Every month, every year, every adult woman in this world goes through a physical transformation which is the basis of human life. However, among all the mystique and misconceptions surrounding this phenomenon, it is seldom understood properly.
Men are rarely taught about menstruation, and women normally try to hide it. So the question arises, why can’t we talk about it?
Women may be the ones who menstruate, but something which is the basis of human life surely concerns all.
It’s time to break the taboos. Let’s talk about menstruation!
What is menstrual cycle?
After puberty and till the time a woman reaches menopause, nearly every month the uterus grows a new lining to prepare for a fertilized egg. In case no egg is fertilized to start a pregnancy, the uterus sheds this new lining which results in menstrual bleeding commonly known as periods. All these changes occurring in a woman’s body are periodical, and are driven by hormonal changes. This entire process is known as menstrual cycle.
5 basics of menstrual cycle, everyone should know about:
- Most girls start menstruating between 8 to 15 years of age.
- A menstrual cycle starts from day one of the bleeding and lasts till day one of the next bleeding.
- Normally, the cycle is longer than 21 days and shorter than 35 days.
- A woman’s cycle changes with time. Long cycles are common in the first few years. The cycles become shorter and regular as she ages. However, it may again become irregular close to menopause, typically between the ages of 48 to 55.
What happens during a menstrual cycle?
Several important events occur during the entire menstrual cycle in anticipation of a pregnancy. All the events are connected together, one leading to another and so on. Remember that all women may have slightly different cycle lengths, and hence the exact day on which an event occurs may vary as well. This is what happens during a normal 28 days long cycle:
- Day 1: The cycle begins
Hormone levels drop considerably at the end of the previous cycle. This leads to break down of the blood and tissues lining in the uterus, and they finally start shedding from the body through vagina. This marks the first day of the period and the current menstrual cycle. The bleeding may last for 2 to 7 days.
- Day 7: Periods come to an end
In most cases, bleeding completely stops by the 7th day of the cycle. Also, a hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland which leads to the growth of fluid-filled pockets, called the follicles, in the ovaries. Each of the follicles contains an egg.
One follicle continues to grow and mature, and a thick lining rich in blood and nutrients starts developing at the uterus walls. In case the egg matures, it implants itself at this lining.
- Day 14: Ovulation starts
The mature follicle bursts and an egg is released from one of the ovaries due to hormonal changes. This process is known as ovulation.
The egg starts traveling down the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. A day or 2 after the ovulation is the prime time for conception to occur. This is the time the egg is fertilized if it unites with a sperm.
- Day 25: Hormone levels drop considerably
If the egg is not fertilized, hormone levels continue to drop and the egg cell disintegrates. Eventually, the uterus lining breaks, and the next cycle begins.
Premenstrual Syndrome is real!
As a result of all the hormonal changes that take place during a menstrual cycle, most women experience some symptoms collectively termed as Premenstrual Syndrome. These normally start 5-10 days before the menstrual bleeding begins, and subside in 2-3 days after the periods start.
Some common PMS symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Abdominal Cramps
- Headache and backache
- Breast tenderness
Most of these symptoms are normal, and don’t require any particular medical attention. However, if these are so severe that they interfere with regular activities, then consulting an expert gynecologist is advised. Devising a personalized diet and exercise plan depending upon particular symptoms will prove beneficial. Also, stress reducers and pain relievers are advised in cases where required.
Stay aware of her health requirements. Opt for Apollo Well Women Check today to #CareForHer and help her stay a step ahead of diseases.
For further assistance in this regard, book an appointment with the best