How Does My Menstrual Cycle Change As I Get Older
Your cycles may change in different ways as you get older. Often, periods are heavier when you are younger and usually get lighter in your 20s and 30s. This is normal.
- For a few years after your first period, menstrual cycles longer than 38 days are common. Girls usually get more regular cycles within three years of starting their periods. If longer or irregular cycles last beyond that, see your doctor or nurse to rule out a health problem, such as polycystic ovary syndrome .5
- In your 20s and 30s, your cycles are usually regular and can last anywhere from 24 to 38 days.
- In your 40s, as your body starts the transition to menopause, your cycles might become irregular. Your menstrual periods might stop for a month or a few months and then start again. They also might be shorter or last longer than usual, or be lighter or heavier than normal.
Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have menstrual cycles that are longer than 38 days or shorter than 24 days, or if you are worried about your menstrual cycle.
Are You Headed Toward Early Menopause
There are many negative health consequences linked to early menopause, including a higher risk of osteoporosis and fracture, heart disease, cognitive impairment and dementia, and early death, says Dr. Faubion.
If you have questions about when youll experience menopause and if you can do anything to change it, keep reading for answers.
Will Being Super Healthy Help Delay Menopause
Although maintaining good overall health is important for a variety of reasons, it wont necessarily translate to later menopause, says Streicher. I have women who tell me, I have a healthy diet, Im thin, I work out all the time, and I look young. Im sure Im not going to go through menopause early, and when I do, I wont have hot flashes and other symptoms. I wish I could say that was true, but its not, she says.
Body weight might matter, though. We do know that the extremes of weight, in someone who is very obese or someone with very low body weight, may impact the onset of menopause, but for the majority of women in the middle it doesnt seem to have a big impact, says Streicher.
Read Also: How Long Does A Heavy Period Last
What Should I Know About Menstruation What Is The Medical Definition It*
*Medical section written by: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Everyone who is about to enter puberty should be taught or know the basic medical definition of menstruation and that it is a normal process that females go through as their bodies prepare themselves for potential pregnancy. It is a part of the monthly menstrual cycle that occur in the female reproductive system that makes pregnancy possible.
Medically, menstruation is the process in a woman of discharging blood and other materials from the lining of the uterus at about one monthly interval from puberty until menopause , except during pregnancy. This discharging process lasts about 3-5 days.
What are the signs and symptoms of menstruation?
Whan does menstruation begin? When does it end?
The menstrual cycle is the hormonal driven cycle Day 1 is the first day of your period while day 14 is the approximate day you ovulate and if an egg is not fertilized, hormone levels eventually drop and at about day 25 the egg begins to dissolve and the cycle begins again with the period at about day 30. Menstruation begins day 1 and normally ends days 3-5 of the menstrual cycle.
At what age do girls go through puberty and begin and start their period ?
How long does a period last?
What is toxic shock syndrome? Is it life threatening?
At What Age Does Menstruation Typically Begin
People start menstruating at the average age of 12. However, you can begin menstruating as early as 8 years of age or as late as 16 years of age. People stop menstruating at menopause, which occurs at about the age of 51. At menopause, you stop producing eggs . Menopause is defined as one year without periods, and after this time you can no longer become pregnant.
Also Check: How To Get Your First Period Faster
S Of Menstrual Suppression
|What to expect after the first 3-6 months
|Take 1 pill every day
|Doctor places inside the uterus IUD works for 5 years
|Doctor places under skin of arm implant works for 3 years
When You Have Your Period You Could Literally Start Tripping
It’s normal to feel somewhat off when you start your menstrual cycle. After all, your body is going through a lot, and with all the pain, pimples, and cravings coming your way, you might not feel like yourself for a few days when you have your period. However, did you know what when you have your period, your body might cause you to be clumsier? As strange as it sounds, it’s true.
Gynecologist Alyssa Dweck, MD, who teaches at the department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, told Health that feeling off while walking is “not an uncommon complaint from my patients.” Yes, your period can make you clumsy. “It might be because of increased fatigue during this time, water retention that’s throwing your center of gravity off, or the hormonal imbalance,” Dweck shared. Additionally, all that water retention during your period might make your contacts fit differently, which doesn’t exactly help your balance either.
Don’t Miss: How To Regulate Your Period With Pcos
Mood Changes Before And During Periods
Many people will experience mood changes just before or during the first few days of their periods. These changes can include being a bit irritable or more sensitive, or feeling angry, anxious or even depressed.
This can be hard for your child and the rest of the family to cope with. Giving your child a bit more privacy and space around this time can make it easier for everyone, without making a big deal about it.
If your childs mood changes are upsetting or disrupting their everyday life, they might like to see a health professional, like the GP.
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.
Recommended Reading: What To Do When You Get Your Period
When Will I Have Another One
After your first period, your second one can be pretty unpredictable, too. Most people expect it one month after the first period, but in reality, it’s pretty normal for it to happen anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months after your first period.
Once youâve had a few periods, the best way to predict future ones, is to write down the dates of every period you have and count how many days there are from the start of one period to the start of the next. That tells you your cycle length. Obviously youâll need to have a few periods before you can do this, but it is super helpful for staying aware and prepared!
When you keep track of your periods like that, itâs called âperiod trackingâ . There are lots of ways to track your periods. You can write them on a calendar, in a journal or notebook, or use a period tracker. Make sure you record the day you start and every day you have your flow. You might also want to note when your flow is heavy and when it is light. This is the best way to know your flow so you can be aware and prepared!
At What Age Does A First Period Generally Happen
In the United States, a child may get their first period when theyre about 12. However, anytime between 10 and 15 is within the average range. Its not entirely unusual for a first period to happen as young as 8 or as old as 16.
Factors such as family history, race, diet, environment, and weight can all determine the time a first period occurs. Children who participate in intense athletics or are underweight might get their periods later.
It can be hard to predict when a first period will occur, but there are a few ways you might be able to estimate. As a rule, a first period will occur about 2 years after breasts start to develop. Additionally, a mucus-like vaginal discharge will often start 6 months to a year before the first period.
You May Like: Will The Pill Stop My Period
What Other Factors Influence When Perimenopause Starts Or When A Woman Reaches Menopause
New research published online on April 12 in Menopause, the journal of NAMS, looked at the various factors that may affect the age when natural menopause occurs.
They found that there are factors that do seem predictive of when a woman will approach menopause, such as higher estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone levels, which weve known for a while,” says Streicher. Irregular menstrual bleeding and hot flashes were also indicators of earlier menopause, she adds.
One new finding uncovered in the research was around alcohol consumption. The authors observed that participants tended to increase their alcohol consumption when approaching menopause, making it a potential clue that the change was coming.
That makes sense, says Streicher. This can be a time of added stress for women, and we know that any stressful situation can cause someone to drink more, she says.
Although this study didnt find a strong association with smoking, other research has indicated that smoking is related to early onset of menopause, says Streicher.
Preparing Your Daughter For Her First Period
Your little girl is growing up! Signs of her age are apparent from simply observing changes that begin to happen before she even gets her first period. Most girls start to menstruate between ages 10 and 15 years old, with an average age of 12. But, changes often start a couple of years sooner. Talking with your daughter about what to expect and reassuring her these changes are normal is key. Here are some signs and symptoms of puberty that you and your daughter will notice before menstruation begins:
- Breast buds She may experience pain or firm bumps in or behind her nipples, signaling the first signs that breast buds are developing. The areola may look bigger or puffy. You can expect her period to start about two years after her breast buds develop.
- Pubic hair Once her pubic hair starts growing, you can expect her period to develop in one to two years. It may begin soft and thin but it will become courser and thicker towards the end of puberty.
- Vaginal discharge She may notice white or yellowish fluid in her underwear which usually means her period is going to start in next few months. Depending on the amount, you may want to offer her a panty liner.
When should you take your daughter to see a doctor?If your daughter hasnt gotten her period by age 16 or if she has bleeding that occurs more frequently than every 21 days or is lasting longer than 7 days, you should make an appointment with one of our OBGYNs.
You May Like: How To Tell If Your Pregnant With Irregular Periods
Are There Other Period Symptoms
Besides tracking the timing of your cycle, some people also know a period is near when they develop certain symptoms that are caused by the menstrual cycle hormones. The most common symptoms reported before a period include bloating, moodiness, food cravings, breast tenderness, headache or menstrual cramps. Within a day or two after the period begins, the symptoms disappear naturally. If you experience some or all of these symptoms before most of your periods, itâs called Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS.
How Long Is A Typical Menstrual Cycle
The typical menstrual cycle is 28 days long, but each woman is different.2 Also, a womans menstrual cycle length might be different from month-to-month. Your periods are still regular if they usually come every 24 to 38 days.3 This means that the time from the first day of your last period up to the start of your next period is at least 24 days but not more than 38 days.
Some womens periods are so regular that they can predict the day and time that their periods will start. Other women are regular but can only predict the start of their period within a few days.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Period Acne
Can A Girl Get Pregnant As Soon As Her Period Starts
Yes, a girl can get pregnant as soon as her period starts. A girl can even get pregnant right before her very first period. This is because a girl’s hormones might already be active. The hormones may have led to ovulation and the building of the uterine wall. If a girl has sex, she can get pregnant, even though she has never had a period.
Does Your Period Come Each Month Top
Menstrual cycles take place over about one month , but each womans cycle is different. Many women have a cycle that lasts 28 days. Some women may have cycles as long as 45 days.
The cycle includes not just your period, but the rise and fall of hormones and other body changes that take place over the month. To see what happens on each day of your menstrual cycle .
Keep in mind that your periods may not be regular at first. You may have two in one month, or have a month without a period at all. Also, at first your period may last just a couple of days in some months and up to a week in other months. Periods will become more regular in time.
To learn about your own pattern, it’s a good idea to keep track of your periods on a calendar or app. Keeping track lets you:
- Get a sense of when to expect your next period
- Know if you missed a period
- Have a record of your period schedule and when your last one came to share with your or other health care provider
When you chart your cycle, remember that it starts with the first day of one period and goes until the first day of the next period.
Content last reviewed April 15, 2014Page last updated August 27, 2018
Don’t Miss: What Medicine Is Good For Period Cramps
What Is Menopause
Menopause is considered to have occurred when a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. This occurs because the ovaries no longer make estrogen and progesterone. Women typically experience menopause in their 40s and 50s. After a woman attains menopause, her menstrual cycle ends and ovulation stops and she would no longer be able to get pregnant. The period before menopause is called perimenopause. During this time, estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate, and numerous symptoms may be experienced.
Premature menopause is when a woman stops menstruating between the age of 30 and 40 years old.
Perimenopause symptoms occur for four years on an average before menopause. These include
- Irregular, lighter or heavier periods
How Does It Start
The first period typically occurs after a female first ovulates. This happens when the ovaries release an egg into the fallopian tube.
When this happens, the womb lining thickens in preparation for the egg to be fertilized. If fertilization does not occur, the lining sheds, as the body no longer needs it. This is where period blood comes from.
In most females, this cycle continues regularly from the age of the first period until menopause, which is when periods end.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the average age at which females began menstruating in the United States in 20132017 was
You May Like: What Can I Do To Make My Period Stop
Abnormal Signs And Symptoms
Although PMS symptoms are far from fun, theyll likely remain mild enough not to interfere with your day-to-day life in any major way. If you find yourself experiencing severe cramps, aches, fatigue, or any other symptoms that get in the way of things like work, school, or social plans, it may be time to consider visiting a doctor.
Severe mood swings that dip into panic attacks or suicidal thoughts are also important symptoms to address with a healthcare professional.
If you have severe symptoms, you may have premenstrual dysphoric disorder . This is a more severe form of PMS. A doctors care may be the best treatment.
If you have severe migraines, you may also benefit from seeing your doctor. Underlying health issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome or endometriosis, might also make PMS more severe, requiring a doctors help.