I used to be a textbook. I used to be a clock. I used to be the hatching cycle of the northern cicada, or Halley's Comet, or some other eminently predictable natural occurance. I used to be regular.
What the hell happened?
Two years ago, my always-35-day cycle decided predictability was out and intrigue and surprise were in. "Why not 30 days?" it asked. "Okay, how about 34? Still too boring? Let's do 39. Oh, oh, and now 44. And back to 34. And now we'll do 31."
Fun. It's tons of fun never knowing when I'm going to ovulate or exactly how long my luteal phase will be afterward (yeah, that's in on the hijinks, too). But the most fun of all is my exciting mid-cycle bleeding!
That, too, started two years ago. I think the two have to go hand in hand. I now bleed for anywhere from two to five days consecutively and four to ten days total preceding my ovulation (there are often breaks of several spot-free days between consecutive days of spotting). Sometimes the blood is very light and one pantyliner will last all day. Sometimes the blood is heavier and I'll need to change the liner twice or so. One horrible month, it was so strong I bled right through my skirt. Thank you menstrual cycle for allowing me to relive the worst moments of junior high in my late twenties. Really special times.
Okay, so now comes my What the Hell incident of late. I'm on day 28 of my cycle. I'd guess I'll get my period in the next three to six days...BUT:
- I visited London two weeks ago with my husband. International travel across time zones has always screwed with my cycle.
- I've been spotting for the last eight days straight.
So I have no idea what's going on. This isn't ovulatory bleeding, as usual. That's usually pink and quite watery for me. Plus, I had that while I was in England. This is brown and kind of viscous.
I was supposed to ovulate while abroad. Since I don't temp any longer, I'm not sure if I did--but the mucus was right for it while I was there. But, since I traveled I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't. Plus, I NEVER spot after I ovulate, just before. But, like I said, this isn't normal spotting.
I see four possible causes:
1. I didn't ovulate yet and I'm going to have a seriously long cycle/delayed ovulation/anovulatory cycle.
2. I did ovulate, and now my body's just thinking up ways to mess with my head and screw with my system.
3. It doesn't matter whether I ovulated or not, because the spotting is being caused by some serious underlying fertility problem that my gyno hasn't caught yet.
4. I'm pregnant.
Yeah, that last one always slips in there uninvited. Party crasher.