Week of:
Jul 28, 2017

Spotting with the NuvaRing

Alice,

I have been on the Nuvaring for three months now, and I am keeping it in for the four weeks then changing it because my doctor said there's no need for me to have a period. About two weeks ago I started having dark brown discharge and it has gotten more heavy, but only when I run or stand up real quick. Is this normal or should I call my doctor and find out what is going on?

Can I reschedule my period?

Dear Alice,

This may seem a ridiculous question, but here goes. I have a trip planned to Hawaii and just realized that during my vacation time, I am scheduled to be on my period. Needless to say, that will definitely slow down my plans for ocean swimming and loads of tropical sex with my boyfriend. Is there a way to safely alter my cycle by missing birth control pills or other means?

— Hawaii-bound

Period when boyfriend is visiting

Dear Alice,

My boyfriend goes to another school, and will be visiting me soon. Unfortunately, I'll get my period the day before he arrives. Is there any way to make your period shorter? I have heard about menstrual extraction, but I don't know if that's an option. If such a thing exists, is it available to anyone, or do you need a prescription? Please write soon and let me know.

Signed,
Not in the mood for Kotex

Woman's menstrual cycle

Alice,

You've mentioned a lot in this service about a woman's menstrual cycle, and the risks involved with unprotected sex. Details that you have mentioned include, for example, the high risk of pregnancy (i.e., as a result of unprotected sex or failed contraception) during the "fertile period" of a woman's cycle. What I would like to know is: what (typically) are the various stages in the cycle (e.g., ovulation followed by menstruation, etc.), when do they typically occur in the cycle, and, most importantly, WHEN are the (typical, of course) fertile and infertile (minimum chance of pregnancy) parts of the cycle?

— Wanting to better understand what my partner goes through

Late period

Dear Alice,

My period is late this month, and I'm afraid that I may be pregnant. The weird thing is, though, my partner and I never actually had actual sexual intercourse (in other words, there was no penetration). I'm wondering if the wet environment could still be a risk. I'm hoping that it's due to stress and fatigue with finals coming on that causing this delay. How long should I wait before getting tested?

— Extra worry