cyclical hormonal symptoms

page updated: 31-Mar-2004

I have never been a big one for counting days to keep track of my cycle. Marking my predicted and confirmed bleeding/ovulating days on a calendar seemed tacky, but that is probably just because I was a self-conscious late bloomer (I spent so long hiding the absence of my periods that it made sense to hide the presence of them so as not to hilight the previous absence, right? oh, angst!). I do count sometimes, but I don't maintain any awareness of what number I am at each day.

Also, the idea of my behaviour and mood being influenced by my cycling hormones used to irk me. I wanted whatever I was feeling to be taken seriously, not dismissed as PMS or the like. Now I appreciate the combination of things that make me feel a certain way. I am a bio-robot.

For about the first year of my bleed-hood I didn't really bother counting days at all. There was about a 6 month gap between my first two periods, and then they slowly got closer together. I used to start preparing for bleeding four weeks after my last period, just as a guess.

Later I would count by weeks. Bleeding week (though I wouldn't bleed all week), nothing week, ovulated week, pre-bleeding week, bleeding week again. That is still how I envision my cycle; not as a circle the way it is always drawn out, but as a stack of calendar-square days set up in weeks. I never attempted to predict exactly when I'd start bleeding.

Also, I don't count from the beginning of my period when I do make attempts to count. All books and medical systems hold the first day of bleeding as the first day of a new cycle, but intuitively that makes no sense to me. I count from the end of bleeding, when the endometrium stops shedding and starts growing again. It is more logically the beginning to me, though less practical to count since the last day of bleeding isn't easily defined.

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