What is My Body Doing?


I have had trouble conceiving for many years. There was a period in my life when I didn’t menstruate for close to five years due to psychotropic medication I was taking and hyperprolactemia. The hyperprolactemia is gone, since I’m not spontaneously lactating but I still take psychotropic drugs (Abilify and Lamictal).  I had uterine fibroids removed and it was hoped that I would start ovulating. I pass a clear, sticky discharge now, but the problem I’m running into is this: my cycles used to run every 26-28 days, but having tracked them for the last two cycles, I’ve discovered that they are now running every 20-22 days.
This period was extraordinary in the fact that it was very light for the first four days, then it was heavy for two days, and now I’m back to light flow. I had some minor stomach discomfort, and gas. This is the first time I’ve ever gone the entire seven days; it usually stops on day five. I was told that implantation bleeding only lasts a day or two, and also that it’s possible to be pregnant and menstruating at the same time. I tested and it was negative. We have been having sex for the last two days, and if I’m charting right, the 5th, 6th and 7th of this month will be the best opportunity for me to get pregnant.

How would I know it’s implantation bleeding and not another period? This period was lighter in color, not dark red, and it had some clear discharge with it the first few days.

I will be checking in with my doctor, but I’d like your thoughts on this. Thank you.




Last Updated: October 11, 2013
Dear Christine,

I assume you are consulting with your physician re: the medications you are taking and what impact, if any, they may be having on your fertility, and advisability during pregnancy, so I will address your other questions about your cycle. I will mention that even slightly elevated levels of prolactin can affect fertility, and so even though you are no longer observing the symptoms you were before, it still would be important to determine if your levels have returned to normal and remained there. A blood test could reveal this.

Regarding your cycle length, the bleeding pattern, and the discharge you are observing, it does sound as if your hormones may not be in a normal state. To evaluate each of these concerns you mention, I suggest you contact an expert in women’s cycles to teach you how to chart your cycle. That will permit you to create a record of the bleeding pattern you are observing, the quantity and quality of the mucus discharge, and the timing of it, and more detailed information than the length of your cycle, such as the timing of ovulation and the length of your luteal phase. Spotting for several days prior to your menses and a shortened luteal phase may indicate inadequate progesterone levels. This could be identified with accurate charting, and then confirmed with tests which could be timed correctly if you learn how to chart the events of your cycle in a standardized way. Charting your cycles in this way will also help you identify the optimal days to achieve a pregnancy. This can be observed cycle by cycle, in a prospective manner, rather than guesstimated based on past history of cycles.

The good news is that it sounds like you are on the right track, and that your body is recovering and in an improved state from where it was only five years ago. I wish you success in your efforts to begin a family!

Sheila St. John

Answered By:

Sheila St. John
Sheila St. John is the Executive Director of the California Association of Natural Family Planning, coordinating the non-profit’s education and advocacy efforts throughout the state. Initially attracted to NFP as a healthy, effective method for planning families, drug, device and surgery free, her passion for NFP has grown over the last 42 years as she has journeyed with the over 900 couples she has personally instructed in its use, and been privileged to witness its role in overcoming infertility, women’s health, and the transformation that occurs in lives of men, women, and families, when we embrace God’s design for love and life.

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