I am 23, sexually active with my fiance but we have a very lazy sex life (read: once a week or less, less lately, more like 2 times a month) and I am not on BC. We have been dutifully using the same brand of condoms for as many years as we have been together, he with no previous partners, me with one long before him.
My cycle is usually on the long end, around 31-32 days, with a 6+ day period. My last one started on the 3rd of November and lasted 10 days, including a day or two of spotting in the estimate. The one before that was equally long. I tend to spot for a few days before and after as well to make up around 12 days or so, which is sort of miserable. I usually have a fair amount of normal discharge regularly. My period likes to "migrate" throughout the year, coming a day or three later every month until eventually it works its way from the beginning of the month to the end after several months. I chart my period on mymonthlycycles.com, which estimated that my period would be on December 3.
I even had some ovulation-type discharge before that at normal times to indicate that everything was fine. Unfortunately we were traveling across the country for a funeral at the time when my period was supposed to start, and I did get the telltale spotting that indicated Aunt Flo might be due anytime...but she never came. I got cranky, emotional, bloaty on and off, tired, and all indigestion-ful and other symptoms...but she never came. I had no further sign of her until after we got home, and I started having some "old blood" looking spots. I felt discharge often and I'd go to the bathroom to check it...only to find brown in my panties. I kept thinking I would start my period so I even put a tampon in once when the discharge was especially evident, expecting red at any time, and there was only a red spot or two with mostly brown goo-ish stuff that didn't soak in to the fibers much. After that I stopped wearing a tampon, obviously, since I wasn't bleeding after a few hours. A few days later I inserted two fingers into myself to check and see what it would look like not on cloth or tampon, and I saw a tiny amount, basically medium brown, a bit of a clot or glob, with some obvious normal mucus-y discharge mixed in. No weird smells other than normal discharge, not particularly fishy or metallic...just that sort of alkaline (is that a good word for it?) smell that I always have, albeit strong. Here we are now, and it's still happening. I've had a few discharge-free days, especially the last day or two...but then today I got it again, and I've had it pretty regularly since our trip for the funeral. It is dark enough to stain my panties quite easily, but it looks pretty much like old blood type stuff...just a lot more frequent than I am used to. I've also seen some regular discharge in the midst of the dark stuff as well.
Granted my life has been hell lately...my body has been suffering the worst emotional stress of my adult life the last month and a half to two months with conditions at my work that is another story entirely, and it is taking a severe emotional toll on me. My fatigue and emotional distress is evident to everyone, and is taking a toll on most of my life..I cry at the drop of a hat, I always feel bitchy like I'm PMSing, always tired, etc. Add in a family death, a trip to the West coast in the winter from the frigid Midwest, and wedding planning...and I'm about ready to chock it up to life getting in the way of my cycle. Also, looking back at my menstrual records on mmc.com, I see that I have been prone in the winter to suffer long cycles that seem to "skip" a period or take especially long to show up. I've always been sort of irregular. I just feel worried, and I'm sick of discharging all over the place. I'm not too stressed out about it because our sexual activity has been so light...(once on our weekend of the funeral, and once since then about a week ago) so it's not like I run much of a risk of being pregnant...but I was more worried about BV or something like that. I've had no pain, no itching, no other symptoms of that sort. Maybe my poor vagina is just shutting down from all the stress and needs a break. I don't know.
Anyone have any input into any of this? I just feel sort of anxious, what with everything else going on.
Sorry about the novel.