Whats The Menstrual Cycle
Your menstrual cycle helps your body prepare for pregnancy every month. It also makes you have a period if youre not pregnant. Your menstrual cycle and period are controlled by hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Heres how it all goes down:
You have 2 ovaries, and each one holds a bunch of eggs. The eggs are super tiny too small to see with the naked eye.
During your menstrual cycle, hormones make the eggs in your ovaries mature when an egg is mature, that means its ready to be fertilized by a sperm cell. These hormones also make the lining of your uterus thick and spongy. So if your egg does get fertilized, it has a nice cushy place to land and start a pregnancy. This lining is made of tissue and blood, like almost everything else inside our bodies. It has lots of nutrients to help a pregnancy grow.
About halfway through your menstrual cycle, your hormones tell one of your ovaries to release a mature egg this is called ovulation. Most people dont feel it when they ovulate, but some ovulation symptoms are bloating, spotting, or a little pain in your lower belly that you may only feel on one side.
Once the egg leaves your ovary, it travels through one of your fallopian tubes toward your uterus.
If pregnancy doesnt happen, your body doesnt need the thick lining in your uterus. Your lining breaks down, and the blood, nutrients, and tissue flow out of your body through your vagina. Voilà, its your period!
Can Perimenopause Be Treated
There isnt any treatment to stop perimenopause. Perimenopause is a natural part of life. The cure for perimenopause occurs when your periods stop and you enter menopause.
But your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter or prescription perimenopause treatment to help ease symptoms. Your provider may recommend:
- Antidepressants: These medications help with mood swings or depression.
- Birth control pills. These medications stabilize your hormone levels and typically relieve symptoms.
- Estrogen therapy: This treatment stabilizes estrogen levels. You may take estrogen therapy as a cream, gel, patch or swallowable pill.
- Gabapentin : This medicine is a seizure medication that also relieves hot flashes for some women.
- Vaginal creams: Your provider can tell you about prescription and over-the-counter options. Treatment can decrease pain related to sex and relieve vaginal dryness.
Your healthcare provider will discuss the risks and benefits of perimenopause treatment with you and recommend the best option based on your needs. Certain lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, light exercise and avoiding foods or activities that trigger hot flashes can also help.
Periods And Additional Needs
Periods can be especially challenging for young people with additional needs and their parents. If your child has moderate to severe intellectual disability, they might not understand why theyre experiencing changes to their body and mood.
Your child still needs to know about periods and the menstrual cycle at a level they can understand. Your GP, or other health professionals involved in your childs care, can recommend resources you can use with your child, like books and visual aids. You could also speak to your childs school about support.
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Can You Get Pregnant Without Having A Period
Rachel Gurevich is a fertility advocate, author, and recipient of The Hope Award for Achievement, from Resolve: The National Infertility Association. She is a professional member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and has been writing about womens health since 2001. Rachel uses her own experiences with infertility to write compassionate, practical, and supportive articles.
Brian Levine, MD, MS, is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology as well as in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
Can you get pregnant without having a period in months? Yes, its possible, but its not likely. If youre not getting your periods, this is a good reason to see your gynecologist. There are some normaland some not-so-normalreasons this can occur. What could cause you not to get your periods? Could you be pregnant and not know it?
What do your periods have to do with getting pregnant? And, if you want to get pregnant, how can your doctor help you conceive if youre not menstruating?
What Are Periods Like During Perimenopause
Your body is producing less of the hormones that help you ovulate, so your periods can become irregular. Your menstrual cycle could become longer or shorter than usual. Your bleeding could also be heavier or lighter than normal. Some people also notice a change in their premenstrual syndrome symptoms.
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What Causes Menstrual Period To Come Out
Period occurs due to cyclical change of your hormones during your menstrual cycle.
What is the menstrual cycle?
The menstrual cycle is the number of days between 2 periods. For example, if your last menstrual period started on the 27th of April and your next period starts on the 26th of May, then you have a 30-day menstrual cycle.
Some women may have an erratic menstrual cycle, short menstrual cycle or long menstrual cycle.
What causes period to come out?
At birth and during puberty, the ovaries contain a fixed number of follicles that are released in each cycle. Weeks before you are born, your body stops producing follicle that develops to release an egg.
It is estimated that throughout the lifetime of women, about 500 eggs are released from the ovaries. These release of the egg is called ovulation.
Before ovulation occurs, your body increases the secretion of estrogen. This hormone works to help grow the endometrium covering the inner part of the uterus.
If you get pregnant, you will have no period because the endometrium helps provide nutrition for your baby.
However, if youre not pregnant, the endometrium breaks down coming out from your vagina as period.
Now its your turn. Do you have a headache or pains before your period starts? Are your menstrual period symptoms affecting your daily activities?
Ive Been Using Contraception Will This Affect My Cycle
This depends on what type of contraception youve been using. If youve been taking the pill, your period may be irregular when you first come off it, so try to give yourself up to 3 months for your natural menstrual cycle to get back to its normal routine.
The first period after stopping the pill is known as a withdrawal bleed. The next one after this is your first natural period.
The contraceptive injection can also affect your cycle. Your periods may change and become irregular, heavier, shorter, lighter or stop altogether. This can carry on for some months after you stop the injections.
If you use the contraceptive implant your fertility will return to normal as soon as it is taken out.
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Extreme Over Exercising And Period Loss
physical activity places stress on your body which in turn can affect the hormones responsible for our periods. Getting technical here, exercise can decrease GnRH, leading to low levels of FSH, LS and estrogen. The result is a change in menstruation. Amenorrhea is very common among active menstruating individuals. In fact, athletes are three times more likely to develop amenorrhea than non-athletes. If you are a heavy exerciser and you lose your period, it may be advised to reduce exercise intensity and to see a doctor to find out if theres something else at play.
What Do Other Women Say
Periods can be extremely crafty and may catch you unprepared. It is never easy to tell exactly when you will have your next period. I usually feel extremely tired a couple of days before the arrival of my period. I also tend to feel weepier with boobs getting sore. I notice these signs almost every time before my period. When this happens, I prepare myself to avoid any surprises. I suggest wearing a thin panty liner if your periods are unpredictable to avoid staining your underwear.
I take birth control pill, so my period is quite regular. How to know when your period is coming? I believe the best way is to keep track of your cycles. Maintain a journal. Write it on paper. You can even buy a special calendar for this. Several online sites and mobile apps also help you track your cycle free of cost. In my case, I usually get light cramping when my period is around the corner. Still, I recommend keeping a pad or tampon in your purse to be on the safe side.
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How Do I Know If Im Ovulating
A few days before you ovulate, your vaginal mucus or discharge changes and becomes more slippery and clear. This type of mucus helps sperm move up into your uterus and into the fallopian tubes where it can fertilize an egg. Some women feel minor cramping on one side of their pelvic area when they ovulate. Some women have other signs of ovulation.
Luteinizing hormone is a hormone released by your brain that tells the ovary to release an egg . LH levels begin to surge upward about 36 hours before ovulation, so some women and their doctors test for LH levels. LH levels peak about 12 hours before ovulation.1 Women who are tracking ovulation to become pregnant will notice a slight rise in their basal temperature around ovulation. Learn more about tracking ovulation to become pregnant.
How Do I Use A Tampon
Inserting a tampon for the first time can be a bit of a challenge. Its hard to know exactly how to position your body and at what angle to put the tampon in. After a few tries, you will figure out what works best for you. Its best to use slender size tampons when you are learning. If you arent exactly sure where your vaginal opening is, use a mirror to have a look at your vulva .
To insert a tampon that has an applicator:
To insert a tampon without an applicator:
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When Do Periods Start
Most young people will have their first periods when theyre between 11 and 14½, but anywhere from 9-16 years is considered normal.
Periods are likely to start soon if your child has:
- had a major growth spurt
- grown some underarm and pubic hair
- developed breasts.
If your child hasnt started their period by the time they turn 16, its a good idea to talk with your childs GP. There can be many reasons why periods havent started by then, and the GP can help to rule out any serious problems.
A Brief Overview Of The Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle includes three different uterine phases that occur at the same time as three different ovarian phases. Its not always obvious which phase you’re in, with the exception of the menstruation phase .
Your menstrual cycle is sometimes referred to as your monthly cycle. The most commonly referenced menstrual cycle is 28 days. However, the normal range for many adult women of reproductive age is 2135 days. During this time, your body prepares for the possibility of fertilization and pregnancy. Your period is a sign that pregnancy did not occur.
Many also experience irregular menstrual cycles, which can be caused by a variety of different factors. Tracking the menstrual cycle can be a helpful way to understand the characteristics of your period, i.e., how often it comes, how long it lasts, and what it is associated with, as well as d efficiently detecting any persistent abnormalities or deviations from your normal.
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How Long Is The Menstrual Cycle
Womens cycles can vary in length and from month to month, but the average is around 28 days. Its normal to have regular cycles that are longer or shorter than this .
It doesnt matter how long your cycle is, most women will ovulate around 10 to 16 days before the start of their next menstrual cycle.
How Often Should I Change My Pad Tampon Menstrual Cup Sponge Or Period Panties
Follow the instructions that came with your period product. Try to change or rinse your feminine hygiene product before it becomes soaked through or full.
- Most women change their pads every few hours.
- A tampon should not be worn for more than 8 hours because of the risk of toxic shock syndrome
- Menstrual cups and sponges may only need to be rinsed once or twice a day.
- Period panties can usually last about a day, depending on the style and your flow.
Use a product appropriate in size and absorbency for your menstrual bleeding. The amount of menstrual blood usually changes during a period. Some women use different products on different days of their period, depending on how heavy or light the bleeding is.
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How Do I Know If My Period Is Coming
Some people get signs that their periods are coming like bloating, pimples, sore breasts, and feeling emotional. Many people get cramps in their belly, lower back, or legs before their period. These symptoms are called PMS. Not everybody has signs that their periods are about to start. And sometimes the signs change month-to-month. As you get older, it usually gets easier to tell when your period is coming.
Many people mark the days they have their period on their calendar or on an app. Keeping track of your periods will help you know when your next period is coming. It can also tell you if your period is late or early. Its really common to have periods that dont come at the exact same time every month especially when youre a teenager.
Keeping a tampon, period underwear, or a pad in your bag can help you be prepared for your period, no matter when it shows up. If you start your period and don’t have a tampon or pad, you can ask a parent, friend, teacher, or the school nurse for a tampon or a pad. Some bathrooms also have vending machines where you can buy a tampon or pad. If youre REALLY stuck somewhere without a tampon or pad, you can fold up a bunch of toilet paper or a clean sock or washcloth and put it in your underwear to soak up the blood.