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Menstruation accompanies us from adolescence to menopause. In addition to the pregnancy interruption, menstruation usually occurs monthly. So we should know everything about menstruation, but this is not always the case. Learn the truths and myths about menstruation and learn about the menstrual cycle.

Menstruationis otherwisemenstruationorperiod . Once upon a time it was referred to as period. Doctors call the first menstruation in a woman's lifemenarche , and the last - menopause.


  1. Menstruation: what is it?
  2. Menstruation: the first is the menarche
  3. Menstruation: menstrual cycle
  4. Menstruation: the last one is menopause
  5. Menstruation: facts and myths

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Menstruation: what is it?

Menstruation is the result of changes that occur in the lining of the womb under the influence of hormones produced in the ovaries, i.e. estrogens and progesterone. However, the entire cycle is controlled by the hypothalamus - pituitary gland. When the hypothalamus sends a signal to the pituitary gland, it begins to produce two important hormones: FSH (follicle stimulating) and LH (luteinizing).

Under the influence of FSH, the Graaf follicle grows and matures in the ovary, and with it - the ovum. It takes approximately 14 days. During this time, the lining of the uterus increases its thickness under the influence of the oestrogens produced by the ovaries. In this way, he prepares for the possible implantation of a fertilized egg in it.

When a Graaf's follicle ruptures, a mature egg (usually one) comes out of it and travels through the fallopian tube towards the uterus. At the same time, the LH hormone transforms the stroma of a ruptured Graaf follicle into an endocrine gland, the so-called yellow corpuscle.

This body releases progesterone, a hormone that causes the lining of the womb to grow bigger and plump. If fertilization is not achieved during ovulation, the mucosa exfoliates and is expelled through the vagina. When exfoliating, small ones breakblood vessels. Such bloody expulsion of the mucosa is called menstruation.

Menstruation: the first is the menarche

In our climate, girls have menarche (Greek - first menstruation) usually between the ages of 12 and 14 - usually of the same age as their mothers. However, if a girl is, for example, very thin or is constantly slimming, is a vegetarian or actively engages in sports - the first period may be a bit later.

The body just needs to build up some body fat for the ovaries to mature and start producing estrogen. If the menarche did not appear until the age of 16, it is worth consulting with a gynecologist. The delay may be caused, for example, by hormonal disorders, and then treatment will be needed.

If a girl started menstruating before she turned 9 - it also requires consultation, because it is a sign of premature puberty. The first periods are usually scanty and irregular - there may be a break of several months between the first and the second. However, about two years after the menarche, periods become regular.

Menstruation: menstrual cycle

A woman's menstrual cycle lasts an average of 28 days (25 to 35 days is considered normal). In the cycle, usually 3-5 days (sometimes up to 7) are bleeding. It is more abundant at the beginning of your period and leaner towards the end. During this time, we lose 50 to 150 ml of blood. This seems to be very little compared to our observations. However, menstruation is not only blood - it is all the lining of the uterus and remnants of mucus from the genital tract.

Some women may have quite heavy periods by nature, but if they appear suddenly - they can be caused, among others, by uterine fibroids, inflammation and ovarian cysts, neoplastic lesions within the reproductive organ, therefore they require medical consultation.

See the gallery of 7 photos

Menstruation: the last one is menopause

Menopause, the last menstruation in our lives, is usually between the ages of 45 and 55. By the time it does, your periods are becoming increasingly irregular. This is the effect of the gradual decline of the ovarian function and lower estrogen production.

Menopause is when bleeding has not occurred for six months. If it occurs after this break - it is not a menstrual period. It is bleeding from the genital tract, which may signal some disease, including cancer, so it always requires a visit to the gynecologist and tests.


Although we generally dislike her, menstruation has many important tasks:

  • You know you're a woman.
  • You have a chance for motherhood. Especially if apart frommenstruation you have ovulatory cycles.
  • Your endocrine system is working smoothly (at least along the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovaries line).
  • You may be a sex demon. If you are menstruating, your estrogen levels are high enough. And your libido depends, among other things on their level.
  • You sleep more peacefully. At least theoretically. Your period usually means you're not pregnant. If you aren't planning to have a baby, your emotions will drop with your period and you may get enough sleep.

Menstruation: facts and myths

  • Heavy periods can even lead to anemia

True.Heavy periods (when we use more than 10 pads a day) involve a loss of a lot of iron. For this reason, anemia can occur due to a deficiency of this element.

  • A woman after a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) may have menstruation

False.If a woman does not have a uterus, it must not be flaky or bleed.

  • With hormonal contraception you can control your period

True.However, don't do this too often. Manipulating menstruation twice or three times a year does not pose a threat to he alth, provided that we want to postpone the period by no more than 3 months. The gynecologist decides how to delay the bleeding. If there are no contraindications, he gives us a prescription and instructions on how to use contraceptive pills. Then a medical check-up is necessary.

  • Stopping the period proves pregnancy

False.This is not always the case. The reason for the delay in the period may also be, for example, strong mental experiences, intensive slimming treatment, hormonal disorders, radical climate change, discontinuation of contraceptive pills or prolonged physical exertion.

  • You can get pregnant by having intercourse during menstruation

True.This can happen to women with cycles shorter than 20-22 days. Then the release of the egg occurs in the last days of menstruation. Moreover, it is possible, e.g. when sexual intercourse is accompanied by extremely strong emotions, e.g. a very high level of sexual arousal. Interestingly, this also applies to negative experiences, e.g. it is possible to get pregnant during menstruation, when there is a rape.

  • Spotting at the beginning of pregnancy is dangerous for both the fetus and the mother

False.Scant bleeding may appear in the first 2-3 months of pregnancy. This is a debris removallining of the womb that has not been covered with a placenta. It is true that these menstruations are called miscarriages, but they are not dangerous either for the fetus or for the pregnant woman. However, because it is difficult for a woman to determine whether it is "innocent" spotting or, for example, the beginning of a miscarriage, it is necessary to consult a doctor in such a situation.

  • Irregular periods are not always a cause for concern

True. Irregular periodscan happen, for example, in the first two years after menarche and even for several years before menopause. It is also natural that the period will shift as a result of climate change when going on vacation, e.g. from Poland to the tropics.

  • The onset of menstruation is not the same as the onset of ovulation

True.It happens that the uterine mucosa exfoliates and the egg does not get released from the Graaf follicle. They are the so-called anovulatory cycles. They often happen in the first two years after the menarche, and later, for example, when the body's hormonal balance is seriously disturbed. If a woman has regular unprotected intercourse and cannot become pregnant for one year, infertility may be caused by anovulation. You can buy a test to check if your cycles are ovulatory in pharmacies.

  • No sports are allowed during the period

False.During menstruation, we can do whatever we normally do. Light exercise can even ease painful abdominal cramps and make you feel better. They shouldn't just be too intense, as they could make the bleeding worse.

  • The contraceptive pill does not cause menstrual disorders

True.They can even regulate irregular bleeding - and are sometimes recommended by your doctor for this. The regular bleeding that occurs in the interval between taking the next packets of pills is not a classic menstruation, but the so-called withdrawal bleeding (hormones work differently).

  • You shouldn't bathe during your period

False.Menstrual blood, which is sterile when it flows out of the cervical canal, acquires a specific smell as it travels through the vagina, which is related to the presence of bacterial flora.

This is one of the reasons why you need to take special care of hygiene during menstruation. We have to wash ourselves at least twice a day and wipe ourselves (always towards the anus) with a separate towel, intended only for this purpose. You shouldn't use deodorants while you are bleedingintimate, take hot baths in the bathtub, as this may cause more intense bleeding.

In the days of your menstruation, a summer shower is better. When we want to swim, we have to protect ourselves with a tampon and change it as soon as we come out of the water.

  • PERIODIC disorders: painful periods, heavy bleeding, spotting, period stop
  • PMS (PMS): causes, symptoms, treatment
  • Why am I missing my period? There are reasons for the absence of menstruation
  • How to shift your period (period)? How to delay or speed up the period?
  • Menstruation - 10 facts and myths about menstruation

Source: Simply Saying

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