Menstruation (also known as a period) is the regular discharge of blood and tissue from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina. The menstrual cycle is characterized by the rise and fall of hormones. Menstruation is triggered by falling progesterone levels and is a sign that pregnancy has not taken place. Menstruation is having your period is when blood and tissue from your uterus comes out of you.

Menstruation which is commonly known as getting your “period” is the vaginal bleeding that every woman goes through each month. The bleeding lasts at about 4-7 days, which is the “period” whereas “menstrual cycle” lasts at about 28-35 days between each period. Menarche or the age at which adolescent girls first start experiencing their period ranges between 8 years to 12years, but with time changing and better quality of life and mortality rates, it is common for girls to start menstruating before the age of 12 nowadays.

Menopause or the age at which women finally stop having to experience their periods, usually onsets around the age of 45 years. The phase in-between menarche and menopause is known as the fertile period during which women can conceive children. Once menopause gets to set in, female fertility comes to an end which means she might not be able to give birth anymore.

The terms “menstruation” and “menses” are derived from the Latin word mensis (month), which in turn relates to the Greek mene (moon) and to the roots of the English words month and moon. The vaginal bleeding that characterizes a period is a mix of blood, nutrients, and endometrial tissue. Every month, when the ovum {egg} is released into the uterus from the ovaries, the endometrium thickens in preparation to house an embryo if the released ovum is fertilized by a sperm during that cycle. In lack of this event, the uterus sheds this lining, which comes out as our period. Thus the endometrium thickens and sheds each month, which is what we know as menstruation. Though periods may come across as an overwhelming amount of blood loss at first, the blood we lose on our period amounts to just about 80 CCs. This blood doesn’t clot because of substances called plasmin and prostacyclins, which act to prevent the coagulation of blood and aggregation of platelets in the process.

Menstrual cycles vary from person to person. This can manifest in different ways, like periods without any PMS, light flows or extremely heavy flows, shorter or longer periods, etc. These can be broadly categorized into either frequency disturbances or rhythm disturbances. Keep in mind that it is always better to consult a doctor if you feel like something is amiss. Also remember that if you are experiencing such disturbances at either the onset of your first period or the offset of your last period, this is most likely nothing to worry about, since a little bit of fluctuation when your body is changing is normal and expected.

When you are menstruating or your sister, neighbor, families, loved ones or a poor little girl down the street, we recommend you to use Pad-Up Creations Menstrual kit, it is 100% chemical free, washable, reusable, super thin, breathable and highly absorbent. Our pads are made from high-quality natural materials which are good for you and our planet! Our pads/ products are guaranteed 100% no rashes, infections, stains, removal or leaks since they are made using chemical-free.

Although a normal and natural process,[some women experience problems sufficient to disrupt their lives as a result of their menstrual cycle. These include acne, tender breasts, feeling tired, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). More severe problems such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder are experienced by 3 to 8% of women, Dysmenorrhea or “period pain” can cause cramps in the abdomen, back, or upper thighs that occur during the first few days of menstruation. Debilitating period pain is not normal and can be a sign of something severe such as endometriosis as these issues can significantly affect a woman’s health and quality of life and timely interventions can improve the lives of these women.

There are common culturally communicated misbeliefs that the menstrual cycle affects women’s moods, causes depression or irritability, or that menstruation is a painful, shameful or unclean experience. Often a woman’s normal mood variation is falsely attributed to the menstrual cycle. Much of the research is weak, but there appears to be a very small increase in mood fluctuations during the luteal and menstrual phases, and a corresponding decrease during the rest of the cycle, changing levels of estrogen and progesterone across the menstrual cycle exert systemic effects on aspects of physiology including the brain, metabolism, and musculoskeletal system. The result can be subtle physiological and observable changes to women’s athletic performance including strength, aerobic, and anaerobic performance. Changes to the brain have also been observed throughout the menstrual cycle but do not translate into measurable changes in intellectual achievement – including academic performance, problem-solving, memory, and creativity. Improvements in spatial reasoning ability during the menstruation phase of the cycle are probably caused by decreases in levels of estrogen and progesterone.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to emotional and physical symptoms that regularly occur in the one to two weeks before the start of each menstrual period, symptoms resolve around the time menstrual bleeding begins. Different women experience different symptoms the common emotional symptoms include irritability and mood changes. The common physical symptoms include acne, tender breasts, bloating, and feeling tired. These are nonspecific symptoms and may be seen in women without PMS. Often PMS-related symptoms are present for about six days in an individual’s pattern of symptoms may change over time as symptoms do not occur during pregnancy or following menopause. Diagnosis requires a consistent pattern of emotional and physical symptoms occurring after ovulation and before menstruation to a degree that interferes with normal life.

Emotional symptoms must not be present during the initial part of the menstrual cycle as a daily list of symptoms over a few months may help in diagnosis as other disorders that cause similar symptoms need to be excluded before a diagnosis is made. The cause of PMS is unknown, but the underlying mechanism is believed to involve changes in hormone levels. Reducing salt, alcohol, caffeine, and stress along with increasing exercise is typically all that is recommended in those with mild symptoms. Calcium and vitamin D supplementation may be useful in some as anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen may help with physical symptoms. In those with more significant symptoms birth control pills or the diuretic spironolactone may be useful. Up to 80% of women report having some symptoms after ovulation.

Cramps in most women, various physical changes are brought about by fluctuations in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle. This includes muscle contractions of the uterus (menstrual cramping) that can precede or accompany menstruation. Many women experience painful cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea, during menstruation as among adult women, that pain is severe enough to affect daily activity, severe symptoms that disrupt daily activities and functioning may be diagnosed as premenstrual dysphoric disorder. These symptoms can be severe enough to affect a person’s performance at work, school, and in everyday activities in a small percentage of women as when there is severe pelvic pain and bleeding suddenly occur or worsen during a cycle.

Your menstrual cycle helps your body prepare for pregnancy every month. It also makes you have a period if you’re not pregnant. Your menstrual cycle and period are controlled by hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Here’s how it all goes down, you have 2 ovaries, and each one holds a bunch of eggs. The eggs are super tiny, too small to see with the naked eye. During your menstrual cycle, hormones make the eggs in your ovaries mature as when an egg is mature, that means it’s ready to be fertilized by a sperm cell. These hormones also make the lining of your uterus thick and spongy. So if your egg does get fertilized, it has a nice cushy place to land and start a pregnancy. This lining is made of tissue and blood, like almost everything else inside our bodies. It has lots of nutrients to help a pregnancy grow as about halfway through your menstrual cycle, your hormones tell one of your ovaries to release a mature egg which is called ovulation.

Most people don’t feel it when they ovulate, but some ovulation symptoms are bloating, spotting, or a little pain in your lower belly that you may only feel on one side. Once the egg leaves your ovary, it travels through one of your fallopian tubes toward your uterus that is if pregnancy doesn’t happen, your body doesn’t need the thick lining in your uterus. Your lining breaks down, and the blood, nutrients, and tissue flow out of your body through your vagina…. it’s your period! But if you do get pregnant, your body needs the lining — that’s why your period stops during pregnancy. Your period comes back when you’re not pregnant anymore.

When in life do periods start and stop? At some point during puberty, blood comes out of your vagina, and that’s your first period. Most people get their first period between age of 8 and 12, but some people get them earlier or later than that. There’s no way to know exactly when you’ll get it, but you may feel some PMS symptoms (link to PMS section) a few days before it happens. If you don’t get your period by the time you’re 16, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor or nurse. Read more about getting your first period.

Most people stop getting their period when they’re between 45 and 55 years old — this is called Menopause. Menopause can take a few years, and periods usually change gradually during this time. After menopause is totally complete, you can’t get pregnant anymore. Read more about menopause. Your period may start and stop around the time it did for other people you’re related to, like your mom or sisters.

Do transgender guys get a period? Not everybody who gets a period identifies as a girl or woman. Transgender men and genderqueer people who have uteruses, vaginas, fallopian tubes, and ovaries also get their periods. Having a period can be a stressful experience for some trans folks because it’s a reminder that their bodies don’t match their true gender identity — this discomfort and anxiety is sometimes called Gender Dysphoria. Other trans people might not be too bothered by their periods. Either reaction is normal and okay as sometimes trans people who haven’t reached puberty yet take hormones to prevent all of the gendered body changes that happen during puberty, including periods. There can be some changes in your menstrual cycle before it stops for good. Periods get lighter and shorter over time, or come when you don’t expect it. You may have spotting or cramping every once in a while until you stop getting your period, and sometimes even after it seems to have stopped — this is normal…..

When can I get pregnant during my menstrual cycle? You have the highest chance of getting pregnant on the days leading up to ovulation (when your ovary releases a mature egg) — these are called fertile days .Ovulation usually happens about 14 days before your period starts — but everyone’s body is different. You may ovulate earlier or later, depending on the length of your menstrual cycle. Your egg lives for about 1 day after it’s released from your ovary, and sperm can live in your uterus and fallopian tubes for about 6 days after sex. So you can usually get pregnant for around 6 days of every menstrual cycle: the 5 days before you ovulate, and the day you ovulate. You can also get pregnant a day or so after ovulation, but it’s less likely. Many people track their menstrual cycles and other fertility signs to help them figure out when they’re ovulating. This is called fertility awareness — some people use it to prevent pregnancy, and others use it to try to get pregnant which makes it easy to chart your cycle and figure out your fertile days. Some people have very regular cycles, and other people’s cycles vary from month to month. It’s really common for young people to have irregular periods. Since your period can be unpredictable, it’s hard to know for sure when you’ll ovulate (even if you’re carefully tracking your menstrual cycle).

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