Menstruation is the shedding of the endometrium or the uterine lining. When the endometrium sheds, blood flows from the uterus to the cervix and out of the body through the vaginal opening. Menstruation happens on a regular period of a reproductive aged woman. The average menstrual period lasts from 3 to 7 days.
There is a menstruation cycle, and menstruation itself is only a part of that cycle. This phenomenon in women happens in preparation for pregnancy. Menstrual cycle is counted on the first day a women’s period happens to the first day of the next period. The typical menstrual cycle is 28 days. The menstrual cycle can range from 21 days to 45 days in young teens and 21 to 35 days in adults.
Menstruation happens when an egg is unfertilized. During the first half of the menstrual cycle, the level of estrogen increases to make the lining of the uterus thick. During this phenomenon, the egg in the ovary also starts to mature. When day 14 of the 28 day menstrual cycle comes, the mature egg is released from the ovary and travels to the uterus via the fallopian tube. This event is called ovulation. If the egg is not fertilized by the male sperm, the egg breaks apart and the thickened uterine lining will start to shed. This is now called menstruation. Blood together with mixed tissues start to go out from the uterus to the vagina. The amount of blood loss during menstruation is 35 milliliters average. Normal blood loss can range from 10 milliliters to 80 milliliters.
During the menstrual period, women use different products to absorb or catch their menstrual flow. Women use sanitary napkins, tampons, menstrual caps, cloth pads and many others. It is important that these products are changed regularly to avoid occurrence of infection.
Females start to begin menstruating at the age of 10 to 13. Some females start to menstruate at a younger or older age. Menstruation will start the onset of puberty and will end when menopause occurs. Regular menstruation or period happens every month but some other females do not experience monthly periods. Menstrual flow can be light, moderate or heavy, and the length of period is different from one individual to another.
Various sensations are experienced by women before or during her menstruation. The pre-menstrual syndrome or the collection of different signs and symptoms in relation to her period is reported by menstruating women before her period starts. A woman can also experience some discomforts and sensations during her period.
A woman may experience light or severe cramping of the uterus before and/or during her menstruation. This symptom is called dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea can sometimes interfere with a woman’s day-to-day activities. Taking a warm bath, applying a heating pad to the lower segment of the abdomen, and drinking pain relievers will help ease the discomfort. Breast swelling, binge eating, headache, change in libido, constipation, acne and bloating are some of the symptoms a woman experiences before or during menstruation. These symptoms usually disappear after the onset of menstruation or after menstruation
Women also experience different emotional reactions in relation to menstruation. The most common emotions women feel are ftm (female-to-male) irritability, tension and unhappiness. Anxiety, stress, insomnia, mood swings and emotional sensitivity may also manifest. The symptoms can be different from one woman to another.