May 19th, 2010

Silverlight, Moon, Faery

Massive Blood Clot

Ok so, I've had my period since I was 9 and I'm 22 now. My period has always been heavy and irregular, so much so that in highschool/college I would only get 4-6 periods a year and even then they would last for weeks. I know I need to go in for an annual because I haven't had one since I was 19. My gynecologists were very judgemental and I didn't feel comfortable talking to them, so I haven't been back. I haven't been sexually active for 4 years and when I was, I was having sex with women. Never had sex with a man. Anyway, I changed my tampon today and there was a Godzilla sized clot clinging to it! I mean, this thing was MASSIVE. I've pulled out clots before, but never anything this big. I'm posting here because I don't know what to make of it. Am I dying? Did I give birth to an Alien? Is my uterus trying to escape? I have no idea. I know it's tmi and pretty gross but I'm going to post pictures under the cut. WARNING: THESE ARE VERY GRAPHIC & NSFW

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miranda 1

Diet related to heavier or lighter flow?

I was wondering, for the women on here that do not get heavy periods, what their diet is like?

I have had heavy periods since I first started menstruating. I am not overweight, but do not always have the healthiest diet in the world. Low-fat diets and exercise like what athletes do, makes them have light if no periods at all, therefore, showing that diet and exercise lessens the flow. I have been envious of women who seem to not have period problems, because I feel like I am and always will have heavy periods.

STD testing discretion

This question comes from knittinggoddess's post about her experience at an STD clinic.

In the post she mentioned the discretion when checking in where they didn't say out loud why she was there and whispered it to someone else (another staff member?).

I'm a nurse at a GYN office and this got me thinking. At the front desk when checking people in we don't mention why they are there at all, because we are appointment only. We usually ask over the phone and just put it in the notes so we know. Sometimes patients don't feel comfortable telling us over the phone and I don't know why they're there until I get them in a room and then they tell me they want STD testing.

My role if they want testing outside the standard chlamydia/gonorrhea swab is to take them to our phlebotomist to get bloodwork for HIV, syphillis, Hep B and Hep C. For the swab, among staff we call it "CT/NG" or "GenProbe", and other patients wouldn't know what that meant. But the bloodwork is called "STD panel." There's really no other name for it. The lab is in a semi-common area and I make an effort to not say it when other patients are within earshot. But I have also made a point of just saying, "Hey Tiffany, can I get an STD panel?" and she says, "Yeah no problem". I don't shout it, but I don't whisper or anything. My reasoning behind this is because I don't want to make the patient feel like there is something wrong with her getting STD testing. Whispering seems like it's marginalizing the patient or that she should be ashamed of it.

If you were my patient what would you think of this? Given that there isn't another patient obvious right there, would it still bother you because you'd be afraid of other people hearing? Would this bother you because it's toeing the line of HIPAA? Would you prefer I point it out on the form or whisper? Or would you appreciate that the way I order the test indicates that it's really no big deal and we aren't judging you in any way?

I feel I am very non-judgmental when they ask for the test in the room, as well. 75% of patients always quickly follow up this request with the disclaimer, "I'm not worried or anything, I just want to check!" and I say, "No problem! Nothing wrong with checking up just to know your status." I really do want the patient to know I don't think any less of her or that she's "dirty" for requesting this test. So that's my thought process behind it and the kind of personality I have with my patients, but I don't know if it makes a difference when I act that way about it when we're out of the room and there's a slight possibility another patient that happens to be around the corner in the hallway at the moment may hear me.

Just curious. I don't know these things unless I ask.
purple hair

Uterine lining and IUDs

Passing pieces of uterine lining used to be a regular occurrence for me, but in the ~7 years since I got my Paragard IUD, I haven't noticed anything of remarkable size. (Before, thumb-sized pieces were not unusual.) Is this typical for IUD wearers?

I was amenorrheic due to Depo-Provera for roughly four years; not sure if that's a factor.

Iron in vitamins

This isn't exactly vagina related, so please let me know if it doesn't belong here. But it is about women's health!

I want to start taking a vitamin supplement again because I don't get all the nutrients that I need from what I eat (I know, I should eat better, but I don't, so this will help get the vitamins I'm missing).

However, I have a Mirena IUD so I don't get a period. I wanted to take a supplement especially for women (I was leaning towards Alive brand because it is natural and has lots of vitamins and minerals in it from fruits and vegetables). The women's supplement has cranberry (which I really want because I'm prone to UTIs). But most of the women supplements have iron in them.

So, since I'm not having a period, is it probably not a good idea to take the ones with iron? I can get no-added-iron ones, but they're not the ones especially for women, therefore don't have the added cranberry and specialty vitamins for bone and breast health, etc.

I guess I could just take the regular no-iron ones and just ADD a cranberry supplement, but I travel and lot and would PREFER (if possible) to have to carry around the least amount of pills as possible.

So any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Gyn visits and domestic violence

this is another opinion post (like the STD panel one below).

This past semester in law school I took a domestic violence seminar and one day a doctor came to visit and discuss DV.

She had a lot of history working with victims of DV and had implemented a system in her hospital that helped raise awareness of this problem and provided resources to the patients.

She told us this following story and it made me think of VP and I wanted to get some reactions/opinions because...well I guess I just don't know where I stand.

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I don't know--it's a fine line the doctors have to walk in this area. But what is your opinion? Should a dr not let the person in the room if they suspect DV. If so, how could a doctor go about passing along DV info to patients?

Hello Everyone,

I recently posted about my sister in law, but now I have a question I would like to ask you. I'm eighteen years old, and I've never had a pap before. One, I'm a virgin. Two, I'm also a lesbian, but my primary is determined for me to get one before continuing my birth control.

I'm on birth control because I have PCOS, and my periods are extremely painful, also my OBGYN thinks that it will help to shrink some of the cyst I have on my ovaries. My OBGYN is well aware of my sexual orientation, and she is a total sweet heart, but my primary is male and doesn't believe me when I say I need birth control for my condition. I also take metformin, but that is prescribed by my endocrinologist. My question to you is, do I really need a pap if I've never had sex?

Another question is concerning my OBGYN, while she is super nice, we've only ever discussed my medical condition. We've never had a reason to speak about sex, but there was an article I was reading at Autostraddle titled 'Why Are Gay Ladies So Afraid of the Gynecologist?' and it talks of how women can contract/pass on HPV as well as other STD's from the women they are sexually active with. This really surprised me, as immature as is makes me sound, I had no idea. So, my other question to you all would be, how do I bring up safe sex with the same sex with my OBGYN?

Any advice would be so helpful, thank you in advance!
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    confused confused

Keep getting cysts?

Sorry to post again... In January I was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst on my right ovary. I was put on HBC to help control it and prevent new ones from forming, and will go back for a follow up next month. The pain (or pressure, more specifically) had gone away for a good two months but came back last week. Now, I'm feeling a slight pressure/burning sensation on my left ovary. How likely is it that I got a second cyst on my right ovary, as well as one on my left, especially within a week of each other, and especially when I'm on HBC? Or even that the first one never went away and I got a second one on the other side? I'm 26 and I've never had any history of cysts in the past whatsoever.