12:54 am - 06/22/2010

Inducing a late menstruation

EDIT: Whoa, that was fast! My period started this morning, after one day's regimen of 1x1000mg Vit. C, 2x40mg Black Cohosh (each every two hours), and 2-3 cups of parsley tea.

However, I still have questions :) For example, my period is very light; although there is definitely blood coming out of me, I guess it's little enough that only a bit makes it to the pad (so basically, I'm spotting). Should I continue my course until it picks up, or stop now? Should I be worried that, in the rare chance I'm pregnant, things are only partially done?

My previous post is under the cut, for reference about my chances of being pregnant and such.


Hey all,

I'm a 23 year old cis female, in a sexually active relationship with a cis male. I was on the pill (Yasmin) for a long time, but probably about three months ago, I went off it because I was having trouble orgasming, and thought it might be the culprit. (Turns out it wasn't, but that's a story for another day!) Worryingly, I haven't gotten my period since. I tend to doubt I'm pregnant, since that would be somewhat miraculous in the face of our practices and the evidence (see note below), but I guess it's always a possibility.

I decided recently to start taking some emmenagogues, because whether or not I'm pregnant, I'd really like to have a period soon--especially since I think it would clear up the symptoms I described earlier, and because after that I would go back on HBCs (I don't want to have to wait a whole extra month till their placebo to try and have a period). Although I've read a bunch on sisterzeus and other sites, I'm still a little scared by the process, especially because I'm afraid of overdosing on one thing or another, or taking things that interfere, or something else stupid, and would love some input on my regimen.

So here's my plan for the emmenagogues:
- Vit. C: 1x1000mg capsules every 2.5 hrs or so (asorbic acid, pretty sure there are no bioflavinoids)
- Parsley tea: 2-3 cups every day, with about a tablespoon or two of dried parsley
- Black Cohosh: 2x40mg capsules every 2.5 hrs or so (I know this is waaaay less than people recommend, but as I'm less familiar with Black Cohosh than the other, I'm a little wary of taking a bunch of this. And I don't know if my psyche can handle taking 20+ pills every hour!)

Does this sound good? Do these herbs and vitamins work? Are there better ones I should be taking? (Additionally, taking into account the note below, does pregnancy seem likely?) I would love any advice, experience, or critique! IThis is super new to me, and a little scary, so all input and/or reassurance is tremendously appreciated!

And thank you so much for your help! It makes me so happy that wonderful communities exist to help share knowledge and support on these difficult and often under-represented topics :)


Note: I have a strong feeling that I'm not pregnant--after all, I am aware that it can take a long time for periods to get back to normal after being on HBCs for a long time, and both of my pregnancy tests have come out negative (one taken just a week ago). My boyfriend and I also practice safer sex, which means condoms + pulling out before ejaculation.

Still, it's worrying--especially because I've noticed myself putting on a bit of weight, despite eating and exercising basically the same amount; having extremely tender breasts and nipples, unlike and way more intense than the usual tenderness that comes before a period; and, most recently, feeling nauseous in the morning, which *never, ever* happens to me. I've had some cramping over the last few weeks, on and off, and while at first I thought this was just my period showing up (which it never did), now I'm worried that I was feeling implantation pains instead. I tend to doubt it, but of course, one can't be sure :/

queensugar 22nd-Jun-2010 05:06 am (UTC)
For what it's worth, it's not uncommon for it to take months to have your first natural period after stopping hormonal birth control. For me, I've quit HBC twice and both times I didn't get my first natural period for between three and four-and-a-half months.

This is called post-pill amenorrhea and is relatively common; although most people begin ovulating and having natural periods promptly after stopping HBC, for some of us it takes longer. The Mayo Clinic recommends testing for pregnancy if that's a concern, and seeing a health care professional if periods haven't returned within six months.

Given that you are using two forms of contraception which together post a pretty high efficacy rate AND have two negative tests, overall it's very doubtful that you are pregnant and I wouldn't be too concerned about it.

As far as the emmenogogues go -- I'm not much of an expert on that, but from what I understand emmenogogues generally only work if you've already ovulated. If you haven't yet, it might not work.

Another thing I'll add -- I was never on HBC for even all that long (only about a year both times), but even after that comparatively short time, when I quit HBC it shocked me how dramatic my PMS symptoms were -- the cramping, bloating, and the breast tenderness.

After all, I hadn't actually had a menstrual cycle or natural PMS symptoms for a year, and even that space of time was enough to make me effectively forget what my natural PMS symptoms really felt like -- I mean, I remembered, but I guess I didn't really remember having become so used to HBC-induced withdrawal bleeds for so long.
freakin_lj 22nd-Jun-2010 05:22 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for your input!

Good to hear that post-pill amenorrhea is normal. I knew that it could happen, but I could never get a clear understanding of how common it was, or how long the amenorrhea could last without concern. My two months doesn't seem quite as worrying or abnormal now, which is nice.

As for the emmenagogues, I can't be sure that I ovulated already, but at least a week or two ago I definitely had some egg white mucous, so hopefully I should be at the point at which they work.

And your last two paragraphs bring up a great point. My body tends to play really nicely with HBC--on it, my periods are usually no more than a slight twingey cramp for a day and a couple days of medium flow--which is great but, as you said, likely far different than the PMS symptoms occurring without HBC. And I haven't had a non-HBC period for probably over two years now, which is definitely long enough to forget what it feels like. Hadn't thought about it that way before!

I recognize your username from the myriad times I've posted on here and gotten great advice from you--so thanks for your help this time, and on all previous occasions! :)
queensugar 22nd-Jun-2010 05:30 am (UTC)
Yeah, to my knowledge it's the minority that have PPA for that long -- I haven't seen stats but I know the majority resume ovulation in 2 to 5 weeks after stopping HBC -- but it's not like, a freakishly rare minority or anything, so just hang in there. :)

LOL, it blew me away the first time I got my natural period, four months after stopping -- I was all "lalalala this is great, no periods no bleeWHOABAM." And then I was reeling in miserable for a couple weeks, heh. And the amount of bleeding shocked me -- I'm one of those people who only spots brown for like 12 hours on HBC, and all of a sudden I was rediscovering the meaning of the word "flow" and it was like "HOW AM I STILL STANDING." But I got used to it right quick.

Who knows, there could also be some hormonal funkiness going on your first period back -- start-up problems, heh.

Anyway, good luck and thanks for the nice words. :) We aim to please at vaginapagina!
tobiahawk 22nd-Jun-2010 05:59 am (UTC)
Apologies in advance for my ignorance, but what does "cis" mean/stand for?

freakin_lj 22nd-Jun-2010 06:19 am (UTC)
My understanding is that the "cis" prefix refers to a person whose gender identity matches up with their biological sex--essentially the opposite of "trans." It came into usage, I believe, because it's problematic to refer to, say, "women" and "trans women"--that normalizes one group while making the other seem abnormal. By using "cis women" and "trans women," however, neither one is assumed or othered. More info on it is available on its Wikipedia page.

I used it here for that purpose, as well as to imply that my boyfriend has biology/anatomy that could get me pregnant through intercourse (barring any infertility)--were I with a trans man who, say, had ovaries and a vulva rather than sperm-producing testicles and a penis, that would not be the case :) I probably could have said it more clearly (I was thinking of saying "biologically male," but wasn't sure if there were some issues I was unaware of), but it's late at night and I'm not entirely awake. (Indeed, if anyone else has any input on how best to signify these things while being open and inclusive to LGBTQAI folk, I would love to hear it!)

Also, that icon is from my faaaaavorite episode of The Simpsons :D
tobiahawk 22nd-Jun-2010 06:37 am (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation!

And yes, I love that episode--"it's really more of an Albany expression...."
arrivee 22nd-Jun-2010 07:52 am (UTC)
cis is the correct term. you can also say a "cisgendered" female or male. by using cis you are telling us that your boyfriend has testes and identifies as a male. to say he was "biologically male" would negate his identity. this may pose problems, however, here, it's not really relevant. we just need to know that he has testes. in short, either would have worked, however i find cis/trans much more socially considerate with regards to identity.

Edited at 2010-06-22 07:52 am (UTC)
lucyelle 22nd-Jun-2010 05:36 pm (UTC)

I'm currently trying to induce my period too and have been having hot baths, vitamin c, many cups of parsely tea... and it's just not coming.

I should be due later this week but need to ensure it does come and prefrably early.

I was just wondering about why you specified absorbic acid vitamin C and not bioflavinoids. Also, how much fresh parsley were yo using? I now have used up the supplies in the garden and when cut up, each cup is half filled with parsely. after heating, it goes down to about 1/5 of a mug. Is this a normal amount?

Also, with the vitamin C, is the amount you put above safe? 1000mg seems quite high for every 2.5 hours, I've been taking one a day and was worried to take more, as it said - may cause undesired side effects.

Many thanks,
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