My periods stopped after I started chemo for Stage IIIA breast cancer back in 8/05, when I was 36. I had one period in 10/06, but otherwise, no bleeding and lots of severe menopause symptoms. Lately my symptoms have improved, particularly the hot flashes. For nearly a month now I have been dealing with lots of vaginal discharge, which is clear, not bad-smellling. It is runny enough to soak my underwear, and it reminds me of the discharge I used to get when I ovulated because it is a little sticky, but this is excessive.
The subsiding (though not entirely) of my menopause symptoms plus this discharge makes me wonder if my body is trying to have periods again? I have also had a few menstrual-type cramps, but no blood flow. I am between doctor visits, but since I can't make it through a work day without having to change my underwear, is this enough cause for concern to see a doctor sooner? Thank you.
Women who are young and have chemotherapy do sometimes get back some function from their ovaries. That could be happening to you. You could also just be getting used to the lower level of estrogen and adjusting to it.
If you have any worries about your vaginal discharge having been through all that you have, it is a good idea to see your doctor. It is very difficult to know with certainty if there is a problem without an exam and possibly checking your hormone levels. In the shortrun, you could try an over the counter remedy called Replens which can help in some instances with the vaginal discharge, especially if it is due to low estrogen. It contains no hormones but does moisten the vagina. Use it daily for a week then twice weekly. While your problem is likely not anything to worry about, as mentioned, checking with your doctor who knows your specific details is always a good idea.
Machelle M. Seibel, MD
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