Read The Bloody Chart

, , , , | Healthy | July 24, 2018

(I start menstruating at 12 years old, but my periods never become regular over time like they are supposed to. Sometimes they last three days, sometimes six or seven. Sometimes I wait three weeks between periods, sometimes five or six weeks. For a while, it doesn’t bother me, but when I am 22, I decide to go to a gynecologist and ask if there is anything to worry about. I should also note that I look very young and am often mistaken for a teenager. At the doctor’s office, I am taken to an exam room where the nurse takes my history and tells me the doctor will be there in a few minutes.)

Doctor: *does not look at my chart* “I hear you’re concerned that your period isn’t regular yet.”

Me: “That’s right; it’s always a surprise. I just want to make sure it’s nothing I should be worried about.”

Doctor: *condescendingly* “Well, it’s not uncommon for periods to be irregular after they start. It can take a few years for your period to become regular.”

Me: *realizing she thinks I’m a teenager* “Ten? Is ten enough years? Because it’s been ten years.”

(The doctor goes white, quickly grabs my chart, and realizes I’m older than she assumed.)

Doctor: “Oh! It definitely should be regular by now; let’s run some blood work.”

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