Am I the only woman who isn't completely on top of her period?

I don’t even have a general sense for when it’s approaching. I’m surprised every freaking month. I think I’m pretty regular - although I’ve never actually checked - but I don’t keep track and I don’t get pms. I’m mostly glad I don’t get pms, but occasionally it would be nice to not do the monthly panicked sprint to the bathroom. I have a copper IUD, so no help from the birth control, either.

My periods have never been completely regular either in time between, time of flow, amount of flow, cramps, or other side effects. When I used the NuvaRing I totally depended on the little electronic timer gizmo they give you to tell me when to take it out. I haven’t marked it on the calendar since I was a teenager and can rarely tell the doctor when my last one started. No one’s ever made me feel like a jackass for that, though they do tend to keep asking, as though perhaps I had only momentarily forgotten.

Generally, my flow is light enough that I can do without Feminine Products for all but a few hours or at most two days… TMI: combined with light flow, I have strong enough kegel muscles or whatever that I can choose to expel the, uh, menstrual effluvium when I go to pee, and just wrap a turn of toilet paper around the crotch of my undies for laundry insurance in case I sneeze or something.

RE: Doctor asking.

I broke my foot two weeks ago, and was relieved, in a way, that when they asked that question before the x-rays I could honestly say “My last period is um, Now” rather than “Um, three weeks ago?” like a year ago when I fell down the stairs. (No, I’m not injury-prone, normally, why do you ask?)

Now granted, this was a foot rather than my pelvis which we wanted to check for fractures, so x-rays without unneccessary pregnancy testing might have been possible. But I was happy that my answer meant we could move directly to the x-ray portion of the proceedings.

From when I first became sexually active, I was, even before I was on the Pill. I have generalized anxiety disorder, and getting pregnant without planning to (and not knowing I was pregnant, and then doing something that would cause harm to the baby) is something that terrified me. I used to get really scared when my period was a few hours (not days) late. I was literally afraid to go to the bathroom on the day it was supposed to start, in case I’d see that it hadn’t. Now I’m being treated for the anxiety, so I worry less about that (and other things).

However, that doesn’t mean that when someone asked me when my last period was, I could tell them to the hour. I’d have forgotten by then what time it started at, unless it was unusually late or early, or something else unusual was going on at the time. When my life is in its usual routine, there’s not much to distinguish one day from another (except for weekends), so it’s kind of hard to remember exactly when in a sequence of near-identical days something happened. I have trouble remembering what I had for dinner on a specific night for the same reason.

I can tell when it’s going to start. Other than that, no. I too have the doctor problem, but they don’t seem to mind.

Mine’s always been very regular, as in I don’t miss them, they aren’t typically short or long or heavy or light, but mine tend to run a little long, maybe 32-33 day-cycle, so going by the date is pointless. Every few years I ‘skip’ <ie, I’m late a couple of weeks for no seeming reason> and then I’m right back in the groove. I always counted on the sore-boob thing to let me know when it was around the corner, or the sudden craving for sweets, rofl, I always thought it was a joke but it started happening to me a bout 10 years ago…but the boob-thing doesn’t happen as much anymore, either, so now I’m out of a sure-fire way to know. I rarely am surprised when I start, though, it’s just not that important. It starts, it does it’s thing, it goes away. As long as it starts and stops, I don’t really care about the details. I do watch for anomalies, natch, as I’m approaching pre-menopause, but so far nothing that qualifies as ‘abnormal’ for me.

What sucks is the MOST of the time, my period will start when the moon is at it’s fullest, so I can look at the waxing moon and have a reminder there. But it recently jumped and now I’m screwed. :stuck_out_tongue:

The only time I ever kept track of my period is when I wanted to know how long the bleeding lasted, so I could explain to my doctor. It’s completely out of whack so there’s no real point in trying to keep track. Luckily when it does start it’s light enough that it’ll be on the TP but not my undies for the first day or so.

Yep. I highlight the dates so I have a general idea of what week the next one’s going to be, but I’ve also had irregular periods and spotting. I keep on top of things as best I can.

This thread is somewhat reassuring. Also, maybe we should draft up a worldwide memo to doctors: “We don’t know the exact dates of our periods. Deal with it.”

Heh, you need a system, unless the panicked rush is your system.

Thanks - I couldn’t decide how to vote, because the Pill keeps track for me. So I voted No, too.

I hate going to the doctor and being asked about it because I usually have no idea. I always mean to figure it out so I am prepared for the question but then I forget to do it.

So when asked “date of last period” (or some form of that) my standard answer is, “ummmm…I’m not pregnant…let me think a minute…maybe two weeks ago?”

My period (now that I have no pregnancy concerns) is really a non-event to me. I don’t keep track of when it was or when it’s due. I don’t ruin my clothes because I can tell when it is getting ready to start- a few hours before, I can feel it, and then I take precautions to keep my clothes and bedding clean. The dates though? Who knows…I can usually remember if I had a period that particular month, but that’s as close as I monitor it.

I’m lucky though compared to some women. It is light, not that painful (some months are worse than others though) and only lasts a few days. It is just something I deal with, like coloring my hair every month (I couldn’t tell you that date either) or changing the air filters, it’s just another chore and nothing about it is memorable enough for me to think about too much.

Taomist, even on the months where I have no soreness or anything I still always know. I’ve described it as having a raincloud hanging over you. I just know.

Sometimes I’m alerted because people become difficult and unreasonable a day or two prior to the great event. My periods are very regular, but I couldn’t tell you when the next one is going to happen, I can’t be bothered to write it down but it’s around the new moon.

May I vote twice, please? For years I knew to the day when the twenty-eighth day would be. Every single month. At which point I started watching, because my period would start any time from the thirtieth to the thirty-fifth day.


My husband had a vasectomy. On the twenty-eighth day of the month after that, my period started, and that’s pretty much the way it has been ever since. And now I don’t keep track anymore. I don’t know for sure why, but I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I’m not concerned about getting pregnant. So I don’t have to watch for it.

It’s kind of a nuisance. I mean, I usually have some idea of when, but I’ve been off by at least a week. The slight backache the day before helps.

Ha. Me and my best friend call it ‘lady’s week’. Actually, it just occurred to me that tons of women probably call it that.

Oh gods, if my boobs ever stopped hurting, I’d quickly find that I’ve destroyed all of my pants. Or I’d suddenly start getting all over my period dates. Whichever is easier.

I call it “shark week” - blood in the water. :smiley:

I’m on continuous oral contraception, so technically I shouldn’t be having a period. But when breakthrough bleeding occurs and doesn’t knock it off after a while, I stop the pill for 3 days then restart. I have trouble remembering when those incidents were, though. Last time my gynecologist asked, I had to say, “well, let me think, it was exactly a week after the annual checkup with you, when I reported it had been happening but not for the last couple months. :smack:” After that it was, “about 4 days after the ultrasound.”

So when I go to a doctor and they ask me about the date, I have to explain, “well, I don’t actually have standard menstrual cycles since I’m on continuous oral contraceptives, but the last time I stopped for 3 days due to breakthrough bleeding was around (blah) weeks ago.”

Er, I don’t gush blood. When it comes, it’s pink on the toilet paper for a day before it needs a tampon or pad. I can *feel *when it’s coming anyhow, I don’t need a calendar to tell me it’ll be there.

ETA: I have NEVER, in my 16 years of having a period, gotten blood on my underwear or pants.

I track and write down my dates, and often daily symptoms. I like to know exactly how everything is working. Also, my partner and I have used withdrawal as our sole form of birth control (for 4 years now), so I need to know when I ovulate and if I’m late in bleeding. We’re okay with an unplanned pregnancy, but I want to know right away.

I have ample warnings before it strikes, and I have regular cycles (30, 32, 33 or 34 days - never 31). I am an almost-instant gusher, though (which is a good sign - spotting for more than a short time before bleeding indicates hormone deficiencies) so I have to be fully stocked and I get blood on my clothes a fair amount. I have been to pick out a lot interesting patterns from my years of data.

I used to be on top of it, but now that I’m in my early 40s it’s constantly changing the rules on me. Lately, I’ve been spotting for about a week before the actual period shows up. Sometimes the spotting is heavy enough that I think “aha! here it is!” but then it goes away, only to return another day. Stupid period.

I’m seriously thinking about getting on that pill where you never get any more periods again. Who the hell needs to worry about having supplies at hand two weeks out of a three week cycle? (Oh, yeah, did I mention that it’s now shifting to a three week cycle? Gah!)