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Monday, January 23, 2012

Mrs Myrna Monday: What Causes Early or Prolonged Periods? The Traveling Menstruation Bug

Mrs. Myrna Mondays:
Where we answer all of the questions you have about your Lady Parts

Dear Mrs. Myrna,I have a question that is puzzling me. I went overseas, from Australia to Japan and even though it wasn't remotely due, my period started. Since then it really hasn't stopped (it's been 2 weeks and now I'm back in Australia), in fact it just started up in earnest again. Do you know why this sort of thing happens when you travel? I've heard from other people that it seems to happen when your body goes a long distance but I don't know why. 
Sincerely,
The Wanderer


Dear Wanderer,
Because of the correlation between your traveling and the wonkiness of your period it would seem a logical cause. But, there isn't much in the way of showing any link between traveling and the onset of your menstrual cycle. Its much more likely that a different change has caused your period to start early and then try to re-align by starting again closer to when you normally begin menstruating. 

So what causes early and or prolonged periods?
There are a bunch of things that can do this. Both psychological and physiological.
Psychological:
*Anxiety or Stress (both of which pretty often go hand in hand with traveling)
*Fatigue (Again, pretty standard with traveling- especially when you are adjusting to a new time zone)
*Overwork
Physiological:
*Taking new meds / switching meds 
(Changing birth control is a HUGE culprit, but starting or changing any med can do it.)
**Antibiotics interfere with any birth control you are on, which can not only through off your menstrual cycle but can cause you to get pregnant if you don't use a back up method**
*Caffeine 
*Weight -(Have you lost/gained weight?)
*Other Women (Our cycles have this freakin awesome ability to sync up. Are you staying with a group of women while traveling?)

Its pretty likely the cause of the unpredictability of your cycle is one or a combination of these. Your body should  get back into it's normal groove and your period should regulate pretty quickly. If you have this happen again next cycle, or you continue to bleed intermittently call your Certified Nurse Midwife or ObGyn to schedule an appointment as this could be an early sign of several different problems.


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