We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on thiswe may earn a small commission. A period, or menstruation, is the shedding of the lining of the womb.
Menstruation is also known as menses. Menses are part of normal sexual health for women during their reproductive years. Menstruation that includes bleeding from the vagina is found mainly among humans and similar animals, such as primates. Women have a period approximately every 28 days; however, there is some variation in this cycle, ranging from a day to a day cycle.
It is a that the body is working normally. From the time when she has her first period, or a few days before, she can become pregnant.
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Menstruation will end with menopauseusually between the ages of 45 and 55 years. A woman has two ovaries, each of which contains a of eggs. Every month during the reproductive years an egg will be released. Also, every month, the womb prepares a lining in case the egg should become fertilized. If the egg does not become fertilized, the lining is not needed and, together with the egg, it will be shed.
We see this shedding as blood. This is what we call a period. If the egg is fertilized, the womb will need the lining, and it will not be shed. This is why periods stop when pregnancy begins. Menarche is the start of periods. It is one of several physical s that a girl is becoming a woman.
Around 6 months before getting her first period, a girl may detect more clear vaginal discharge.
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Unless the discharge has a strong odor or causes itchiness, this is normal and nothing to worry about. The periods will occur regularly until the woman reaches her menopause. Hormones are released by the pituitary gland in the brain to stimulate the ovaries during the reproductive cycle. The follicles start producing a hormone called estrogen. The increased estrogen causes the womb lining to become thicker in preparation for receiving a fertilized egg. If a woman has had sex within several days of the egg being released and sperm is present in her fallopian tube, the egg may become fertilized and she will become pregnant.
However, it is important to note that pregnancy is possible with unprotected sex at any time during the menstrual cycle. If the egg is not fertilized, estrogen and progesterone levels will drop, and the lining of the uterus endometrium will start breaking down. This marks the start of the period. The period consists of a small amount of blood and the endometrium.
The bleeding is caused by the breaking of fine blood vessels within the womb as the lining detaches itself. A period generally lasts about 5 days.
Bleeding tends to be heavier during the first 2 days. Even when the blood flow seems heavy, the amount of blood lost is usually around 5 to 12 teaspoons.
Some women experience heavier than normal periods, known as menorrhagia. Menorrhagia should be evaluated by a doctor as it can lead to problems such as anemiabecause of a low blood count. Symptoms that may be felt by some women in the days leading up to her period include :.
As soon as the period begins and the woman starts shedding blood, the symptoms generally improve. In most cases, symptoms will be completely gone by the time the period has ended.
The average length of a cycle is 28 days, but it can vary from 21 to 40 days. For many women, the length of the cycle and the amount of blood shed is around the same every cycle. However, some women have irregular periods. Many women have missed a period at some time.
This could be for no apparent reason, or in anticipation of a pregnancy, or perhaps because of anxiety or tension. Irregular periods may be caused by a wide range of factors including the following:. Amenorrhea is when a woman stops having periods altogether, usually having missed three periods in a row.
It is also used if a girl has not begun menstruation by the age of 15 years. Doctors may prescribe hormonal therapy to treat amenorrhea. Most women experience minor pain during menstruation, but if the pain is so severe that it interferes with normal activity, it is called dysmenorrhea.
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It may require medication. Some women experience pain during the days before a period, while others have dysmenorrhea during the period. As menstruation tapers off, the pain generally does, too. Dysmenorrhea is more likely in the following groups:. Secondary dysmenorrhea can occur with some health conditions related to the reproductive system, including endometriosis and fibroids. Women who experience uncomfortable symptoms related to menstruation may find that treatment offers some relief.
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When do periods start? The menstrual cycle Premenstrual syndrome Irregular periods Pain Pregnancy Treatment Products We include products we think are useful for our readers. Share on Pinterest The menstrual cycle lasts an average of 28 days, but variations are possible.
The menstrual cycle. Share on Pinterest Women have a period approximately every 28 days. Premenstrual syndrome PMS. Irregular periods. Share on Pinterest. Let go of outdated mental health perceptions and invest in workplace well-being.
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