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Luteal Phase clarification [spotting vs. flow]

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I have an issue that has been an issue for a long time, but yeah, I'm finally trying to understand it better.

I have a lot of "breakthrough bleeding": spotting during my luteal phase. Some months it starts within days of ovulation, other months it waits till about a week into my luteal phase, but it always starts. It's mostly brownish, but some red, especially during bowel movements.

This month was one of those "started within days of ovulation" ones. It started out really light, just a few drops a day. i wasn't even staining my undies or needing a liner. Over the weekend it was heavier, but still mostly brown. Yesterday I was having some intestinal issues, and there was a significant amount of red menstrual blood every time I went to the bathroom when I wiped, but I was still only having a few drops between trips to the loo, and my liner barely got stained at all. Today so far there has hardly been any.

My temp dropped .7 of a degree yesterday, and went below my coverline today, so I'm expecting a full-fledged period to start. But my question is when I'm having as much bleeding as I had yesterday, how do I distinguish between pre-menstrual spotting and the beginning of actual menstruation? Yesterday seemed like period bleeding, but today I'm back to barely spotting, so maybe yesterday's extra blood was just caused by the [sorry tmi] excessive amount of bearing down I was having to do, and my "period" will start later today or tomorrow?

BTW, just for the record, I'm trying to conceive, so I'd rather avoid the pill. My luteal phase is about 12 days from ovulation to the first day of heavy flow, which is what I usually count as day one, though with all the spotting sometimes it's hard to know since it just sorta fades in, iykwim. I'm undergoing acupuncture--which has succeeded in lengthening my LP by about a day or 2, but hasn't done a lot for the spotting. I'm also taking a prenatal, B6, iron, garlic [sinus issues], and Omega Complete 3*6*9. I just started taking Maca root powder [1T=10g/day] in hopes that it will help level things out. I've thought about using a progesterone creme, but the thought that if I forget to do it might cause a MC scares me. I occasionally drink some Dong Quai women's tonic tea, but probably not enough to actually "help".

Thanks!
ETA: I just went to the toilet, and there was actual flow, ie, AF "fell" into the bowl. So was that the start, or was the abundant red blood that I was having yesterday but that wasn't "flowing" the start?
post #2 of 5
I would count red blood as day one, even if it's not copious.

Dong Quai is meant to be taken in conjunction with other herbs for maximum efficiency, as I understand it. You might look into some info on that to see if it's affecting your cycle?

How are your progesterone levels?
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nighten View Post
I would count red blood as day one, even if it's not copious.

Dong Quai is meant to be taken in conjunction with other herbs for maximum efficiency, as I understand it. You might look into some info on that to see if it's affecting your cycle?

How are your progesterone levels?
Well, I've had some red blood since a couple days after ovulation though.

I have no idea what my progesterone levels are. I guess that's what I need to evaluate next. Unfortunately, my OB/GYN office has been less than helpful about this issue. Everytime I bring it up they tell me I need to go on the pill.

As for the Dong Quai, it's the Yogi Tea formula: "This powerful herb is complemented by Nettle to help detox your body, as well as Dandelion Root and Juniper Berry to help maintain proper water balance." I don't know if those are the herbs you were referring to or not though.... I only bought that a couple months ago, and like I said, only drink it every once in a while, so I know that's not making things worse at least, and I don't think it's helping. This spotting during the LP has been goign on for years, though it's gotten worse in the last 5-6 years.
post #4 of 5
I did some Googling and most of the information seemed to point to a hormone imbalance, so I would definitely request a hormone test (specifically for progesterone) and see if that could determine anything.

If it were me, I'd stop the Dong Quai mix for a month and see if that has any effect.

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this and hope you find an answer soon!

If your OB isn't responsive to helping you determine what's going on, can you see about getting a new doctor?
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nighten View Post
I did some Googling and most of the information seemed to point to a hormone imbalance, so I would definitely request a hormone test (specifically for progesterone) and see if that could determine anything.

If it were me, I'd stop the Dong Quai mix for a month and see if that has any effect.

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this and hope you find an answer soon!

If your OB isn't responsive to helping you determine what's going on, can you see about getting a new doctor?
I can certainly "stop" taking teh DQ for at least a month, though i think in the last month, I've maybe had 2 cups of it. I really don't think it's having any effect on my cycle. This is status quo for me, not new.

I keep debating a new OB office. Unfortunately in my area there are not very many practices (just a few big ones), and only 1 with midwives). I think I'll c&p this to my local gruop and see if anyone has any advice.....

Thanks.
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