The Menstrual Cycle


What is menstruation?

Menstruation is a term used to refer the process or time of menstrual period or menstrual cycle. Menstruation is related to the reproductive cycle of the women that normally begins when the girls reach the age of puberty (sexual maturity).

In menstruation, a woman undergoes several hormonal changes including bleeding from the uterus. A normal menstrual cycle lasts from four to seven days and there is a gap of about 28 days between each menstrual period.

Why do women menstruate?

Menstruation is a complex process related to the female reproductive cycle which includes different hormones, sex organs of women, and the brain. If we talk about a woman’s sex organs it comprises of two ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, uterus and vagina. Ovaries are known for containing eggs. A single egg matures during each menstrual cycle because of the presence of hormones in the blood. Once the egg is ripened, it erupts from the ovary and float through the fallopian tube down into the uterus. During this time, the lining of the uterus called endometrium becomes thick and ready to collect the fertilized egg.

Now there can be two possibilities, i.e. either an egg become fertilized or not fertilized. In case the egg is fertilized, it sticks itself to the endometrium and the woman conceives. However, in case the egg is not fertilized, the hormonal changes cause the endometrium to shed and menstrual cycle starts. Menstrual fluid usually based on the endometrium and also some fresh blood which is released because of the shedding of the endometrium that contains small blood vessels. About 80ml of blood a woman can lose during the menstrual period.

When does menstruation begin?

It has been noted that nowadays menstruation begins in girls by the age of 10 to 14. However, the average of the girls to menstruate is 12. Menstruation occurs up to the age of 45-55 and after that the menopause starts. It is thought that a normal woman has about 500 menstrual periods in her whole life.

Can you feel ovulation?

Ovulation is a process of production of eggs in ovaries. It almost starts 14 days after the first day of period. However, the difference of days varies largely from one woman to another. There are few women who realize the beginning of ovulation process as they feel mild pain in their lower abdomen. Some women may experience bleeding in the mid of their menstrual period.

It has also observed that the vaginal discharge alters at ovulation, i.e. the amount of discharge increases and it becomes more watery or thin because of certain hormonal changes. At this stage the women who want to have natural family planning have their mucus tested to ensure if it is safe to have sex at this time or not.

What influences menstruation?

There are several different things that can influence menstruation. For instance, in the start we mentioned that it is a complicated process that involves several hormones, women sexual organs and the brain (nervous system).

The first influence is of hormones and to have a problem free period, it is essential that your hormones remain balanced. Anything less or more in the hormones can lead to different problems. Having irregular menstrual cycles may suggest that you are having hormonal imbalance in blood. Your doctor conducts some blood tests to see any signs of imbalance in your blood hormones. However, blood tests are not always the regarded as a good way to examine the hormonal imbalance in the blood during menstrual period.

Weight is another factor that can influence the menstruation and hormonal balance. Recent research works show that the women who are either underweight or overweight suffer from hormonal imbalance. For instance, menstrual often stops completely in underweight women and those who are overweight often have difficulty in becoming pregnant.

Stress is another important factor that causes hormones imbalance. There are reports where women saying that whenever they are worried or stressed, their menstruation got influenced.

All these can be avoided by doing regular exercise. Exercise is an excellent way to keep your body fit and healthy and here you have to keep this thing in mind that don’t indulge yourself in excessive exercise as this will bring more problems for you rather than decreasing them.

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