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Confusing Cycles

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I’ve spent time over the years trying to learn whatever the medical community seems to know about menstrual cycles and what happens when they aren’t regular.

What I’ve heard over and over is that if a woman is going to ovulate, it will happen 14-15 days after the first day of her most recent period. The first 14 days is called the follicular phase, because the ovaries produce follicles, one of which matures into an ovum to be released during ovulation. Supposedly, if it doesn’t happen at the two week mark, it isn’t going to happen. The cycle might continue as an “anovulatory” cycle (no ovulation, but the body goes through the cycle as if ovulation had happened). These kinds of cycles can take longer, like 35-42 days, because there isn’t an abrupt hormonal change that normally happens with ovulation. Or the cycle might seem totally normal. Or there might be a skipped period. Or whatever.

That’s why all the hormone tests are taken on day 21, when it is believed that ovulation should have happened and be over already. (See this post for a contradicting explanation.)

Supposedly, if a woman’s cycle is longer than 28 days, it is the luteal phase, post-ovulation, that takes longer. So if the cycle is 32 days, the follicular phase is 14 days and the luteal phase is 18 days. That’s what the literature tells me. (By literature, I mean women’s education sites on the internet, pamphlets in doctors’ offices, books about women’s health, etc.)

I’m skeptical. I’m even more skeptical today. I should have ovulated on June 20th if that rule were true. And yet, I think it happened last night. I can feel it. One of the gynecologists I went to asked if I could feel it and I wasn’t sure what she meant. But it was something I’ve been able to feel for a long time, I just didn’t know what it was. I get large functional cysts (the technical term for a the sack on an ovary surrounding a matured ovum) that have enough fluid in them that when they burst, it creates a burning sensation on that side of my abdomen for an hour or two while it gets absorbed by the surrounding tissue.

I’ve had two really big cysts that didn’t resolve with the corresponding menstrual cycle. They just kept getting bigger and bigger (I call them dysfunctional cysts). One of them eventually shrank back down on its own.

The other exploded. I landed in the emergency room. It says something about how seriously I take pain. This was back in 2005 when I was still working. I felt it happen at 4am. Then I got up late and went to work late. I was back home by 2pm because the severe pain made me tired. The next day it still hurt. My roommate made me go to a doctor. He watched how tenderly I moved and how much I responded to him touching my abdomen. The doctor sent me to an emergency room. I ended up with a CT scan, no problem with my appendix (the suspected culprit) and a diagnosis of a burst ovarian cyst. All they do is give out heavy pain killers like percocet (no thanks) and tell you to rest with a heating pad.

Good grief. That was something I’d like not to repeat. So I try to keep my ovaries happy by eating a moderate amount of soy. But I digress.

The trick this time is to see when my period comes. If it comes next week, then I’ll suspect that the pain last night was random and unrelated. If it takes two more weeks or longer to come, I’ll know this general-knowledge theory about the follicular phase being two weeks and not longer is wrong.

Coiling

  • Bartonella, abdomen, 5 minutes; chest, 2 minutes
  • Babesia, chest, 5 minutes; abdomen, 5 minutes; ilium, 1 minute each side; knees/elbows, 1 minute; shoulders, 15 seconds each
  • Candida, abdomen, 10 minutes; chest, 2 minutes; face, 2 minutes

Detox

  • homeopathic support
  • juiced greens
  • lemon water
  • skin brushing
  • BioMat
  • nap

Body

I woke up hot last night. No sweat, just hot and thirsty, after sleeping on the BioMat for two hours. I woke up this morning with a dull pain in a stripe down my arm, same as yesterday, as though the nerve that ends in my thumbs is irritated. I had a similar pain down the outside of my legs today, only not quite as dull and very sensitive to the touch.

I had the Lyme Herx spine pain again. When I got up this morning, I had to just sit on the couch for a while until it died down enough to start my day. I realized later in the morning that it might be a good idea for me to sit on the porch in the morning, away from the air conditioning, while my back adjusts to vertical.

Actually, what got me feeling better today was the time I spent outside in very hot (92 deg F) and very humid weather.

I needed a nap this afternoon. I was doing well the rest of the day, but around 4pm, I couldn’t stay awake any longer. I slept on and off for about 40 minutes. Then, even though I was groggy, I got myself back up for the rest of the evening.

I had some eye pain and light sensitivity today. I have a mild headache tonight. I’ve had some sharp, short lasting (less than 1 hour at a time) pain in some of my joints: knees, knuckles, toe knuckles, shoulders. The itchy spot on my sternum is back tonight.

And, I’m getting a cold sore, or some other sore on the side of my mouth that appears from time to time. My doctor says it isn’t a cold sore, that it’s a nutrient deficiency or a candida symptom. If it’s the latter, it might be from starting the 5LAC. Otherwise, I’m at a loss.

Disclaimer

One comment

  1. Interesting post and I totally agree that the medical establishment has some nineteenth century views on women’s bodies. But a quick correction- the first part of the cycle is the one that can vary from month-to-month and the second part that is pretty constant (once the egg is released, there is a highly orchestrated series of hormonal events). In other words, it is perfectly normal for a woman to have a 35 day cycle and still ovulate.

    http://www.tcoyf.com/content/FertFAQ-ovulation.aspx



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