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Changes in pressure and menstrual flow

Discussion in 'Women's Perspectives' started by ElizaDoolittle, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. ElizaDoolittle

    ElizaDoolittle Angel Fish

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    I'm a recent addition to the diving world, so I haven't had to dive while on my period. I'd like to know, how do pressure changes affect the flow, if at all?

    I've only had one previous experience involving a big difference in pressure owing to altitude, when I spent a month near Titicaca Lake, Bolivia (around 3,800 m / 12,500 feet). I've always had moderate flow during my period, but when it happened there, I had to buy two new sets of trousers and knickers because no matter how often I changed my sanitary pads, they would be hugely overflown, and I run out of clean clothes. At last, I decided to stay for two whole days reading a novel while sitting on the loo until it subsided into something manageable. After that, I was left with something resembling one of my worst (longest, wettest) periods.

    I don't know whether this is the normal reaction to altitude, but that's what happened to me. I believe that when diving I'd be in the opposite situation (more pressure, instead of less), but after that experience, I'd like to know what to expect.

    Thanks!
     
  2. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    That sounds like a spontaneous abortion (a miscarriage). Any possibility that you weren't pregnant at the time?
     
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  3. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Interesting. Ping: @Duke Dive Medicine

    Thinking aloud, I imagine it would be difficult to determine what component, or combination, is causal. Normal individual variability, changes in exertion, PPO2, thermal stress...
     
  4. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Do you have any history of cysts or endometriosis?
     
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  5. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Fibroids
     
  6. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Thank you! That’s the word I wanted.
     
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  7. living4experiences

    living4experiences ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

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    For the medical side of it, sounds like you need to be checked by a doctor for what could be a whole host of problems. On the diving side of it, if you're a member of DAN, call them. They are a great resource. In the past when this was an issue for me, I would plan my diving around that time of the month. Thankfully, I no longer have to worry about it.:yeahbaby:
     
  8. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    That wasn't entirely because of concern when diving was it? More like preferring to be on vacation without having to fuss, am I right?
     
  9. Bubblesong

    Bubblesong ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    The Mirena IUD will reduce that difficulty down to barely anything. Save yourself money and trouble.
     
  10. Esprise Me

    Esprise Me Kelp forest dweller ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I dive on my period all the time. I'm prone to awful cramps; I have to use hormonal birth control to prevent the worst symptoms, and I still need ibuprofen to get through at least the first day. My normal flow is pretty heavy, but I haven't noticed any increase from diving. I actually find that getting in the water seems to help a little with the discomfort. Or maybe it's just a distraction.

    I agree with those who think there was something else going on that time you had a heavy flow at altitude, and an early miscarriage would fit. I had a medication abortion once, which is physically very similar to a spontaneous miscarriage, and it was exactly as you describe. I felt like that elevator full of blood in The Shining.
     
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