. In this article, well look at the most common late period causes and go over some common questions about delayed menstruation.
What Are The Causes Of Painful Periods
For more information on endometriosis, click here .
What is endometriosis? Endometriosis happens when the type of tissue that normally lines the uterus , grows in other places within her body, usually somewhere in the abdomen.
What causes endometriosis?The cause of endometriosis is not understood, there are several theories. In some women menstrual blood containing endometrial cells travels backwards, up through the fallopian tubes, and into the abdomen. In others, tissue of the type that normally lines the uterus, develops in other parts of the abdomen or pelvis. The tissue appears less responsive to the female hormone progesterone. A genetic factor has also been identified. Whatever the cause, in too many women the diagnosis comes late, after years of suffering. And early diagnosis is important.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis? The symptoms of endometriosis include painful menstrual cramps, painful intercourse, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. The symptoms are different in different women.
How does endometriosis affect a womans health? Endometriosis can cause many problems for a women, apart from painful periods. Endometriosis can cause painful cysts on the ovaries, puckering ad scarring in the tissues that line the pelvis, and can affect other structures in the pelvis and abdomen, such as the fallopian tubes, the bladder the bowel, and the wall between the vagina and the rectum. In some cases endometriosis can impair fertility
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Could Appendicitis Cause A Late Period
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Constipation And Missed Or Late Menstrual Period
- Medical Author: Carol DerSarkissian, MD
Reviewed on 6/15/2020
Have you taken a pregnancy test? A late or missed period may be a sign of pregnancy. If it is associated with other abdominal symptoms and signs or vaginal bleeding, it is important to get evaluated right away. Other causes of these symptoms and signs when the pregnancy test is negative may mean your hormone cycle may be off that month or you may even be constipated. For any symptoms and signs that concern you or don’t go away, your doctor is your best resource to help you get to the bottom of what’s causing them.
While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:
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When To Seek Medical Care
If your periods are not regular, see your GP. They can investigate what is causing your irregular periods.
You should also see your GP if you have abnormal vaginal discharge. This includes:
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- Vaginal discharge alongside vaginal itching, redness or swelling
- Yellow, green, grey or strongly coloured vaginal discharge
Although cramping is a common period symptom, you should see your GP if your cramps:
- Affect only one side of your body
- Become worse or dont go away
- Occur alongside fever or other symptoms
Why Am I So Thirsty During My Period
If you often ask yourself, Why am I so thirsty on my period?, read on.
Some people may find themselves reaching for less healthy snacks and drinks around their menstrual cycle. Fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks contain more water than unhealthy snacks, but thats not what most people find themselves craving. Sweets and salty snacks also cause an increase in water loss and a heightened need to drink or a sensation of thirst.
Thirst is the bodys way of telling a person that they are becoming dehydrated. By the time a person begins to experience thirst, their body is already in the early stages of dehydration. The sensation of thirst should be considered a warning sign that needs attention right away. The increase in thirst around a persons period stimulates them to replenish the fluids theyve lost.
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Lifestyle Measures For Tackling Abdominal Bloating And Missed Period
Abdominal bloating and missed period are signs of some health disorder. You need to seek medical treatment to find out exactly what you are suffering from. But you can take some tips from us and get relief from these symptoms. These tips will also improve your overall health and help in the treatment of the disorder that is causing these symptoms.