2:29 am - 07/10/2008

plan b, bloating, cramps, no period

 okay so this is long and embarassing, but i dont know what to do. i'm sexaully active obviously, and i've had serious problems that come and go. i'm so scared to go to the doctor, because a. i've never been, scared to find out, scared for others to find out b. i live at home with my extreme religious parents who have no idea that i am sexually active. My mom is a nurse, who used to teach sex ed classes at middle school around my town. swear to god, this is worst case scenario.
 so here's the scoop: i had sex when i was 15, it was protected but afterwards for like a month my stomach just like turned. it was totally weird. i tried to ignore it, and i did. i didnt have sex again until i was 17. and then that's when shit started getting more weird. my stomach would turn and then when i had sex it hurt if they got too deep. then after sex i'd have issues like diarrea for a few days, cramps without a period, stuff like that. then recently i read up on HIV just randomly. i have several of the symptoms like headaches, the chronic stuff, and thrush. i have had that before.. i think. its like white spots on my throat, hurts when i swallow type deal. i had no idea that this could be HIV. i thought it was just a cold. I've had sex with multiple partners, ALWAYS with a condom, since day one, so i didnt think i really had to worry, but now im freaked out. On top of that.... My problem now is that i have had sex with my boyfriend. first boy without a condom, but he was a virgin before me. we started having sex about a month ago, a week after my period ended. We've been having sex a lot since then. I took Plan B twice within 10 days, because i always get paranoid. About three days after i took the second package i started cramping like my period and then lightly bleeding. it looked like dry blood the first day or two, and then it was brighter with clots, and it ended a couple days later. could that have been from too much plan b or does it mean it's working? or was that a period? that would have been too soon to be my period, and it hasn't happened since. i should have started my period around the first or second of july, but haven't yet. I took a pregnancy test, came out negative. i had lower back pain all day today. constipated and bloated on and off for a few days. ,especially after i eat like bigger meals, and no period.... i really don't think im pregnant, i think my period is just kind of knocked off its axis from the amount of plan b i took in such a short time. and it is always delayed after i start having sex... just never delayed this long.. anyways, could you help me decipher what these symptoms could be? maybe anything other than HIV? or encourage me to go to the doctor? anyone had this happen? or with plan b? i know i should go to the doc. i'm 18, and i'm such a baby. I'm just more scared my parents will find out, and then they'll find out i have stds or a kid on the way, and be extreme dissappointed.
miss_arel 10th-Jul-2008 08:03 am (UTC)
If you're concerned that you might have HIV, then you should go to the doctor and get tested. Where do you live? It's quite possible that there are clinics nearby that offer free testing, and since you're 18 you would have doctor-patient confidentiality wherever you went, so there would be no need for your parents to find out unless you wanted them to. (I'm assuming you live in the US; if I'm not, then this may not be applicable to you).

The symptoms you describe -- headaches, diarrhea, sore throat -- sound like they could be caused by any number of things, really, and there's no reason to assume that it's HIV. It's your decision, of course; however, my personal feeling is that it's just better to know, one way or the other, than to drive yourself crazy worrying about it.

As for the other things... Plan B basically works by shocking your system with an overdose of hormones -- nothing your body wouldn't ordinarily produce over the course of your cycle, but in much higher quantities. Many women who take a single dose of Plan B often experience premature bleeding; that's generally a sign that the pill is working. It basically shocks your system with so much progestin that it makes you start your period no matter where you are in your cycle, thus flushing out any potentially fertilized ova. That's why Plan B is called Plan B: it's a major shock to your system, much more so than just about any other form of birth control would be, and thus it shouldn't be your first or only line of defense against pregnancy. That's why it's called an emergency contraceptive; it'll get the job done, but it's not the best idea to rely on it too much. So if you took two doses within a few days of each other, I'm not surprised that you've been having irregular bleeding, cramps, etc. If you give it a few weeks for your hormones to return to their normal patterns, I can practically guarantee that those symptoms will go away.

Many women often experience late periods even when they're not pregnant, or not even taking a high level of hormones, like you have been. Your body's hormones are seldom truly predictable or regular all on their own, and anything from stress to changes in diet or exercise can throw them off even further. If you're, say, six weeks overdue for your period, okay, then I might worry it was a pregnancy, but if it's just been a few days since you expected your period to start, it could be caused by any number of things, most of them completely benign.

Still, if you're concerned about your health, I'd recommend going to see a doctor, just to ask her (or him) your questions and put your mind at ease. You're an adult now, legally, and any doctor worth their salt is going to keep your secrets safe. They wouldn't be able to stay in business, otherwise.

Edited at 2008-07-10 08:06 am (UTC)
lifeofsomekind 10th-Jul-2008 08:53 am (UTC)

just get a screening at a clinic. clear your mind sweetie.
krisssa 10th-Jul-2008 12:46 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure it's recommended to take Plan B twice in such a short period of time, due to all of the hormones that go into your body as a result. I would try to steer clear from that as a frequent option if possible.

I did take Plan B once and I bled almost immediately from it though it wasn't time for my period either, so I don't think that's anything to be worried about.

archangelbeth 10th-Jul-2008 01:13 pm (UTC)
As others have said, Plan B is very likely to wonk your period up. Anecdotally, I think posters here have said that Plan B has caused their periods to be irregular for up to 3 months after. (Mind, this will almost certainly vary by the woman, and by how sensitive she is to the hormonal fluctuations.)

I would, however, strongly encourage you to go to a doctor -- preferably one your mom does not know well, because while they are legally obligated to keep your medical records private, it would indeed suck if you got someone who was willing to risk the legal issues to overshare with your parents. (Seriously: "Do you know my mother?" may want to be in your list of questions on the phone, and steer clear of anyone who says "yes." I give this warning because my mother-in-law knows and chats with EVERYONE in the area. She used to be a teacher here...) However, if you can get a doctor who'll answer your questions and maintain your privacy (to which you have a legal right!), I bet you'd feel much more secure in your health.

You don't state whether you're on HBC or some form of contraceptive with your current boy; if you're not, would you like any problem-solving on what would be better for your peace of mind? As others have said, Plan B isn't very good as a "regular" contraceptive. It wonks up your hormones, and means that your ovulation chances would be all over the map.

Crossing my fingers for you.
abclsd 12th-Jul-2008 04:15 am (UTC)
im not on any form of BC... only for the fact that my parents and all. i did start my period, so i feel totally dumb for posting this. im just always paranoid about my body
queensugar 10th-Jul-2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
First off: it is extremely unlikely that you have HIV, especially if you have always used condoms. Like, extraordinarily unlikely. That said, perhaps getting a full range of STI testing, including HIV, will ease your mind!

Remember that most of the "symptoms" associated with HIV / AIDS are actually normal infections that, in people with compromised immunity, get out of hand. For instance, thrush is incredibly common; babies get it, but adults get it too. The reason it's associated with HIV / AIDS is just because in people with compromised immunity, they're much more likely to get it, and it is more likely to become much worse.

As far as the pain you mention when they go deep: that's normal! I know when I have penetration that's too deep and it hits my cervix, it does indeed hurt like crazy, and also gives me that "sickening" feeling in the pit of my stomach.

It's very normal for Plan B to delay a period, or make it come early, or generally just make it super wonky. What Plan B does is deliver a big blast of hormones to your system to delay ovulation; that can cause all manner of wonky bleeding for a bit in some women.
abclsd 12th-Jul-2008 04:16 am (UTC)
okay that makes me feel better soooooo much better im still planning on getting tested and thank you a lot!
(no subject) - Anonymous
abclsd 12th-Jul-2008 04:13 am (UTC)
hahaha so blunt, but such good advice.
teethvsclavicle 11th-Jul-2008 06:30 am (UTC)
get on the pill. there's no sense in only using plan b- just take a pill once a day/the ring/the patch, etc etc and use condoms. you'll have two forms of protection against pregnancy and won't need plan b.
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