I can't even remember the last time I had a period. I was afraid to go for a Pap and find out it might be something serious. I hadn't had one for about four years until I had one last month, at a "ghetto" clinic. (I have Medicaid.) The OB/GYN did a cursory examination; it took all of maybe 10 minutes. The results came back normal but I don't trust it so I'm going to request another gynecological exam at a different clinic.

The females in my family have a history of early menopause (early 40s). I myself am 43 so could this be a reason for not having a period for this long? I don't have cramps or PMS, either.

Anyone else have this problem before?

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19 Responses to No period for over a year

  1. Dooyle says:

    Not quite so sure “ghetto” is a very appropriate term to describe something, given it’s racial and class connotations. Clinics which take Medicaid do have tendencies to not have the benefits that private clinics may have, but I don’t necessarily think that having a pap at a clinic that’s not ritzy means there’s something untrustworthy about their work. If that’s not something you were meaning to imply, that’s fine. But it’s very difficult for people to ask for help when they need it and can get it from things like Medicaid and low income clinics if they feel there is a certain amount of shame in it or if they feel like services are worse at these places.

    I think that if you’re concerned, it might be worth trying to find a Planned Parenthood closest to you and getting another pap smear or checkup.

  2. OtiGirl says:

    This, to everything.

    And, I’m not sure if it would really make OP feel any better, but up until I graduated from college I had to use low income health services all the time. I didn’t really find the doctors any better or worse at the “nicer” clinics I went to versus the ones that were Medicaid/low income only. It might be a matter of where you live, but in my experience at low income doctor’s offices, the staff was just as knowledgable and thorough as any other place. The only difference was where they were located and the people they served.

    Also, if there is a department of health nearby, see if they have free STI testing. Some will do pap smears and basic STI testing for free.

  3. AmlNope says:

    You’re right–there is not much difference between regular and low-income clinics. I’ve been to both, and have been on Medicaid for a long time. No embarrassment about it. I think I hit on a bad clinic in a bad area, and the medical attention was terrible. The nurse couldn’t take my blood correctly and the OB/GYN did such a cursory job, she might as well have done nothing at all. A waste of time, I’d say.

    Thank you for your suggestions! I will look into that. 🙂

  4. AmlNope says:

    I’ve been on Medicaid for years and also “regular” health insurance (meaning, Kaiser) so I’ve been to a variety of clinics. I have no shame about being on Medicaid. The reason I said this particular clinic was “ghetto” is because their services were severely lacking. Even the nurse taking my blood test was completely inept; this was the worst clinic I’ve been to, by far. The Pap I received there was so cursory, it was like she stuck a swab in me and then pulled it out.

    Thanks for the suggestion about Planned Parenthood!

  5. Dooyle says:

    If their services are lacking, I don’t mind hearing critique about it. But there’s a loaded in a term like “ghetto”, especially when it’s been used to racially slur Black people for a long time. There are ways of communicating that the services were lacking without using terms that remind people of racism.

  6. AmlNope says:

    I’m sorry you feel offended by the word “ghetto,” but it’s a fitting description for what I experienced. What’s interesting is that you immediately related the word to black people when the clinic is mostly in a Latino area. I’m Latino myself so I feel no “disloyalty” in using the word. I’m not looking for a fight here; I used the word and I’m owning it. Thank you for your input.

  7. Dooyle says:

    I’m not saying you’re not owning the word, I’m saying it could be offensive and unwelcoming for people here, regardless of your race or the race of the individuals using it. Since this is an inclusive safe space, I hope you consider choosing words that aren’t alienating or offensive. I’m not forcing you or anyone else to think it’s offensive, just pointing out that the word is to many people and probably shouldn’t be used in a safe space.

  8. AmlNope says:

    I see your point. Although, if one reads my post and understands it, surely one can tell that I’m not being purposely offensive, that I used the word as a means of description? “Ghetto” means a blighted area and that’s what the clinic is, and where it’s located in. Should I instead use the word “blighted” to avoid offending people? Sure, I could, but that’s the first word that came to mind when I posted.

  9. Dooyle says:

    Your intent, while admirable, does not make the word not offensive. I was surrounded in school by individuals who called things “gay”. Even if they didn’t INTEND to cause me harm or INTEND to actually be referring to an object in a homosexual context, it still hurt. If you stepped on someone’s foot, wouldn’t you just apologise? Or would you spend a half hour telling them that you didn’t intend to step on their foot, so they shouldn’t have an issue with it.

    I take issue with the word’s usage. It has a history of being used in racist connotations. I’m asking that in the future, if you could rethink using this word in this community since it has a history with racism, I would appreciate that. If that’s not something you want to do then it’s really up to the vagpag mods to weigh in on the issue.

  10. AmlNope says:

    I understand it bothers you. Still, if I don’t feel sorry for using the word, I don’t see the point of apologizing? I feel it would appear disingenuous. I will, however, take better care in the future to avoid using racially charged words in this community. I don’t have a problem with that.

  11. AniSmall says:

    Hi there,

    We just wanted to chime in here to thank you for your commitment to choosing a less racially charged word in the future when posting here in VP. We understand your perspective, but (like contact_vp

  12. Hteall says:

    It could be early menopause, but there are other issues — such as thyroid ones, or PCOS — which might have more general health implications, so going to another clinic is pretty reasonable. I’d specifically say that you’re looking for reasons why you might not have had a period for however long it’s been, though — don’t just ask for an exam. Ideally, you would get a referral to an endocrinologist, if Medicaid allows.

    Good luck!

  13. AmlNope says:

    I just had a series of blood tests through a new endocrinologist. I am indeed hypothyroid, and I told him about the lack of period. My next visit with him is early May.

  14. Hteall says:

    As someone who was undiagnosed hypothyroid for years? Once you get stable, you’ll probably feel loads better. You may also want to check out the thyroid community here on LJ.

    Luck!

  15. AmlNope says:

    Yea, I’m looking forward to feeling a lot better! I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was about eight or nine, maybe 10. The doc put me on Synthroid and Levoxyl throughout the years, but I never felt good, you know? So finally, I went to a different endocrinologist who sat with me for a good 30 minutes and suggested I try Armour Thyroid. I’ve been on it for a month, still don’t feel different. Maybe I need more time? I noticed that my hair is thinning, though; it’s a side effect from this med, and it’s making me even more depressed! I used to have thick, healthy hair. No more. :/

  16. Hteall says:

    A lot of people do better on Armour, but from what I’ve heard, one has to basically ditch TSH and medicate according to free T4 and free T3, when on that stuff. What are your numbers for TSH, Free T4 and Free T3? If you’re losing hair, you may be undermedicated. (Or you may, like me, also have low ferritin — even the low range of “normal” can be too low to feel good. Low ferritin can also contribute to hair loss, and fatigue that’s very much like hypothyroid fatigue.)

  17. AmlNope says:

    Low ferritin is a possibility. Thanks for reminding me about the TSH. I just called my doctor to get my blood test results. I should know by tomorrow.

  18. Ytune says:

    The way to officially declare menopause is to be at least 1 consecutive year without a period, so it is possible that you have gone through menopause. There may be hormone levels they can test. I would talk to the next clinic about it.

  19. AmlNope says:

    I’ve started seeing a new endocrinologist and took a series of blood tests. I’ll see him next month. Thanks!

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