What is Going On With My Body?


I am 36 years old. I weigh 125 and am about 5’7. In the last couple months my body has gone through some strange changes. I am not sure if it is that I am getting older or if there is something wrong. First change is that I wake up every morning with really dry eyes. Second I have been getting dark brown bleeding 4-5 days prior to my period then my period would come. I also have had slight pressures on one side of my belly then on the other (right around where my ovaries might be) right before my period would come. I made an appointment with my gyn. But unfortunatly it isn’t for another couple of weeks.(very busy office). My doc is on vacation and when she gets back she has me going to get blood tested. She thinks I have a thyroid problem. I just don’t know what to think and on top of it all my husband and I want to have children. I fear that I might not be able to. We have been trying for about a year. I am trying to be patient for my Doctor to return from vacation and schedule me in. Can you give me an idea of what I might have? I am very scared and really want to have children.


Last Updated: December 13, 2014
Dear Shannon:

Yes, these symptoms can be very frustrating especially when you are wanting to become pregnant. It sounds as if you are keeping track of your cycles which is very helpful. Getting lessons from an Natural Family Planning teacher would help you keep even more accurate records. These records have medical signifigance.

Premenstrual spotting of more than two days should not occur under healthy circumstances. Normal flow should be heavy to light or light to heavy to light. There are many things that could cause your change in flow over the past couple of months but some are more common. Thyroid dysfunction, even slightly, can cause this change. Is there thyroid disease in your family especially among the women? Additionally, have you gained or lost weight in the past six months? You sound quite slender but not underweight. Do you work out and exercise a lot? Has your body fat dropped a lot over the past several months? Any new medications or herbal products from over the counter?

Additionally, one must consider whether your estrogen and especially your progesterone levels are normal. In order to get accurate and meaningful levels, you must be charting so as to know what part of the cycle the levels were drawn. So many times, doctors say to get Progesterone levels at Day 22 of your cycle. If you don’t know where you are in your cycle from a physiologic standpoint, this level will make no sense. Also, I recommend that several levels over certain days be drawn. This is to understand the natural rise and fall of the levels.

CANFP can help you find a certified teacher to help you chart your cycles. This will also help you find when you are most fertile. You can focus intercourse at these times. An NFP teacher can help you with this as well.

By the way, if you smoke, find a way to stop. This is best for baby. Also, start taking a multiple vitamin with folic acid. Any woman who may conceive should do this to help her developing child’s nervous system form properly.

I hope that this will help you!

Sincerely, Gretchen V. Marsh, D.O

Answered By:

Gretchen Marsh, D.O.
Dr. Marsh graduated from Western University of Health Sciences in 1987 in Pomona, CA and is board certified in Family Medicine by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. She has been certified as a NaProTechnology® Medical Consultant (NaPro) and Creighton model Fertility Care System (CrMS) teacher since 2001. She and her husband, Jon, have 5 sons and live in the Reno region, where she sees patients in person, in addition to her telehealth services offered via MyCatholicDoctor.com

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