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Women's health

Cycle suddenly getting shorter?

5 replies

hereforthefood · 22/02/2022 11:28

I am 23 years old and came off the combined pill at the end of June last year. My first 2 cycles were 32 days each, with a 4-day period. I then had a 53 day cycle which I thought was weird but figured it was my hormones trying to figure themselves out. After that, I had a 29 day cycle and then a 50 day cycle. All throughout these cycles I've had random spotting, sometimes for as long as a week, both before and after ovulation. All of these cycles had a 4 day period.

Suddenly, last month, I had an 18 day cycle after a 6 day bleed, meaning I supposedly ovulated while still bleeding. I figured it was a one off but still went to the doctor's anyway, they did a blood test and everything came back normal. They also swabbed my cervix and I haven't got the results back yet but she said there didn't appear to be any redness so it's unlikely to be cervical erosion. I am due for an internal scan, as well as an abdominal scan this week. They asked me to take a pregnancy test before I did any of this, which I did on the 8th of this month and it was negative.

Now onto today, 20 days into my new cycle following a 7 day bleed (my longest one yet!) and I'm bleeding again. It's heavy enough that I need a tampon and I've seen a couple of clots, meaning it's likely my period and I ovulated on my last period, yet again! After consulting Dr Google most women who get this are in their late 30/early 40s and it's a sign of perimenopause. I am now terrified that I'm going to get the menopause mega early and will be unable to have children.

Please can somebody give me some advice? I've been off the pill almost 8 months now! My periods shouldn't be this erratic and weren't the last time I came off the pill when I was 20. I'm so worried and it's stressing me out big time

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AttilaTheMeerkat · 22/02/2022 11:41

Irregular cycles are often caused by hormonal imbalances, in this regard a condition called polycystic ovaries is often the culprit. It is also possible to have periods without ovulating. Spotting can be caused too by a lack of progesterone.

What hormone levels were tested via your blood test and on which cycle day?. I ask as such tests taken on the wrong cycle days can give misleading or meaningless results. Your thyroid gland levels should also be looked at as well.

Hopefully you will get some more answers from the internal scan; I doubt very much that the abdominal scan would show anything.

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hereforthefood · 22/02/2022 11:46

@AttilaTheMeerkat thanks for the reply! My blood test was on the 9th which was the last day of my period, I'm not sure whether this would give bad results or not. I don't know exactly what they tested for but the woman read out some of the results to me, and I definitely remember she said my progesterone and thyroid functioning were both normal.

Is it possible to have PCOS without having any of the symptoms, other than irregular periods? Should I just phone my doctor and see what they think?

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AttilaTheMeerkat · 22/02/2022 14:05

Progesterone is usually tested on or around day 21; to measure it on day 9 is not usual at all. You ideally need a day 2 test done to check and compare your LH level against that of FSH. These two hormones kickstart ovulation; if these are awry then ovulation would be affected.

There is a fine line between polycystic ovaries and PCOS; the commonality is the cystic follicles on the ovaries. Some GPs are really not up to speed when it comes to such matters and you could well be better off seeing a gynae.

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hereforthefood · 24/02/2022 16:40

@AttilaTheMeerkat hey! So I had the scan earlier. You were right, they didn't see much in the abdomen scan, but when they did the internal they found cysts. They didn't say how many (although the technician told the assistant "15 on left" which seemed quite a lot to me!) But she did tell me I have polycystic ovaries but I'll have to go to my gp for full results and next steps.

I'm now terrified that I'm going to have my ovaries removed! I'm only 23 and I want children desperately. The idea of becoming infertile is horrible and really affecting me.

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AttilaTheMeerkat · 24/02/2022 17:06

No, you won't have your ovaries removed. I still have both all these years later!.

Polycystic ovaries are ovaries with multiple cystic follicles on them; these usually disappear only to be replaced by other cystic follicles. Some of these are dormant, some may contain an egg whilst others release hormones (hence the menstrual irregularity). A polycystic ovary can also appear to be larger than a normal sized ovary (which is about the size of a walnut) and have a "ring of pearls" appearance to them.

My counsel would be to learn as much for yourself about polycystic ovaries and try to remain within the correct weight range for your height. Weight gain can exacerbate symptoms. There is no cure for polycystic ovaries but it can be managed.

I was diagnosed with PCOS at 31 and am a parent following fertility treatment; there are treatments that can be tried when you are ready to try to conceive.

Do read Verity's website www.verity-pcos.org.uk/. The more good quality info you have the better and knowledge here is also power. It will also help you feel far less anxious.

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