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Changes in pressure and menstrual flow

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

  1. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    All I can say is thank god for menopause. I’ll deal with the hot flashes. So much easier to handle than the heavy flow from having endometriosis and having to have stashes of supplies everywhere.
    Esprise Me likes this.
  2. ScubaSam

    ScubaSam Sister of Shenanigans ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Cave Country
    I never noticed an increase to my flow when I'm diving. And luckily for me, when I was at Lake Titicaca, Machu Picchu, and Lima a few years ago I did not have my period.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  3. Duke Dive Medicine

    Duke Dive Medicine Medical Moderator Staff Member

    Hi @ElizaDoolittle ,

    If this was a one-time event it's probably not related to fibroids or other chronic conditions. There is some evidence that ties a deficiency of hypoxia-induceable factor (HIF) 1-alpha (a hormone) to heavy menstrual bleeding. HIF-1 alpha is upregulated during periods of hypoxia (e.g. while at altitude), so if you're mildly deficient in that hormone, the altitude *may* have been a factor, but that's sheer speculation from a guy who's neither a gynecologist nor an endocrinologist. It could also have been a miscarriage as other posters have others have suggested. I don't think I'd be terribly concerned about it for diving, but of course, monitor yourself and seek medical attention if you experience any alarming symptoms.

    Best regards,
  4. Kaveman

    Kaveman Registered

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tuktoyaktuk
    external pressure has effect on spaces filled with gas, it does not have any significant effect on spaces filled with liquid. Because your cardio-vascular system is closed circuit system which filled with liquid and all gasses are completely dissolved in it, diving or flying will not change your blood pressure or intensity of your menstrual flow. Study shows that only outdoor temperature and blood pressure are strongly correlated and that mostly in people older than 80 years of age. If i have to guess, I would say that it has something to do with coagulation of your blood.
  5. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    I think that you shouldn't guess, Mr. Kaveman. :)
    living4experiences likes this.
  6. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    I'm taking this opportunity to remind the males reading this thread, that it is posted under Women's Perspectives.

    Yes, males are certainly allowed to comment if they so desire but the thread is intended for women to discuss women's concerns.
  7. living4experiences

    living4experiences ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tigard, Oregon
    You are correct...I planned it so I didn't have to mess with the mess. When I was a new diver, though, I thought that sharks would be attracted to the scent of blood, and nobody I knew could dispel the myth. I've since learned that's an urban legend. I had similar problems to the OP with excruciating pain and I was anemic from the massive blood loss. Got a hysterectomy 4 years ago and, oh, how much easier life has been!!
  8. Duke Dive Medicine

    Duke Dive Medicine Medical Moderator Staff Member

    This isn't strictly a female issue so this may be best broken off into a separate thread if it goes any further than this, but the statement that diving does not affect blood pressure is technically incorrect. Blood pressure increases with immersion; cold water augments this effect.

    May I ask what led to your conclusion about the OP's coagulation?

    Best regards,
  9. JimBlay

    JimBlay Divin' Papaw ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Florida
    Good reminder! I typically try and leave this forum for the ladies. Occasionally there are topics of interest that I read as a fly on the wall to learn more about the unique diving challenges of the better sex.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  10. ElizaDoolittle

    ElizaDoolittle Registered

    Oh, I didn't expect so many answers in such a short time! Thanks a lot!

    No, if there's something I know for sure, it's that I wasn't pregnant at the time. I can't have been a miscarriage.

    My periods are on the "good" side of it all. I'm very, very regular. My periods always start every fourth Friday around midday. As a matter of fact, I don't bother wearing a sanitary pad until 11am. My flow is very reasonable: on the first two days, I change my pad every four hours, but only because my skin gets sore otherwise. In circumstances where a change wasn't easy to do, I've remained up to ten or twelve hours with the same pad, without overflow problems. After that, it's two more days with a very weakt flow, and that's all. I've never had a hurtful period in my life (not while I was on it, not on the previous days). Check ups have never shown anything strange. Though it could be something related with that HIF-1 alpha, if it's something that doesn't show in any other situation.

    I've always thought that that time up in Lake Titicaca was a one-time affair, and the only reason I could attribute it to was altitude. After all, I was warned while on the plane that on arriving in La Paz my nose might bleed. It's only after the big disaster happened that I associated that warning with blood flow in general. I didn't see it coming (maybe because my nose didn't bleed after all, though one of my friends' did).

    This was some ten years ago, and I haven't had any other problem since then, the same as I had never had them before. I hadn't given this a second thought until I've found myself again doing something that involves big changes in pressure.

    I'm not worried about the health side of this issue (though maybe I should!). I was thinking more on the lines of carrying a trolley full of sanitary pads or a nappy to wear in the ship between dives!
    Esprise Me likes this.

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