Menstruationis the monthly shedding of the lining of your uterus. Menstrual blood — whichis partly blood and partly tissue from the inside of your uterus — flows fromyour uterus through your cervix and out of your body through your vagina.
Menstruationis driven by hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers in your body. Yourpituitary gland (in your brain) and your ovaries (part of your reproductivesystem) make and release certain hormones at certain times during your menstrualcycle.
Thesehormones cause the lining of your uterus to thicken. This happens so that if apregnancy would occurs, an egg can be implanted into your uterine lining. Hormonesalso cause your ovaries to release an egg (ovulation). The egg moves down yourfallopian tubes, where it waits for sperm. If a sperm doesn’t fertilize thategg, pregnancy doesn’t occur. The lining of your uterus breaks down and sheds.This is your period.
Yourmenstrual cycle is the time from the first day of your menstrual period untilthe first day of your next menstrual period. Every person’s cycle is slightlydifferent, but the process is the same.
Theaverage length of a menstrual cycle is 28 days. However, a cycle can range inlength from 21 days to about 35 days and still be normal.
Mostpeople have their period (bleed) for between two and seven days.
What are the four phases of the menstrual cycle?
The menses phase:
Thisphase, which typically lasts from day one to day seven , is the time when thelining of your uterus sheds through your vagina if pregnancy hasn’t occurred.
Uterinecontractions à Cramping in pelvic area
LowEstrogen à fatigue
The follicular phase:
Thisphase typically takes place from days seven to 14. During this time, the levelof the hormone estrogen rises, which causes the lining of your uterus (theendometrium) to grow and thicken.
In addition, another hormone —follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) — causes follicles in your ovaries to grow.During days 10 to 14, one of the developing follicles will form a fully matureegg (ovum).
Estrogenrises à Energy rises, Skin glows, Optimistic & social
Thisphase occurs roughly at about day 14 in a 28-day menstrual cycle. A suddenincrease in another hormone — luteinizing hormone (LH) — causes your ovary torelease its egg. This event is ovulation.
Suddenhormone changes à Intensify emotions & tiredness
The luteal phase:
Thisphase lasts from about day 15 to day 28. Your egg leaves your ovary and beginsto travel through your fallopian tubes to your uterus. The level of the hormoneprogesterone rises to help prepare your uterine lining for pregnancy. If theegg becomes fertilized by sperm and attaches itself to your uterine wall(implantation), you become pregnant. If pregnancy doesn’t occur, estrogen andprogesterone levels drop and the thick lining of your uterus sheds during yourperiod.
Estrogendrop, testosterone & progesterone surge à Sensitive skin, oily skin,bloating, lowered libido, breast tenderness
At what age does menstruation typically begin?
Peoplestart menstruating at the average age of 12. However, you can beginmenstruating as early as 9 years old or as late as 16 years old.Generally, most people menstruate within a few years of growing breasts andpubic hair.
Peoplestop menstruating at menopause, which occurs at about the age of 51. Atmenopause, you stop producing eggs (stop ovulating). You’ve reached menopausewhen you haven’t gotten a period in one year.
What is considered an irregular period?
Periodsthat occur less than 21 days or more than 35 days apart.
Nothaving a period for three months (or 90 days).
Menstrualflow that’s much heavier or lighter than usual.
Periodbleeding that lasts longer than seven days.
Periodsthat are accompanied by severe pain, cramping, nausea or vomiting.
Bleedingor spotting that happens between periods.
Causes of irregular periods:
- Puberty your periods might be irregularfor the first year or two
-The start of the menopause (usually between the ages of 45 and 55)
-Some types of hormonal contraception – such as the contraceptive pill orintrauterine system (IUS)
-Extreme weight loss or weight gain, excessive exercise or stress
-Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) )accompanied by Obesity, Acne,Hirsutism)
-Problem with thyroid gland
-Benign or malignant endometrial tumors