Hello my ragtime gal
So here is the thread dedicated to periods and other real but maybe not so talked about issues. So don’t read this if you think this may be too much information or too graphic. Bodily functions happen. How to deal with them?
To start, I would like to make a suggestion to anyone (male or female) who may be interested in long distance rides: Lantiseptic, which can be ordered online, is fabulous. It is used to treat and prevent skin breakdown. I have felt that it works great if you use it over your soft tissues and over your ischeal tuberocities. The first long distance ride last year left my skin so irritated that when I peed, the urine hurt all of the raw skin. I highly recommend using lantiseptic before a long ride and reapplying during and after. I must warn that it is very thick and doesn’t come off of the hands easily. It also sometimes smooshes out through your chamois, giving you ICP (Sarah q can explain that one).
Another thing I just noticed is that there are now ULTRA absorbency tampons for really heavy flow days.
I would like to get input on saddle choices. I keep getting blisters, not really saddle sores (skin breakdown) where the corners of my saddle hit the parts just inside the tops of my legs. I am wondering if a brooks saddle with a cut out in the middle would help with that problem and with smooshing my soft tissues into the saddle.
Also, do any other women just feel like their legs do not work on certain days of their periods? My legs feel heavy and I cannot physically pedal briskly.
I encourage others to feel free to share stories about the diva cup and other funnel type pee devices for women. I haven’t tried these yet. And please, guys and gals, bring up other issues that are on your mind.
Nice title. Forgive me for not attempting to read beyond that! :p
do any other women just feel like their legs do not work on certain days of their periods?
Yes, although for me that improved in my 30s.
In my late teens and 20s especially at the beginning of my period my legs would drag and my hands would drop things in a sudden painless spasm.
I am curious about the Diva cup. Natural sponges are awesome and comfortable but you have to be able to clean your hands. They hold an amazing amount of fluid and you can just use dental floss to add a string (not the mint kind – ouch!).
Re: saddles for long distance.
If anything could get me off my ‘bents, it might be one of these.
Warning: the video is a little creepy.
I’m curious about the Diva cup as well–I’ve heard reports of leakage, but maybe it just takes practice? I get that heavy legs feeling as well–for me it’s all tied up with cramps, etc…which seem to be helped by a good ride IF I can drag myself out with the help of Ibuprofen.
Bicycle Times had a pretty thorough review of the GoGirl a while back. I sent this to Stef last week.
I first heard about menstrual cups in 2006, when a pair of young women drove a tuk-tuk (3-wheeled vehicle) from Bangkok Thailand to Brighton UK, a 10,000-mile journey through the wilds of Laos, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Poland, Germany, France, and eventually home to England [first post on their blog]. One of the pair used the UK equivalent, brand name Mooncup, and swore by it. I’m amazed that, even though male, I did not know these existed until I was in my late 40s. To this day, I have not found one on a drugstore shelf. I routinely find 120 different barcodes for menstrual products in a Target or Giant Eagle, but not a Diva or equivalent. To read their testimonials, it sounds like if they were better known and understood, they might help women deal with getting around by bike on heavy flow days.
So, while I’m male, I do have a wife of 28 years and a 19yo daughter, and do take out the garbage, so it’s not like I have zero experience with monthly cycles. It’s just that I don’t have them myself. Whatever that’s worth.
I use the Keeper! It’s like the Diva Cup. For me, I do find that it leaks a little so I use light-day pads with it. I don’t often go on long rides, which is good because the pads would be an unacceptable option… know-what-I-mean? Ouch.
If anyone has any question about using the Keeper day-to-day (not necessarily for long rides), let me know!
Also, YES to the slow legs thing, and feeling slow in general during “ragtime.”
I haven’t read a word of this thread yet. I’ve only seen the title, realized instantly what this thread was, and proceeded to laugh nearly to the point of incontinence. Thank you, stefb, I needed that.
I dig the posts, Stu, but this is what comes to mind when I read the title of this thread:
Stef, the alien from Spaceballs was totally what I thought of too.
My $0.02 is this: I had lots of problems with horrible cramps, heavy periods, legs not working, every single month. Then I got an IUD in October and it’s been basically awesome. So for those of you looking for a long term, non-pill BC option, the Mirena makes periods basically go completely away. It rocks. And I usually got side effects from the BC pills, but those have gone away so far.
I use this.
It’s like a diva cup but disposable. I use one per cycle, tossing at the end of the month. That way there are less plastic dealies in the trash but I get a fresh one each time. If you don’t like digging your fingers in your vag, pulling out a blood-filled cup, trying to dump it in the toilet without making a huge mess, and shoving it back up there, this is not a good choice for you. I have no shame so I don’t mind washing my bloody fingers in the sink — at least I am washing my hands which is more than I can say for most people!
Here’s what sucks about being female. Need to sign up for a big event months in advance: it’s time to play bloody mess roulette. Pull the trigger on that registration and see if I bleed when race day comes.
I have an IUD and my flow is like Mon after a torrential rain. The softcups mostly hold it all except on heavy days I have to get up in the middle of the night or there will be an Exxon-Valdeze level accident.
Also: I hope more women start using lantiseptic so more than just me and Stef look like we just tried to suffocate a mime by sitting on his face after we’ve been riding for a while.
Oh and stefb, the best saddle in my opinion is the Terry Butterfly.
But here’s the bad news. The lantiseptic leaches through my chamois and gets stuck in the saddle hole. I was riding with these triathletes who had been giddily pissing on their bikes for 110 miles and when we stopped and I scooped out the crud they were like “eeeeeeewwwww”.
I use the Keeper cup, too. It leaks a little on heavier days (though sometimes I feel like if I get it in just right maybe that is less) but I tend to just let it while I’m riding and put a cloth pad down when I’m not. I guess I’ve managed to avoid taking long rides on the worst bleeding day(s). I do feel more tired sometimes, but it feels a little random/a little aspirin or whatever tends to fix it.
I’m thinking about getting an IUD (copper) and am a little nervous it will make this mess harder to manage.
I think the co-op stocks one or two brands of these cups in more than one size. The shape/size/angle of your cervix probably affects the leak factor. Fibroids (a whole ‘nother fun topic I will probably opt to leave off this board — feel free to PM on it though) can have a big impact on flow & other things. I’m going to try one finally!
I am making an appt with my gyne to talk about the Merina. I can’t take these periods anymore.
I use the softcup too, and it’s pretty great. there’s occasional slight leakage, but not even enough to notice until I use the bathroom.
The worst is when I’m broke and only have pads, and the material covering it just tears up my skin when I bike :(
Never heard of the softcup, etc. Never had major issues with leg strength during periods. The only change I’ve seen is that cramping is MUCH less with age and also with a major diet change. When I eat more meat/sugar/wheat cramps are worse. More fruit/veggies/raw food, cramps almost go away. I’m sure it’s a very individual thing, but for me there has been a definite connection between diet and menstrual pain FWIW.
Ok, finally a thread to end my lurking. Sorry I disappeared, just took a break and found I had nothing to say when I came back… until now ;)
I started using the Keeper (from EEFC, they have both sizes [pre- and post-child birth]) when I went to West Africa (yeah, all those awkward conversations? try having them in a foreign language you don’t speak so great, with a whole family, and having it shared liberally around the village… turns out it’s taboo where I was to talk about this, but I wasn’t taking any chances explaining any “supplies”). Saw no reason to switch when I came back. I supplement with reusable cotton liners (from EEFC).
When I got the Mirena IUD – though I was leaning heavily towards the copper one (I hate hormones). Didn’t get the copper one because it turns out it WILL make any unpleasantries worse (very little chance of “no change”). Decided to give non-dispersed hormones a chance, and have enjoyed no side effects (unlike the pill) as well. Note: having it “installed” is about as pleasant as getting hit by a car, and I had to take time off work to recover. If you can, have someone else drive you (at least home). Apparently having been through childbirth makes it easier, I did not have that advantage.
Hell of a come back post, but I never was graceful.
Ah thanks for the advice. I want a hysterectomy but no one will do that on someone as young as I am in the absence of some sort of bad pathology.
I learned about Essure from here.
“This is a coil inserted into your Fallopian tubes. It’s a less invasive procedure than tubal ligation so they may be more inclined to it. it is just as effective as tubal ligation, although you have to wait 3 months and have a check up to use it by itself.”
I’m going to assume that, like any procedure, it will affect your ability to be active and move around for a while.
In case no one has heard of them before, 2 interesting books on women’s health, by women’s health collectives are
Our Bodies Ourselves
New View of a Woman’s Body.
I like anecdotes to go along with data & these books have em. I like that both of these books take into consideration the social context and emotional aspects of health, illness, fertility & aging. The drawings in NVWB are revolutionary.
Erica, I was doing my ob/gyn rotation when the Essure procedure was newish. That is good for preventing pregnancy, but it doesn’t stop the periods as far as I know.
There is a farily straightforward, reversable way to stop your periods with the pill. IIRC, there is no additional side effects compared with regular BC pills. Talk to your physician about it.
Disclaimer, I’m not a doctor, although I played one as a child.
I wish I could take hormonal BC but due to a little death scare in my 20s wherein a neurosurgeon told me I had 6 weeks to live I cannot. I have the copper-T long term IUD. That f’er is NEVER coming out. Nothing is ever leaving my cervix by force ever again.
side note, the way the conversation bubbles are set up in the new forum it looks like my avatar is talking out of its ass.
Sometimes my bc, paired with my antidepressants make me feel like I just don’t want to be active at all, and it keeps me from riding. I took the bus home every day last week. Anyone have tips to get out of that funk?
^are you getting these from the same Dr or different Drs?
I’m one of those knuckleheads that avoids most medications at all costs, even when it might be a good idea to take them, so I can’t give firsthand advice. I have had many friends report VERY different results with both of these potent meds so it might be worth trying a different combo?
One friend was on BC that made her cry all the time and she switched meds or doses or something and was totally fine. I’d want to work with someone who had a lot of experience with how they mix together in the body. Hormones are serious business.
Also, in the winter if I don’t get enough daylight or exercise it is bad mood city…
Mick, if one was to take only the hormonal birth control pills and throw away the sugar pills and start a new pack, in theory, periods should stop they don’t with me. I assume that is what you are getting at. I hope hormonal IUDS don’t make me bleed all of the time like the pills did.
Erica, I get very potent emotional side effects from most BC pills. I’m not currently on an antidepressant, so I can’t say how they mix. But let’s see…the first pill I went on made it so I couldn’t get out of bed and cried all of the time. The second one made me tired and bloaty. The third one killed my sex drive. The fourth one made me cranky, killed my sex drive, and made my migraines ten times worse.
That about when I decided to give the IUD a try. Even though the one I have does use hormones, the amount is way lower than in a pill. So far I’m still a little cranky but the other symptoms are gone.
All of that is to say that I would recommend trying other pills or options if you don’t feel like they’re serving you well.
Well, I’m pretty sure I need a new PCP, because in addition to the feeling I get that she doesn’t respect me because of my weight, she told me that it’s simply not possible for the two meds to interact badly under any circumstances. (She is at Bloomfield medical, I got the bc from a nurse practitioner at the midwife center).
They used to interact pretty badly, but it’s gotten a little better. I just don’t ever want to exercise, and things that already make me cry now make me cry harder.
Erica, drop that doc pronto.
Technically, perhaps she’s using the word “interact” differently than you are, but two medications can cause compounding side effects, which is what you and I mean when we say “interact”.
In the strictest chemical sense, perhaps their compounds are not chemically interacting with each other inside your body, but if she can’t understand what you mean, and you don’t feel like you are being respected, you don’t need that hassle. I’d give you a recommendation for mine, but I admit I never replaced mine when she switched specialties.
It also seems pretty straightforward that depression is one common side effect of most BC pills, and anti-depressants are designed to treat depression, so paying close, respectful attention to a patient who takes both and complains of not feeling up to her normal everyday activities (also a symptom of depression) just makes sense to me. But I am not a doctor, so perhaps I am missing something here.
Personally, I found that the only way to keep the “meh, I’m not up to it”s at bay is to force myself, as miserable as it feels, to go and sweat for 45 minutes to an hour. The worse I feel, the longer I have to sweat to get rid of it, and I just keep going until my body feels like my own again – and sometimes it doesn’t. So the next day I get up and do it again. Eventually it gets better.
This may be blasphemy, but don’t forget you don’t have to rely on a bike commute to get some exercise in. The best form of exercise is the one you actually do. Maybe right now that’s not biking to work (in the weather lately, I can’t blame you!). That’s ok. Do what you can until you feel up to bike commuting again.
Ok, this thread is way beyond the amount of info I want to know, but when it comes to birth control don’t forget the guy. If a guy won’t wear a condom so you don’t have to put your body through hormonal stress something is wrong with the relationship. I will admit that wearing a condom takes away a little, but if it’s to make your partner not have to experience BC side effects it shouldn’t be such a big deal. And it helps protect from STD’s for you single ladies. And for those very rare accidents where the condom breaks there is always the emergency pill. Relationships involve TWO people & respect from both should not be an option.
I’ve actually refused to get on the pill or anything else for partly this reason: That everyone says women taking control of birth control is empowering never felt quite right to me. I mean, yes, it is good to be able to control it for yourself, but I don’t think I want to sleep with someone who isn’t willing to think about/offer birth control as well, or is unprepared or otherwise is unwilling to use a condom. It always sounded a little like something a guy would say, like look how in charge you are now that I don’t have to think about wearing a condom and we don’t have to stop and think before we do this to not risk making babies! We’re free. I have begun to calm down on this, sort of. Having been in a relationship long enough at times to consider that this is not efficient, I realize that it is not, for long term. But as a single person, it seems ok.
My boss, an old and wise anesthesiologist, says “There is no such thing as a clean drug.”
Every drug has side effects. Every drug with interact wtih some other substance in some circumstances.
Between her and me, we know a few things about drugs. Just saying.
+1 marko & Aryn!!
I know the pill works really well for a lot of people but I always wondered why someone would take the risks and put their body on strong medicine 24/7 unless they were having really awesome sex 24/7. I like what Marko says about birth control being a shared responsibility. Some docs (mine at least) will give you a standing prescription for the “morning after” pill if it is a back up plan for condom breakage..
+ HIV & hepatitis are no joking matter even though the treatments have come a long way. Other STDs are on the rise again, too
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