Discussions By Condition: Cervical conditions

cervix vasovagal response

Posted In: Cervical conditions 18 Replies
  • Posted By: nomadchica
  • September 8, 2007
  • 07:42 PM

hi there! i'm curious to know if anyone else has been told that their cervix has a severe or extreme vasovagal response. i was recently told this by a new doctor, who said that mine was the most severe vasovagal response she'd ever seen (in her 23 years of practicing).

what she witnessed was what i experience every month with my period. i've been calling it "pms" or "dysmennorhea" all this time, but i now understand that my pms/dysmennorhea is complicated by this vasovagal response of my cervix.

what i experience is this: i get severe menstrual cramps, and then vomit. i'm sweating profusely, and feel very very hot. i'm very weak, and am unable to stand, sit, or speak. i vomit periodically during this whole process, which usually lasts 3-4 hours. i've been told (by my doctor, and by relatives who have witnessed this process) that my pulse goes down to 20-30 beats per minute. the excruciating menstrual cramps continue, and come in waves. i feel like i'm hovering on the edge of consciousness, but i don't actually lose consciousness.

after the episode subside, i get very cold, extremely tired, and my body just hurts. i usually take a hot bath with epsom salts, and then sleep for a few hours. it usually takes another day or two for me to recover fully.

my doctor has said that either the hormonal fluctuations or the cervical dilation during my period are causing a vasovagal response in my cervix. this explanation makes sense to me. i'd love to know if anyone out there can relate to any of this.

thanks!! :)

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18 Replies:

  • I think this is more serious than a gyne can handle. I would see if you can get into an endrocrinology specialist. The reason I suggest this is when you mention vomitting, coldness, and feel like loss of consciousness. I had these problems and it ended up being an adrenal problem caused by the pituitary. So, just to be sure I'd look into it further. Thats not normal-somethings wrong.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 15, 2007
    • 06:10 PM
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  • wow! so what did your endocrinologist recommend as treatment for the adrenal/pituitary issue??
    nomadchica 8 Replies
    • September 16, 2007
    • 02:29 PM
    • 0
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  • To the person with adrenal problems: So, are you saying you had problems with your periods because of the adrenal issues??? I have adrenal issues and have problems with my priods. Can you elaborate a bit more???
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 18, 2007
    • 00:04 AM
    • 0
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  • My daughter has those symptoms. The pain is excruciating and causes vomiting. She was diagnosed as having a smooth muscle tic after an OB/GYN recorded the cervical dilation on ultrasound. Seven OB/GYN specialists said it couldn't happen, but the ultrasound was proof. She is treated by taking Nifedical (Procardia) daily. The episodes have stopped with this continuing treatment. I've contacted medical centers throughout the U.S. and could not find any physician who had ever heard of this. The head of OB/GYN at Mayo Clinic said he would see her, but the Nifedical has stopped the symptoms. An MRI (or CT scan, I can't remember) did not show any pituitary problems. She is hypothyroid and sees an endocrinologist. She always suffers hormonally-induced chronic migraines, which are controlled by continuous Ortho-Evra patch.Where were you diagnosed with vasovaginal response? What type of specialist?
    v.shake 1 Replies
    • December 18, 2007
    • 05:44 PM
    • 0
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  • hi there vshake,wow, sounds like your daughter has had a rough time of it. glad to hear that she has the symptoms under control, at least. any idea what's causing these problems for her?re: my situation...still no clear answers. the provider who told me that my cervix has a severe vasovagal response is a women's health nurse practitioner. i also recently found out that i have cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (pre-cancer of the cervix), but that i definitely don't have hpv (the virus that usually causes cin). the pathologist said that the cell changes were consistent with viral changes...so now, there's a quest to find out if there's some sort of virus on my cervix that is causing or contributing to these severe symptoms that i experience.it's all very exhausting, as i feel like no medical professional is taking the situation nearly as seriously as i am. i also had viral meningitis 2.5 years ago (along with a blood clot in my jugular vein -- i'm not the standard case in any domain, it seems!). so i can't help but wonder if the viral meningitis and the cervical virus are somehow related. the whole situation is very frustrating, anxiety-producing, and like i said, just plain exhausting. i experience mild to extreme fatigue and muscle aches all month long, and then have the very severe symptoms for about a week, during my period, where all i can do is just lay on the couch until it passes.i used to be a triathlete who worked full time, volunteered, and had an active social life. now, i struggle to be able to work just 20 hours a week. and "exercise" means a stroll thru the neighborhood. i try to stay optimistic and focus on the positive. vshake, i'm interested to hear more about your daughter's situation -- her current level of functioning, and ideas re: the cause(s) of her symptoms.and anyone else out there with similar symptoms...i'd love to hear from you, too! :)
    nomadchica 8 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hey, I see it's been awhile since this post so I don't know if you will be looking here anymore, but I have the same symptoms when I start my period. My doctor told me it sounded like a vasovagal response, which he said may be a result of imbalance between progesterone and estrogen levels in the body. He suggested using a natural progesterone cream and my symptoms got less severe after using it for a few months. I thought I was good to go so I stopped using the cream, but then had the symptoms two months after I stopped. My doctor said that I should be able to stop using the cream, but that it might take 6 months of use until my body can kick in to produce the right balance. Have you had any additional suggestions for treatment? Anything that helped? The worst is when you can tell it's about to come on, but there's nothing that can stop it from happening. I hate that!Peace, E
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 19, 2009
    • 00:51 AM
    • 0
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  • Hey everyone I know most people may not check this anymore but I just had to go to the hospital after I lost past out twice in the shower. I had many of the above symptoms for years but they were under control as long as I kept my body fat low by exercising a lot and taking vitex and other herbs. Anyway I was on bc for over 3 yrs so I skipped all but 4 periods a year and all my symptoms went away. In that 3 years I started college and a busy life but even with eating well and exercising I gained a huge amount of weight from the bc. I have been off it for 3 or 4 mos. but not my nausea and sickness has come back and this is when for the first time in my life I fainted not once but twice hitting my face when falling. I thought many times I would pass out from the pain but it never happened 'til now. Just be careful its real.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 22, 2010
    • 00:30 AM
    • 0
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  • Hopefully someone is still reading this I started PT for urge urinary incontinence two weeks ago with a DSc PT after being referred by two urogyn surgeons. I had surgery in Sept. 2010 to remove a foreign body from the urinary bladder, also a rectocele repair. A pledget and suture had eroded into the bladder after previous cystocele repair. This recovery was remarkably fast. I felt better than I had for at least two years. Last Friday I had my second session with the PT who used biofeedback to obtain audio-visual feedback on my muscle controle. I thought the session was very successful. When I stood to dress I became dizzy with blurred vision, very nauseated and thought I would lose conciousness. I reported this at the counter. One of the girls checked my B/P. It was high, 140/82, pulse irreguler, PACs (atrial fib?). I thought adrenalin rush or possible low blood sugar, but no improvement after eating a bag of Gummies. Waited two hours before driving short distance home. Each time I have attempted the exercises this week the symptoms have returned after only two or three contractions. Thinking is very "muddy," and I am very tired. I had an appointment with my neuropsychologist yesterday. After telling him what had happened immediately he said, "vasovagal response." Evidently the vagus nerve is stimulated by the vaginal muscles as well as by the cervix. How long will these symptoms continue??? (I am an RN also.)
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 11, 2011
    • 09:53 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi! as to the first post I have the exact same thing! I have never been referred to a gyno but have seen brain/ heart specialist! I was diagnosed with vasaovagel response and now am on a betablocker. I only ever experience it during my period and at the times of the episodes i literally feel like i'm going to die. Very interesting to know that I am not the only one suffering! I feel that the betablocker may be the wrong kind of medicine so am very interested to know if someone else has another remedy?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have this though I didn't until recently know what it was. I eliminated gluten from my diet (completely) 3 years ago because of some chronic inflamation in my joints and it went from every month to once or twice a year. I think the once or twice a year is when I accidentally get some gluten from a resturant or something. I have a friend who also has this and she was diagnosed with celiac's 5 years ago and had the same experience with her symptoms. I'm not sure if everyone out there will have a gluten intolerance associated with this but it really seems worth trying.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wow, it's been a long time since I've checked this thread, and it's so nice to see all of the responses! Everyone's story is really interesting, as are the similarities and differences among our experiences.ECS, I totally related to your frustration at feeling an episode coming on, and not being about to do anything about it. And "Unregistered guest" who posted on 7/28/11, I can very much relate to your description of feeling like you're dying at the time of the episodes. They are so excruciatingly painful, and it's really difficult to communicate that to others in a way that they can understand it.In the past couple years, I've found a few things that work/help. The main thing is taking Flexeril (a muscle relaxant) during PMS and my period. I'm by no means a drug advocate, but this seems to really work for me. I don't prevent all of them all the time with Flexeril, but I'm experiencing these episodes WAY less than I used to (i.e. a couple times a year instead of every single month). And the fact that Flexeril helps so much seems to support the cervical dilation hypothesis. I take 1 pill every night when my cramps start. And when the cramps ramp up to their worst (for me on the last day of my cycle and the first day of bleeding), I take 3 pills/day, as needed.Other things that help tremendously are an herb called Cramp bark (I prefer using Vitannica's Cramp Bark product, though there are others), Magnesium (a natural muscle relaxant -- I use a product called "CALM," a powder you mix with water), Evening primrose oil, and Omega 3s. I take all 4 of these things in small doses thruout the month, and I triple the dose during PMS/period. So, ECS, when I feel an episode coming on, I load up on all of the herbal things, and take one Flexeril pill. I still sweat, feel nauseated, and need to lie down...but as all of us on here know, this is FAR better than a full-on episode. Now, I also have made several lifestyle changes that seemed to have helped; some are all thru the month, and others are just during PMS/period. I get acupuncture 2x/month, one of the times being during PMS -- it really helps! At the end of each period, I get a deep-tissue massage -- it helps prevent the muscle cramping in my neck/back/head, and helps prevent the migraines I used to get at this time every month. Another lifestyle change is that I just accept the fact that I'm going to be out-of-commission for 1 week every month, and that I'm going to spend much of that week lying down, and some of it sleeping (a lot!). Recognizing this and not trying to push myself really helps, as the episodes only happen when I'm standing up. It's kind of amazing how creative you can get about getting regular life things done, and finding lying-down-possible things to do when it's absolutely necessary! I also rely on the help of incredible friends to do the necessary things that I have trouble doing during this time each month...like grocery shopping and meal preparation.And last but not least, I try to minimize my stress thruout the month. With all of these things in place, the amount of stress that accumulates over the month seems to be the one consistent predictor of how bad my PMS/period is going to be. And I find that yoga and meditation, in addition to regular exercise, are instrumental in managing my stress levels.I've also been referred to a brain specialist, who's been very helpful with some other problems, and is working on this one as well. It's only been 3 months, so I'm not sure if it's helping...but I hope it will!Hmmm, until writing up this post, I didn't realize just how many things I do to make my monthly PMS/periods manageable, or even bearable, for that matter! Crazy! But I'm so glad that I've found things that have helped. And I hope that at least some of this information will be helpful for others.Again, I would love to hear feedback and experiences -- keep 'em coming! :)
    nomadchica 8 Replies
    • October 28, 2012
    • 09:31 AM
    • 0
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  • Wow, it's been a long time since I've checked this thread, and it's so nice to see all of the responses! Everyone's story is really interesting, as are the similarities and differences among our experiences. ECS, I totally related to your frustration at feeling an episode coming on, and not being about to do anything about it. And "Unregistered guest" who posted on 7/28/11, I can very much relate to your description of feeling like you're dying at the time of the episodes. They are so excruciatingly painful, and it's really difficult to communicate that to others in a way that they can understand it. In the past couple years, I've found a few things that work/help. The main thing is taking Flexeril (a muscle relaxant) during PMS and my period. I'm by no means a drug advocate, but this seems to really work for me. I don't prevent all of them all the time with Flexeril, but I'm experiencing these episodes WAY less than I used to (i.e. a couple times a year instead of every single month). And the fact that Flexeril helps so much seems to support the cervical dilation hypothesis. I take 1 pill every night when my cramps start. And when the cramps ramp up to their worst (for me on the last day of my cycle and the first day of bleeding), I take 3 pills/day, as needed. Other things that help tremendously are an herb called Cramp bark (I prefer using Vitannica's Cramp Bark product, though there are others), Magnesium (a natural muscle relaxant -- I use a product called "CALM," a powder you mix with water), Evening primrose oil, and Omega 3s. I take all 4 of these things in small doses thruout the month, and I triple the dose during PMS/period. So, ECS, when I feel an episode coming on, I load up on all of the herbal things, and take one Flexeril pill. I still sweat, feel nauseated, and need to lie down...but as all of us on here know, this is FAR better than a full-on episode. Now, I also have made several lifestyle changes that seemed to have helped; some are all thru the month, and others are just during PMS/period. I get acupuncture 2x/month, one of the times being during PMS -- it really helps! At the end of each period, I get a deep-tissue massage -- it helps prevent the muscle cramping in my neck/back/head, and helps prevent the migraines I used to get at this time every month. Another lifestyle change is that I just accept the fact that I'm going to be out-of-commission for 1 week every month, and that I'm going to spend much of that week lying down, and some of it sleeping (a lot!). Recognizing this and not trying to push myself really helps, as the episodes only happen when I'm standing up. It's kind of amazing how creative you can get about getting regular life things done, and finding lying-down-possible things to do when it's absolutely necessary! I also rely on the help of incredible friends to do the necessary things that I have trouble doing during this time each month...like grocery shopping and meal preparation. And last but not least, I try to minimize my stress thruout the month. With all of these things in place, the amount of stress that accumulates over the month seems to be the one consistent predictor of how bad my PMS/period is going to be. And I find that yoga and meditation, in addition to regular exercise, are instrumental in managing my stress levels. I've also been referred to a brain specialist, who's been very helpful with some other problems, and is working on this one as well. It's only been 3 months, so I'm not sure if it's helping...but I hope it will! Hmmm, until writing up this post, I didn't realize just how many things I do to make my monthly PMS/periods manageable, or even bearable, for that matter! Crazy! But I'm so glad that I've found things that have helped. And I hope that at least some of this information will be helpful for others. Again, I would love to hear feedback and experiences -- keep 'em coming! :)
    nomadchica 8 Replies
    • October 31, 2012
    • 01:33 AM
    • 0
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  • what i experience is this: i get severe menstrual cramps, and then vomit. i'm sweating profusely, and feel very very hot. i'm very weak, and am unable to stand, sit, or speak. i vomit periodically during this whole process, which usually lasts 3-4 hours. i've been told (by my doctor, and by relatives who have witnessed this process) that my pulse goes down to 20-30 beats per minute. the excruciating menstrual cramps continue, and come in waves. i feel like i'm hovering on the edge of consciousness, but i don't actually lose consciousness.Hi Nomadchica, That all sounds very familiar. I had my first episode at age 21, brought on be menstrual cramps. I went on the pill for birth control and stopped getting the response. Around age 24 I was off the pill and the cramps/vomiting/near-blackout episodes were back. My family doc diagnosed me with endometriosis based on this description and told me to get back on the pill, which greatly reduced the incidence. At some point I discovered Naproxen (now sold as Aleeve) worked very well for me.I wish that instead of going on the pill (when I mostly didn't need to be) I had just learned how to use a painkiller properly (the sooner you take a painkiller, the less you have to take. Its some kind of strange feedback loop. If I take one pill at the earliest sign, that's all I need). I learned the word vasovagal when I had an episode in a clinic around age 28, just after having an IUD put in. I had diarrhea, vomited and had to keep my head down (blood pressure drop) and the doc said: oh, that's a cervical vasovagal response. She was pretty unconcerned. As I was recovering, I asked her if I should worry about childbirth. She said no.I've been off the pill for 1.5 yrs and am now using the aleeve once a month. It's hard to test other cures because I am so adverse to having the episode that I just take it when cramping starts, which means I can't tell if something is making it better or worse (I tried magnesium oil on my belly last month, for example, but can't say if it helped). I was very interested to read that one poster's doc thought hormone imbalances could be a cause. Would like to know more! There is very little about cervical vasovagal on the internet.Lets stay in touch on this!
    marloromarie 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • There is very little information on this malady. The first doctor I went to about these episodes dismissed the condition as a "fluke". I have suffered with this condition for 28 years, starting rarely to now every month. Because it was so intolerable to me, I decided to have a "uterine ablation". After having the ablation, these episodes stopped. But, the lining of my uterus grew back, which is normal. Once the lining of my uterus grew back, I started having the attacks again!
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I experience a very similar thing. I know when it's starting by a tingly sensation. I usually have diarrhea first, then vomit once, then have very painful cramps for about 2 hours. It also happened when I had an IUD put in, so I thought it was cervical dilation too. NSAIDs like aleve taken before the pain gets too bad will prevent this. Now I'm pregnant and it's happened once from the early pregnancy cramps, so apparently uterine cramping will do it too. It can be dangerous. Once I took painkiller, though I was fine, and got in the car to do an errand. Realized the painkiller wasn't working and drove home while blacking out. Had to get home before my digestive system evacuation began!!
    marloromarie 1 Replies
    • September 26, 2015
    • 04:55 PM
    • 0
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  • Nomadchica, thanks for this thread! I started experiencing this in my teens, and sadly it wasn't until my early 30s that I discovered I should take Aleve at the first sign of any cramping (or even before) rather than wait until the real pain started. I used to be out of commission for hours. Like others who've posted, I would get nauseous, have diarrhea, vomit, and pass out if I didn't have the good fortune to lie down in time--and often the vomitting would continue over the course of many hours. Usually I'd wind up lying on a nice cool bathroom floor (wherever I was), which I guess prevented me from subsequently experiencing the vasovagal response. And, like others, feeling hot and sweaty would cycle on and off with being cold and clammy. Now I take 3 Aleves in the first 24 hours and I'm set for the remainer of my period. I'm now entering perimenopause so I take iron during my period since it comes more often, leaving me feeling exhausted. Thanks again for this invaluable thread!
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • October 5, 2015
    • 10:34 PM
    • 0
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  • I too, starting in my early days of menstruation would experience severe cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, and cold/hot cycles at onset of bleeding on some cycles. I suffered for 5 years before a nurse mentioned that I take an NSAID (ibuprofen) ahead of each period. That helped, and they also started me on birth control pills. I had normal pregnancies and deliveries later in life. Then, I tried an IUD and experienced a vasovagal during insertion. They used smelling salts to keep me from fainting, but I was unable to move and my heartbeat was as slow as when I'm sleeping. My mind was all there, but I was unable to speak -- scary! I had the IUD removed three days later due to "labor" pains. I've been told before that my uterus is retroverted. I wonder if that's why the IUD caused so much pain. During doggy position, my cervix has been bumped. It feels much like the shooting pain felt after hitting the "funny bone" of my elbow! Just had it happen again in different position. Anyone else?
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • November 9, 2015
    • 07:22 AM
    • 0
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  • I too experience these symptoms on the onset of a period: dizziness, nausea, terrible stomach cramps, cold, clammy, drop in blood pressure, fainting, hyperventilating, vomiting, and diarrhea. I have been hospitalized many times starting from 14 because the vomiting does not stop and leads to dehydration. I suspect it triggers cyclic vomiting, which added with the cramps, is the worst pain of my life. I take Tylenol 3 for mild pain and oxycodone 10 for intense pain, also zofran for nausea. I have been diagnosed with endo & IBS. I'm 34 and still get these attacks. I wish NSAIDs worked and magnesium, but it seems strong painkillers are my only option. Some things I have tried: heating pad, birth control pills, acupuncture, herbs, vitamin supplements, laparoscopy for endo, hypo gastric plexus nerve block (injection into spine under sedation). Out of all these the nerve block was the most effective. I'm considering presacral nerve ablation, though it's irreversible and there are risks.
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
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