Ok, I have been having a problem down under and am a *little* worried

  1. I have thought about posting about this subject for awhile now and just decided what the heck. It is a very personal thing, but maybe I can get some answers from you experienced gyn nurses out there.

    Ok, first let me give you some background info. I am 25, married, and mother to two kids. I had one at 20 and one at 23, both breastfed. I am a second year nursing student, and therefore poor. I do not smoke, drink probably as much as the next person, and stay away from illegal substances. My stress level is very high given that I am constantly studying, worrying about finances, fighting with my husband over finances, and I get about six hours of sleep during the night.

    So, here is what is going on. I recently scheduled a doctor's appt to get a PAP done and to talk about this problem of mine. However, I am the type to want to be educated as to what could be going on. I have read my books, but thought I would come on here too to see what ya'll thought. For the past six months, I have noticed strange things going on down there. At first, I didn't think anything about it, but then stuff just seemed to be getting worse. It started with my periods coming a week early or a week late. When it came a week early, it happened aftersex. So, I just thought that maybe having sex might have brought it on. Didn't think anything of it. Then I noticed after, ahem, sex that I would start to trace blood nearly every time. Once again, I didn't think anything of it. While on my periods, I had some heavy cramping when before I never did, but I know that can be brought on by lots of things. This past month is when I thought, I need to get in to the doctor and get seen. A week after my last period, I did some heavy spotting. I think I may have had....sex....the night before or a few days before that. I thought that I had started my period again, and thought "how strange". I had soaked through my panties onto my jeans (sorry for the graphics, guys:imbar). I put a pad on and didn't notice anymore bleeding. I then bled again about a week later, but not as much as the previous. About a week after that, I bled maybe a little more than the first time. During this entire month, I am also tracing a few times a week).

    Well, as far as the physical problem, there it is. BTW, I am not pregnant. My period has always been very regular and I have never spotted in the past. My problem is also money. I am not insured, money is already so tight. I do not qualify for state insurance because we make too much money. What kind of tests besides a pap would be done, if any? Because of the money issue, I have been tempted to forget the whole thing until January when I would get another financial aid check. But at the same time, I am aware that it could be something serious that would need to be treated ASAP.

    I appreciate any readers of this thread out there. My friends are pretty much not aware of what is going on with me, and when I try to bring it up, I am accused of being a hypochondriac. (My fault, I suppose. I am always joking around with them that I think I have whatever we are learing about in class.)
    •  
  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   OB/GYN NP
    First of all, I would say that if you're having financial problems and are a student in need of health care, you might check out your student health service office. They see students for very reasonable fees, and often use NP's ( I know, tooting my own horn here ) in the offices. You also might consider another government agency (don't know if I can name them specifically for fear of breaking the rule about advertising), but they offer GYN services and contraception at reasonable fees, based on your income. From a clinical standpoint, I would say that there are a number of things that can cause bleeding, particularly after intercourse. Polyps on the cervix are known to cause bleeding associated with intercourse. Vaginal conditions such as infections, or even STD's can cause irregular bleeding that may or may not coincide with intercourse. Your irregular bleeding certainly could be caused by your stress, but since it does seem to coincide with the times you had intercourse, usually that would have to do with something on the cervix or vagina itself. I would highly recommend that you see someone soon, and not wait until January. In no way should you consider my suggestions a diagnosis.... just trying to give you some ideas as to what it could be. But without an exam...who knows? Good luck anyway. Keep us posted if you feel comfortable with posting your findings!
  4. by   kimmicoobug
    Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, there is no student health here. Probably the closest thing to it, is our nursing department, and I don't think they are allowed to treat. I know that I will definitely keep my appt. If I don't, it will just add to my stress and will always be in the back of my mind. Ho-hum, until I go...
  5. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Well, no concrete medical advice here. Just wanted to let you know that it could be something benign, that would only need symptomatic treatment, or possibly may even be able to postpone treatment until a later date. But would you forgive yourself if you found out later that it was something serious? Also, it may suck, but you can slowly pay off medical bills.

    Hubby took an expensive trip to the ER before we had insurance. I paid those buggers $25 a month for what seemed like years, but I did it. And as long as you make a payment, no matter how small, every billing cycle, you're in good standing and I don't believe it negatively effects your credit or anything.

    Heather
  6. by   mark_LD_RN
    It isprobably benign but you need to get it checked out. have you tried local health departments the ones here offer gyn services. but if not a trip to the localER is in need, just need to see them and make what ever payments you can.

    stress may have a lot to do with it, during school my wife was extremely stressed and had some similar problems, turned out to be nothing, she just took her vitamins,folic acid and practiced stressmanagement things got better. but you need to see someone to be sure do not ignore it.
  7. by   canoehead
    I think that Planned Parenthood offers low/no cost screening exams in many cities. does anyone know?
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    yes, canoehead they do, good suggestion! I was going to suggest that. Go to Planned Parenthood! They provide wonderful gyn care on a sliding-scale fee basis. Call them in the morning! I wish you well.
  9. by   kimmicoobug
    Planned Parenthood...now that makes sense. You would think with me being poor and actually having gone there before for birth control, I would have thought of it. Will definitely call tomorrow, thanks guys.
  10. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Hope you get it all figured out kimmi!

    Heather
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    www.plannedparenthood.com for the nearest location near your home.

    Good luck; let us know if you are ok!
  12. by   Audreyfay
    I had a similar problem with spotting between periods and becoming irregular. Ended up I had a uterine fibroid and an ovarian cyst. I was on birth control pills, which controlled the bleeding for several years. Initially I had been getting them from the health dept, because they were very cheap for a poor person like me. In the end I got a vaginal hysterectomy, with the ovaries left in. Solved that problem.
  13. by   kimmicoobug
    Yikes! I am SO hoping this is stress. My doctor's office called today and told me they could move my appointment up (sometimes, I love these small towns!) to tomorrow at 0930. I am looking so forward to getting this out of the way.

    Question though, with a fibroid and an ovarian cyst, is a hysterectomy really needed, or can they just take the fibroid and cyst out?

    Thanks all, Kim
  14. by   renerian
    Kimmi take care of yourself and yes planned parenthood is a good thought and heathers idea was good too. Make payments. Did it myself took me many moons to pay some of my medical bills when I was uninsured. Could you afford the student rate insurance via the school? Try the school clinic. Hugs and take care,

    renerian

close