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sorry guys, you probably don't qualify to answer this poll - Zer Netmouse
August 20th, 2009
11:56 pm

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sorry guys, you probably don't qualify to answer this poll
In reaction to a description in a book of a girl's first period, I thought I'd take a poll - what was your first period like? (or if you don't remember, what was getting your period like during the earliest time period when you do remember?) (I believe I set it so identities are masked when people view results).

Poll #1446624 talkin' bout that menstruation

When you first got your period, how much did you bleed?

There was a little bit of spotting on my underwear
4(7.0%)
very lightly, something a thin pad easily took care of
17(29.8%)
definitely blood in a bleeding level of wetness
25(43.9%)
somewhat heavy bleeding
8(14.0%)
ZOMG I thought I was gonna die
3(5.3%)

When you first got your period, did you have cramps?

No, I never have had cramps
7(12.3%)
No, I didn't get cramps until later
28(49.1%)
I felt uncomfortable, but not badly
10(17.5%)
Yes, I was in pain and not happy
5(8.8%)
ZOMG I thought I was gonna die
7(12.3%)

When you first got your period, was there any nausea?

no, I didn't feel anything - the spots on my underwear were noticed when they went in the wash
20(35.1%)
not really. Weird feelings but not what I'd describe as nausea
30(52.6%)
Indeed. I didn't want to eat
5(8.8%)
Nausea is what leads to vomiting, right? There was vomiting
1(1.8%)
ZOMG I thought I was gonna die
1(1.8%)

Does talking about mentruation make you uncomfortable

No, why?
22(39.3%)
Only if my audience shows signs of discomfort
31(55.4%)
Only with older people
1(1.8%)
Only with people of a different gender
1(1.8%)
Yes, all the time.
1(1.8%)
ZOMG I have to go curl up in a corner and die now.
0(0.0%)

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
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From:minkrose
Date:August 21st, 2009 05:21 am (UTC)
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Oddly enough, I'm one of the few women I've met who knew precisely what was going on and how to deal with it. Unfortunately, I was at overnight summer camp in the middle of nowhere VT with no supplies at all (and no electricity or even "real" beds, etc). But my cabin mates helped me out. It was fine and completely non-traumatizing.


Years ago, my sister conducted a small study of her friends and discovered that her female friends were grossed out by periods and having ANY sort of sexual relations during menstruation. Conversely, her male friends were NOT grossed out by periods and had absolutely no qualms about sexual relations (of any sort) with menstruating women. Obviously this is a Certain Type of geeky people that we hang out with, but I still found it extremely interesting. Any issues I had with discussing my period went away at that point, I just try to be tactful of other people's comfort level (but that is true if everything I do.... hopefully).
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From:gerisullivan
Date:August 21st, 2009 06:04 am (UTC)
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I'm a "somewhat" on the uncomfortable talking about scale. Less so now that I'm through menopause than I was when menstruating. The discomfort didn't (and doesn't) align itself with any of the categories in your survey. The closest I can come is that discomfort increased with the size of the audience, quite likely because it's much easier to track my own and the other person's comfort levels in a one-on-one conversation.
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From:netmouse
Date:August 21st, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)
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I can see that.
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From:sageautumn
Date:August 21st, 2009 11:45 am (UTC)
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I'm 90% sure I didn't even tell anyone when I had my first period. I'd been given the books, so I knew what it was... and had been given a few boxes of pads a bit before... ...so I think I put toilet paper in my undies, and just waited until I got home.

I've no idea when they figured out I was having one... ...but they must've, since I don't recall ever being out of pads.
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From:sageautumn
Date:August 21st, 2009 11:47 am (UTC)
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Oh... and talking about menstration NOW doesn't bother me much... ...but then? Ohhhhnoooooooes. With my peer group, sure--I was usually the knowledgable one. With my family/elders/etc? ZOMGOhhhhhhnooooo.
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From:apostle_of_eris
Date:August 21st, 2009 12:00 pm (UTC)
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I vividly remember one mid-winter Saturday night during my senior year in high school, being out with two female friends, and their starting to conversationally compare their periods. (For all my problems with being, uh, differently-socialized, I've often had female friends who didn't put up gender barriers in conversation.)
I picked up my teeth from were I'd dropped them, and have had no illusions about which sex is the “weaker” since.
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From:rmeidaking
Date:August 21st, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
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I have no problem discussing menstruation, and never did. However, I now feel sort of like an interloper on the subject, since it's no longer part of my life.

I have to say that I haven't missed my uterus at all in the 9 years it's been gone. (My ovaries are still intact.) No bleeding, no cramping, no scheduling what I'm wearing or what I'm doing based on needing to be near well-equipped sanitary facilities, no possibility of further pregnancies; I have yet to find a down-side, other than the 4-week initial recovery from surgery. :-)
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From:eleri
Date:August 21st, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
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I've been really wishing I could get rid of my uterus. I'm not using it any more, it does nothing but make me miserable every 28 days.
From:kitschicat
Date:August 21st, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
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We were on our family summer vacation in the Upper Peninsula in August of 1983, I was 12. Some of my aunts and uncles rented cottages on a lake up there and we had come up in our little motorhome, my parents, my brother, and my cousin Suzanne from Florida, who spent the summers with us.

A couple of days into the vacation, I got terrible sick, and was quarantined to the motorhome (everyone else slept in the cabin) with a fever that reached and remained at 104-105 degrees for a couple of days (did I mention this was in August?), vomiting, and everything just ached and hurt. Finally my mom convinced my dad that we needed to go home in case I needed to be in the hospital. He was very unhappy about his vacation being cut short (which I understand; being at home just meant he felt obligated to go back to work as my parents own a business).

As we were crossing the Mackinac Bridge, I went to the bathroom and that's when I started bleeding. I told mom and begged her not to tell dad. I'm not sure why, but it was shameful to me for him to know. She went to the cockpit area to get a pad from her purse and returned, informing me she had told dad, because it was important that he know why I was so sick.

That never sat too well with me; I wondered why the puke, fever, and pain weren't enough to legitimize the fact that I was sick. It's not as though I was going to fake being ill during a trip to which I had anticipated so happily. It was like I needed a "better excuse" in my mom's mind or something. Anyway, the period lasted three weeks and had me bedridden and in pain the entire time. Dad was pissed about me not being well enough to work around the house, and I was semi-accused of milking the situation, despite the fact that I had to wear hospital sized pads 24/7 and still bled through those, sometimes in an hour.

From that point forward, my periods would last a minimum of 10 days, but sometimes up to three weeks, and would be heavy, involve lots of large clots, and I'd bleed through clothes. And they were inconsistent in terms of arrival - sometimes there was 2 weeks in between periods, sometimes two months. The cramping and pain would immobilize me.

Finally, in 1987, my mom reluctantly took me to the ob/gyn and he obviously recommended that I go on birth control pills to help regulate my periods. She was not happy about the idea but went along with it. I wasn't having sex - we were JW's and that wasn't allowed until after marriage. Hell, I hadn't even kissed anyone yet. But in her mind, because she had gotten pregnant in high school, that put me at high risk for the same.

The pills did help, although, the periods were still 7-10 days long. At least I knew when they'd come. They were still heavy, lots of pain and clotting. When I was 22, they did a laproscopy to determine whether I had endometriosis (I did not) and performed a D&C because, according to my doctor, I had the "uterus scarring and build-up of a 40 year old woman." :P

I still have pretty awful periods to this day; I'm still on the pill, because when I try to go off, they get all wonky. At least they only last a max of 7 days now, and usually only 5-6.

Periods have always represented suffering for me.
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From:cathshaffer
Date:August 21st, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
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The high fever and later scarring suggest that you had a pretty bad pelvic infection. That is what caused the damage to your uterus. (Actually, there's no reason a 40 year old should have scars in her uterus. What a silly thing to say.) I am sorry that your parents were so insensitive about the situation, and also sorry that you didn't get the medical treatment you needed. :-(
From:kitschicat
Date:August 21st, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC)
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Wow. Well that actually explains quite a bit. I also ended up having an abnormal PAP smear when I was 18, the doctor said it was condiloma but it was not an STD because I was still a virgin. I had to have it frozen off and that damaged my cervix. So my female bits have taken a real beating.

I try very hard not to get hurt/angry about the period problems and other incidents with my parents. They were kids raising a child - they were in high school when I was born. And they joined a cult (the JW's) which further complicated matters. So they were not on top of their game, so to say. I'd like to believe that they'd do things differently if they had been ten years older and wiser.

It does disturb me that the JW belief system would have meant if their kids needed a blood transfusion, they were supposed to let my brother and/or I die. And we were raised to believe that this was the "right" thing to do - to deny ourselves medical treatment to demonstrate faith in god, even if it meant we didn't survive. But that's another subject altogether, and thankfully, we have all left that damn cult, so it's no longer an issue.

I never thought about the pelvic infection, though. It makes complete sense, now.
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From:cathshaffer
Date:August 21st, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
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We have family that have been involved with the JW church, so I know where you are coming from. One of them did leave the church and the abusive marriage she was in, and went through a period of shunning where her own mother was not allowed to talk to her. I'm glad your family was able to get out.
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From:mbumby
Date:September 1st, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
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Was hard to answer #3 -- the first answer there was probably the closest, but not accurate. Lots of blood, not spots noticed later, but have never had nausea.
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