ADHD and a Uterus

I haven’t noticed a lot of topics geared toward the struggles of having a uterus and also a very forgetful mind, so ladies and pre-op boys, this one’s for you.

First I wanna start on PMS because god knows there is nothing worse than already having a non-working ACC, (as described in Jessica’s “ADHD and Anger,” which you should absolutely watch if you have not,) on top of a sudden influx of testosterone coupled with a reduction of estrogen.

We go nuts sometimes.

It’s okay. I do it too. The small things pile on and on until I’m a blundering mess of tears, unjustified desires to abandon those I love, horniness, anxiety sweats, and a whole slew of other messy, emotional issues. And yeah, rage. All of the rage.

Thanks testosterone.

Sadly, all we can do about this is just… know when its happening. It can take an intense sense of self awareness to know when PMS is taking control and an even bigger sense of awareness to actually stop it. Sometimes it’s downright impossible, and when it is it’s important to apologise for your behavior. You don’t have to change, and anyone suggesting you do has an enormous misunderstanding of the issue, but apologising sincerely is very important when you inadvertently lash out at your loved ones, as we all do sometimes.

I’m sure there are certain supplements that can help, but when ADHD is also holding the reins, our best bet is to just be hyper-vigilent regarding our reactions. Count to ten, take a deep breath, and if you still wanna start swinging, be ready for a follow up apology and mean it.

Moving on, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has trouble remembering to change menstrual products. Toxic shock syndrome apparently only effects those with a genetic predisposition, and as such I’ve never gotten it despite often leaving tampons in overnight, sometimes for up to 16 hours, before remembering “oh, sh*t, I need to change that.” But it’s better just to not find out if that’s you in the first place. I’ve tried menstrual cups, which turned out to be too much messy work, pads, which make me feel like I’m wearing a diaper, and lately, period underwear.

Period underwear is queen. It can be a bit of an investment, and if you’re struggling financially this may not be the advice for you. However, I bought mine in a 5 pack for $60 and have probably saved as much as I paid for them and then some on not having to buy menstrual products. Best part, you can leave em basically all day without having to worry, even if your flow is downright excessive like mine is. (With the menstrual cups, I was able to measure my flow to determine that I’m in roughly the 90th centile, meaning 90% of women bleed less than I do.) You’ll have to find the rights ones for yourself, but I bought mine on amazon.

I once worked a 16 hour shift at work in them on day 3. They earned my utmost respect that day and thereafter I cannot recomend a good pair or 7 enough. It is literally the perfect solution for my forgetfulness. I hand wash em in the sink and leave em to dry when I’m done, then wash them like a normal pair of underwear. (Let’s be real, we all wash our period undies by hand out of necessity anyway at least once or twice a cycle.)

Last topic I wanna tackle is birth control, and this is a tough one that really comes down to an individual. All I can give is my own experiences.

I took the pill for six years, and forgot to take it just about every other night. Not good. Not good at all. I had the problem of basically every pill being too high in estrogen and it made my pms even worse. Like, I was downright scary.

Some forgetful brains might thrive on an arm implant, but if you are sensitive to that estrogen like I am, arm implants can be a huge hormonal issue. Taking the pill hardly works if you can’t take it on time every day, so if you’re forgetful what’s the point?

My savior was an IUD. A paraguard copper IUD to be precise. I have exactly zero children and was heavily discouraged from getting one as such. It hurt like heck to have put in, and the next few periods were agony, but after about 4 or 5 months my angry uterus calmed down and I have a semi-permanent form of birth control that will last the next 12 years if I want it to.

I can’t recommend it for everyone of course. It’s a decision you should probably come to with your doctor, but at the time I got it I had no medical insurance and received it through planned parenthood for a whopping $400. If you’re tight on finances again, this might not be for you if your only option is to pay out of pocket, but it is by far the easiest birth control for my adhd brain to handle. If this sounds like a good option to you, there’s three things: Reasearch, research, and research. Always advocate for yourself.

I’m hoping to turn this into a big thread for anyone with advice on having both a uterus and adhd, and I hope my own advice can help some people. Sorry it’s so long winded. There are many other things I can and want to talk about too regarding the subject. Drop a comment if you feel inclined and thank you for reading:)

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By the time I got my adhd diagnosis I was already menopausal - which is not a coincidence, apparently. In my undiagnosed years I hated the pmt, especially the angry outbursts, but was afraid to do anything to cancel out my cycle because how would I cope without the one week a month where I got things done?

Looking back, and having now read a bit about female hormones and adhd, so much makes sense to me now. Not least the research that says pmt/pms probably doesn’t exist: I read the conclusions and the research seemed sound, so why did my own experiences seem to show such a clear cyclical pattern? It turns out that the hormonal effect on adhd symptoms means that what I was experiencing was increased difficulty in coping with undiagnosed adhd, and that was in a cyclical pattern.

And the hormonal changes that accompany menopause basically mean I get the difficulties coping with my adhd behaviour, without the hormonal boost one week a month to get things done. It was an absolute nightmare, I thought I was getting Alzheimer’s (seriously: my dad has it so this was a real fear).

Thank god for my adhd diagnosis and treatment, is all I can say!

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This was very interesting to read!
I do not use tampons because I don’t like them.
I use pads but damn I don’t know how often I couldn’t change them because I forgot to bring extra pads or forgot them at my desk at work.
I’m glad that I am not sexual active (I see myself more on the asexual spectrum - grey- or demisexual), so I am very glad I don’t need birth control…I would forget to take them too. Like I forgot my prescribed vitamin D or my thyroid-medicine that I’m taking for 19 years now… :see_no_evil:
Can you recommend a brand of period underwear that I might be able to purchase on amazon?
I do work long shifts sometimes when I’m on work trips (sometimes I don’t make bathroom breaks for more than 4 hours) so they could really help!

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These are the bad boys that I bought. They run a little bit tight but I prefer it that way just to reduce the likelihood of leakage. They can be pinchy tho so my suggestion is to go a size up from your normal size if tight clothes don’t suit you.

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Do you wear anything with the underwear? Are there any issues with your clothes? Can you wear these underwear under a white outfit?

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Sometimes on really heavy days I wear a tampon too just bc it’s easier to change that and not have to worry about the way regular underwear can leak through. Otherwise I have to blot out the blood clots with tissue paper when I use the bathroom just for personal preference. Keep in mind that using the bathroom then putting back on cold, damp undies can be pretty uncomfortable for a few minutes before they warm back up to your body temperature. I don’t really have a great remedy for that but its something I’m willing to deal with. Actually I’m wearing a white T-shirt that comes down to my knees right now and I’ve never had an issue with them leaking through. I don’t trust any white clothes on my period just out of paranoia, but I don’t think they’ve ever leaked on me once. The worst that happens is I have a really heavy day, then when I take them off I have to be careful bc the blood has sort of pooled up in the bottom and might spill out if I tip them to one side or another. I try to blot them with tissue paper a few times throughout the day to keep that from happening. Heavy days are the only real challenge. I think my biggest fear in wearing them under a white outfit is just that you could probably see black underwear pretty clearly through white clothing.

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I do. Never had a problem.

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They come in other colors too. Try researching bamboo period unides. I can’t find the brand right now, but if they come in Africa and Europe (I know that much) you should get a hold of them in the States. I assume that is where you are from.

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These look very similar to the bamboo underwear for mild incontinence that one of my relatives uses. She is very happy with those as they are less sweaty than the pads she was using before.

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This thread is magical!

I was recently diagnosed with ADHD and started Vyvanse (3rd kind of med I’ve tried since diagnosis) and have stuck with 40mg (20mg taken twice a day). I’m wondering if anybody in this thread has noticed ADHD meds impacting their cycle at all?

Reason I ask is my cycle is usually 31-35 days but my last one was 49 and the one I’m in currently is 53…At the recommendation of my psychologist, I’m going to be speaking with my pharmacist to understand if/how the medication might be impacting my cycle, but I’d love to hear from you folx alongside that! :pray:

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I’m on Welbutrin which is technically an antidepressant, although it’s sometimes used as a non-stimulant option for adhd treatment I believe. (My prescription was given as a treatment for depression tho, not adhd.) As I’m not on an actual adhd medication I don’t think I’m qualified to comment any advice but hopefully someone will have some insight. I do notice that my cycle is a few days longer, but I also got an IUD last december and that very well could be the cause for that too. Too many variables for me to really say one way or the other. Perhaps there’s someone who could be of more help willing to comment on the matter. Sorry I can’t be of more help😬

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Thank you very much! I will add this to my shopping card

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I could imagine that a the Vyvanse changes, by being a stimulant, changes the balance of your hormones. e.g. Adrenaline, Noradrenalin and Cortisol (all Stresshormones) do so. So the follikel doesn’t get stimulated to hop. :slight_smile: I’m on Vyvanse/elvanse since almost two weeks. As soon as I have more personal data I’ll report.

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