Check out the latest article from Dr. Jen Mushtaler, recently featured in the Red Licorice Events E-Newsletter!
What is the one thing your dread most going into a race? For most women, it is the thought of starting their cycle right before race day! This “bad timing” can bring about anxiety and uncertainty, not to mention the usual symptoms of PMS such as heavy flow, cramping and irritability. Does it seem like your cycle always inevitably arrives right before race day? Is there anything that you can do about this?
Great news! It is actually medically safe to skip those cycles altogether and there are several ways to achieve this. Many of my patients enjoy a period-free lifestyle by staying on a continuous birth control pill. Not only is it safe to skip your periods when you are taking a balanced hormone regimen, but there is less chance of an unplanned pregnancy if you are sexually active. There are many different pill formulations and doses to achieve this, so if one doesn’t quite work for you, we can try several different options.
Another choice is to use the birth control ring continuously. The FDA has not yet approved the ring in this manner. However, for years women with endometriosis took birth control continuously before FDA regimens were approved.
Some of my patients find that a progesterone coated IUD is perfect for freedom from periods and the hassles of a daily pill. Many patients have been mistakenly told that the IUD is an abortifacient, but this is not true. The IUD is actually a continuous spermicide, and it is over 99% effective in preventing unplanned pregnancy for up to five years. If you are uncomfortable with an IUD in the uterus, then you may be interested in Implanon. This is a single rod that is hidden underneath the skin. The rod is only millimeters thick so it does not interfere with working out and it is not noticeable. It lasts for up to three years, but these options are immediately reversed after removal.
Other patients are back on the athletic circuit after completing their families. They don’t want to be bothered with periods or the hassles of a pill or ring. For these patients, an endometrial ablation is a great choice. An endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive procedure done in the office that permanently alters the lining of the uterus so that it does not build up. No build up, means no shedding and no period. There is no cutting involved and you still have all your own natural hormones.
All in all, you have many safe options to choose from, so we are sure to find just the treatment for you to keep you free for race day.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Jen Mushtaler to learn more!