Sometimes being a woman can be challenging. Hormones go up and down, then come and go. We have this amazing ability to become pregnant and deliver a baby out of an area that starts small and grows to 10 centimeters when fully dilated. We crave, we cry, we cramp, we clean and we console, often all in the same day (sometimes in the same hour).
We can carry on four conversations at once while updating our Facebook status, cooking dinner and prepping tomorrow’s suit, then we wonder why we are tired at the end of the day. We do all this and yet there are times when our body just does not seem to want to cooperate or suddenly veers off course.
Here are some answers to five common medical mystery questions about the female body.
1) Why do I have vaginal dryness (sometimes or all the time)?
There are many reasons to consider but here are some of the big ones. You may be feeling stressed, you may have other things on your mind, or you may not have been fully aroused. You may be on the birth control pill, on Clomid (or other fertility medications which dry up mucus) or on decongestants (they do not just dry up the nose). Perhaps you are dehydrated, or experiencing hormone changes. Maybe you have a history of a LEEP procedure on the cervix due to an abnormal pap smear.
2) Why are some periods unlike other periods?
Some women have the “fluke” where their period comes early or late though they are not pregnant. Their periods may fluctuate widely from really heavy, really light, no cramps, to severe cramps ... and this is different from the normal period's variations.
Some women alternate months with one month being an easier period, then the next month is a more symptom-heavy period. Remember, as I tell my patients, your ovaries are sisters not twins. Righty and Lefty may produce different hormone levels and create different symptoms. Some months may be a Righty month and others a Lefty month.
In addition, high stress, grief, flying, major transition, heavy exercise, weight loss, and hormone changes can all affect how your cycle rolls.
3) Am I too young for hormone changes?