Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A philosophical question

How do you determine when your period starts?

I know that sounds stupid--either you're bleeding or you're not, right?--but bear with me. When I was on the pill (11 years straight!), my period was always very light. Like clockwork, the Tuesday morning after stopping the active pills I'd get some brown spotting. Then a couple days of darker spotting, then lighter, then done. Often I could get through the whole thing with just pantyliners, maybe a junior tampon here and there.

When I went off the pill and spironolactone (also on that for about a decade--I was diagnosed with PCOS in college) back in June 04, I started tracking my BBT and monitoring my underpants obsessively, like a good infertile. My cycle length varied wildly (45-75 days), but I nearly always got a nice temperature surge, followed by a predictable luteal phase: 10 days or so after my temp rose, I'd get a light brown spotting similar to what my period was like when I was on the pill. Three to five days later, my temp would go back down, and on that day, I'd have "real" bleeding, thick and red and heavy. I called that the first day of the new cycle.

Before I started my fucked-up Thanksgiving Letrozole cycle, I took Provera to induce a period. The nurse told me to call on the first day of my period to schedule my Day 2 or 3 ultrasound, and that with Provera, even spotting counted as the first day of your period. I got some very light spotting a few nights after my last Provera pill, and slightly heavier spotting the next day. I called the heavier spotting day Day 1.

Today is Day 25 of that cycle, during which I presumably ovulated around Day 12 or 13. I had very light, almost imperceptible spotting last night. Light spotting all day today, starting to get a little heaver now. I haven't been temping, so I don't know what my BBT is doing. So I'm wondering if I should count today as Day 1 and call for an appointment, or wait and see. I guess I'll see what happens tonight--I suppose I can always call tomorrow and tell them my period started the night before.

This is probably the least riveting blog post ever. But of course to me, the contents of my underwear are everything. I can only hope that one day I will be able to be equally boring about the content's of my baby's diapers, TMI descriptions and all.

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