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Old 05-27-07, 11:04 AM   #1
avatarworf
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A question for the women...

I was wondering if any of the women out there have noticed a change to their monthly cycles because of extended bike trips? We have been on the road since September 2006 and in that time I find my periods have gone from being within
the normal 28-35 day range to more of a 40-50 day range. I am not stressed and have not had any extreme weight loss, although I have slimmed down a few pounds because of all the cycling (I had a few to lose before we left!). Because we are on the road in foreign countries it is hard for me to seek medical advice like I would do if we were at home. I am going to try and have it checked out in the next big city, but any feedback on similiar experiences would really be
appreciated.

Perhaps a sidebar to this question is how you seek medical advice when you are on a long trip and often don't speak the language? Obviously if it is an emergency you go to the hospital, but if you just want a checkup...? I thought in the next big city perhaps I would start with the tourist bureau or the 5-star hotels and ask for any doctors that accept foreign patients on a pay-per-visit basis.
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Old 05-27-07, 01:52 PM   #2
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Well, I cross posted this on the Phred touring email list and got two interesting replies, which I thought I'd put here as well for anyone else with similar problems.

First, this page was pointed out to me:

http://www.iamat.org/

It looks like you can sign up and have a directory of English speaking doctors sent to you in 125 countries around the world. Could be very handy for long term travellers!

I also got this from a nurse:

"What you describe can be a very normal response to exercise, especially
daily exercise. Some women can actually go 3-6 months without having a
period. Other things that can cause extended time between cycles are weight
loss and hormonal changes. Unless you're having other symptoms, I wouldn't
get too worried about it. You might want to mention it to your doctor when
you get back, just in case they want to run any tests and be absolutely
certain there's nothing else going on, but as long as you're having normal
periods when you DO have them, you're probably going to be just fine.

For what it's worth, they even have new birth control pills now that will
stop your periods altogether. You use them daily for 6-12 months (I've even
heard up to 5 years), then you take a vacation for a few days and have a
menstrual period. I used to think it wasn't safe to go that long without
having a period, but they've done the research and found it didn't hurt
anything."
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Old 05-27-07, 10:09 PM   #3
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Yes, I experience a change whenever I cycle a lot.

I go from the normal 28-35 day range to more of a 10-14 day range. No one knows why.
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Old 05-27-07, 10:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
Yes, I experience a change whenever I cycle a lot.

I go from the normal 28-35 day range to more of a 10-14 day range. No one knows why.
I am happy mine seems to be going the other way!! Thanks for the info. It helps to know I am not the only one that is experiencing this.
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Old 05-28-07, 05:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Perhaps a sidebar to this question is how you seek medical advice when you are on a long trip and often don't speak the language?
The following books are free for download, are written for someone with minimal education in basic English and are for those who find themselves (as the title indicates) where there is no doctor. We use them all the time.

Where There Is No Doctor
Where There Is No Dentist
Where Women Have No Doctor

And more....

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Old 05-28-07, 07:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avatarworf
I am happy mine seems to be going the other way!! Thanks for the info. It helps to know I am not the only one that is experiencing this.
The way yours is going is normal for women who do a lot of exercise, or more exercise than they are used to doing. The way mine is going is just weird ... and also very, very annoying.
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Old 05-28-07, 09:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
The way yours is going is normal for women who do a lot of exercise, or more exercise than they are used to doing. The way mine is going is just weird ... and also very, very annoying.
Sounds like your endocrine system is producing more estrogen instead of flipping to androgen under heavy physical stress, and it's not that uncommon, Machka. The slower cycle though is caused by androgen production converting the estrogen to testosterone (Yes, women produce it too!). The gonadotropin cycle is strange sometimes, to say the least. The other alternative is that you produce lower levels of androgen than normal....or it could also be diet related if you eat a lot of processed soy products. (I was most of the way through a Nursing degree when I switched to psychology).
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Old 05-28-07, 09:32 PM   #8
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You mean ... there are other women who have a flood every time they do something like ride a long distance?

I've asked my Dr about it, and I don't think she believes me, and I've asked about it in the Women's forum, and no one there seems to have any answers for me either.

So ... producing more estrogen ... what does that mean in terms of strength? I'd assume that producing testosterone (yes, I know women product it too ) means that the women is stronger.
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Old 05-28-07, 10:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Machka
You mean ... there are other women who have a flood every time they do something like ride a long distance?

I've asked my Dr about it, and I don't think she believes me, and I've asked about it in the Women's forum, and no one there seems to have any answers for me either.

So ... producing more estrogen ... what does that mean in terms of strength? I'd assume that producing testosterone (yes, I know women product it too ) means that the women is stronger.
In a nutshell, yes. The woman who produces more androgen under physical stress will build more muscle mass. On the flip side, chances are fairly good that when you hit between 45 and 50, you'll have an easier time if ya know what I mean! Maybe I should say your SO will have an easier time!

As to strength, you'll have a bit more endurance and they'll have a more explosive sprint. That's probably why you were attracted to randoneurring anyway, the natural tendency to play to your strengths......long endurance.
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Old 05-28-07, 10:41 PM   #10
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Secondary amenorrhea: Secondary amenorrhea is much more common than primary amenorrhea. Many
possible causes of secondary amenorrhea exist, including:


a.. Low body weight. Lower body weight interrupts many hormonal functions in
your body, potentially halting ovulation. Women who have an eating disorder,
such as anorexia or bulimia, often stop having periods because of these
abnormal hormonal changes.

b.. Excessive exercise. Women who participate in sports that require
rigorous training, such as ballet, long-distance running, cycling or
gymnastics, may find their menstrual cycle interrupted. Several factors
combine to contribute to the loss of periods in athletes, including low body
fat, stress and high energy expenditure
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