What Happens During The Menstrual Cycle
In the first half of the menstrual cycle, your levels of estrogen rise and make the lining of the uterus grow and thicken. In response to the follicle-stimulating hormone, an egg in one of the ovaries starts to mature. At about day 14 of your cycle, in response to a surge of luteinizing hormone, the egg leaves the ovary. This is called ovulation.
In the second half of the menstrual cycle, the egg begins to travel through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Progesterone levels rise and help prepare the uterine lining for pregnancy. If the egg becomes fertilized by a sperm cell and attaches itself to the uterine wall, you become pregnant. If the egg is not fertilized, it either dissolves or is absorbed into the body. If pregnancy does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels drop and the thickened lining of the uterus is shed during the menstrual period.
During your menstrual period, the thickened uterine lining and extra blood are shed through the vaginal canal. A woman’s period may not be the same every month, and it may not be the same as other women’s periods. Periods can be light, moderate, or heavy, and the length of the period also varies. While most menstrual periods last from three to five days, anywhere from two to seven days is considered normal.
For the first few years after menstruation begins, periods may be very irregular. They may also become irregular in women approaching menopause. Sometimes birth control pills are prescribed to help with irregular periods.
What Is A Normal Amount Of Bleeding During My Period
The average woman loses about two to three tablespoons of blood during her period.8 Your periods may be lighter or heavier than the average amount. What is normal for you may not be the same for someone else. Also, the flow may be lighter or heavier from month to month.
Your periods may also change as you get older. Some women have heavy bleeding during perimenopause, the transition to menopause. Symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding may include:
- Bleeding through one or more pads or tampons every one to two hours
- Passing blood clots larger than the size of quarters
- Bleeding that often lasts longer than eight days
The Age A Girl Gets Her First Period
Menarche is another name for the beginning of menstruation. In the United States, the average age a girl starts menstruating is 12.However, this does not mean that all girls start at the same age. A girl can begin menstruating anytime between the ages of 8 and 16. Menstruation will not occur until all parts of a girl’s reproductive system have matured and are working together.
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Types Of Bleeding Between Periods
There are a few different types of bleeding that can happen when you’re not on your period.
- Spotting: A red or brown tinge on the toilet paper or a drop or two of blood in your underwear is likely to be spotting. However, your provider will only consider bleeding to be “spotting” if it’s not happening during your period and does not require you to use a pad or tampon.
- Light bleeding: This type of bleeding occurs just before or after your period. It’s not technically spottingit’s considered part of your period.
- Breakthrough bleeding: Breakthrough bleeding happens if you are taking oral contraceptives. This type of bleeding between periods is usually caused by low estrogen levels.
- Abnormal bleeding: Any heavy bleeding that requires the use of a tampon or pad that happens outside of your cycle and is not caused by hormonal birth control pills is abnormal. It is also called abnormal uterine bleeding or abnormal vaginal bleeding.
The Answer Lies In The Details: Menstrual Blood Vs Menstrual Fluid
I couldnt get the 30 to 50 ml of blood loss on average, equations and pad-washing as means to get to this result out of my head. I had to check the Alkaline-Haematin-Method again and discovered that I had missed a crucial detail: What if the method is only considering the quantity of menstrual blood and not all of the menstrual fluid?
Those menstruating may have realized that what menstrual cups, pads or actually any menstrual product collect isn’t just blood. In some cases, blood only makes up 36% of the menstrual flow. Although some publications mention this to be around 50-60%, it still shows that the period flow is not as simple as a nosebleed.
So of course, the menstrual flow is made up of blood and other substances , the other substances being uterine lining and other tissue, no wonder a menstrual cup fills up faster and my experience is far from the 30-50 ml norm. Just imagine a small shot glass of water and adding pebbles. Its physics!
Going forward from this theory, I made a very basic calculation with the NHS number of 40 ml of average blood loss during a period and came to a result of 111 ml of total menstrual fluid lost during a period. Heres how I calculated that:
What Causes Vaginal Bleeding Between Periods
A lot of things can cause bleeding between periods, including changes to your hormone levels, using hormonal contraception and infections. It is also common for women to bleed slightly around 10 to 14 days after their period, when an egg is released from the ovary since this causes hormone levels to change. This is sometimes called ‘spotting’ because the bleeding is generally very light. If you notice bleeding between your periods more than once or twice, you should speak to your doctor to check if this needs to be investigated.
What Are The Signs Of Early Pregnancy
The most common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy might include:
- Missed period. If you’re in your childbearing years and a week or more has passed without the start of an expected menstrual cycle, you might be pregnant. …
- Tender, swollen breasts. …
- Nausea with or without vomiting. …
- Increased urination. …
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General Overview Of The Menstrual Cycle:
The menstrual cycle includes several phases. The exact timing of the phases of the cycle is a little bit different for every woman and can change over time.
The first day of menstrual bleeding is considered Day 1 of the cycle.
Your period can last anywhere from 3 to 8 days, but 5 days is average.
Bleeding is usually heaviest on the first 2 days.
Once the bleeding stops, the uterine lining begins to prepare for the possibility of a pregnancy.
The uterine lining becomes thicker and enriched in blood and nutrients.
Somewhere around day 14, an egg is released from one of the ovaries and begins its journey down the fallopian tubes to the uterus.
If sperm are present in the fallopian tube at this time, fertilization can occur.
In this case the fertilized egg will travel to the uterus and attempt to implant in the uterine wall.
If the egg was not fertilized or implantation does not occur, hormonal changes signal the uterus to prepare to shed its lining, and the egg breaks down and is shed along with lining.
The cycle begins again on Day 1 menstrual bleeding.
What Is Used To Manage Periods
To catch period blood girls can use pads or tampons. Using pads or tampons is a personal preference some women with very heavy periods use a tampon and a pad together at the same time.
Pads and tampons are bought at the supermarket or pharmacy and come with instructions for use. Dont flush pads and tampons down the toilet they will block the drain! Instead, wrap them in some toilet paper and put them in the bin.
- Are fixed into the underwear.
- Come in different shapes and thicknesses, with wings or without.
- Soak up the period blood that comes out of the vagina.
- Should be changed every three to four hours or when needed.
- Can be worn overnight.
- Are put inside the vagina.
- Come in different sizes and some include an applicator.
- Soak up the period blood inside the vagina.
- Are useful when swimming or wearing something tight like a leotard.
- Should be changed every three to four hours or when needed.
- Women who have not had sex can still use a tampon.
When Should I Be Worried About Blood Clots
Spotting, which is when you bleed just a few drops of blood between periods, is not uncommon. Bleeding between periods becomes more of a concern if you regularly pass large clots. This could be an indication of a medical condition such as uterine fibroids, cancer, bleeding disorders, and more.
Blood clots are considered abnormal if they are larger than a quarter and occur often. Speak to a healthcare professional if you bleed heavily during or between periods or you have clots larger than a quarter. The following are additional signs that menstrual bleeding is too heavy:
- Bleeding that soaks through your pad or tampon every two hours or less
- Needing to use both a pad and tampon together to control bleeding
- Needing to change your tampon or pad throughout the night
- Bleeding that prevents you from daily activities, work, or school
- Shortness of breath
When To See A Healthcare Provider
It can be useful to keep track of your menstrual cycle using a calendar or app. This information can help your healthcare provider figure out whether or not any spotting or bleeding outside your cycle is a concern.
If you think you might be bleeding too heavily, also make a note of how many pads or tampons you go through in a day.
Any unexplained vaginal bleeding between periods is a reason to call your provider. It is especially important to call if you haven’t yet gone through puberty or if you are past menopause.
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How Much Should You Bleed On Your Period
Most women will lose less than 16 teaspoons of blood during their period, with the average being around 6 to 8 teaspoons. Heavy menstrual bleeding is defined as losing 80ml or more in each period, having periods that last longer than 7 days, or both. But it’s not usually necessary to measure blood loss.
Myth : Every Woman Experiences Premenstrual Syndrome
Premenstrual syndrome is seen in one out of four women, with some having only minor symptoms. Additionally, a severe form of PMS is observed in about 5% of women of childbearing age that is characterized by sudden and extreme mood swings.
While mood changes are less commonly seen, many women experience physical symptoms such as fatigue, bloating, and breast tenderness in the week leading up to their period.
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See A Doctor If Your Periods Are Irregular After The 1
Your periods should settle into a normal rhythm after one year. A small percentage of people using a hormonal IUD will stop getting a period altogether.
If you havent gotten a period for six weeks or more, call your doctor to make sure youre not pregnant. Theyll assess your overall symptoms and administer a pregnancy test to confirm that youre not pregnant.
If the test is negative, you shouldnt need to return unless you begin experiencing early pregnancy or other unusual symptoms.
Not Sure What To Do Next
If you are still concerned about bleeding between periods, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether its self-care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero .
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How Is Menorrhagia Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask you about your medical history and about your periods. You will also have a physical exam including a pelvic exam. You may be asked to keep track of your periods and how many pads or tampons you use for a few months if you havent already done so.
- Blood tests. These check for anemia and test how fast your blood clots.
- Pap test. For this test, cells are collected from the cervix and examined. Its used to check for cancerous changes, infection, or inflammation.
- Ultrasound. Using sound waves and a computer, your healthcare provider can check for fibroids or other problems inside the uterus.
- Biopsy. Examining a tissue sample from the uterine lining can help your healthcare provider find cancer or other abnormal tissue.
Other tests include:
- Hysteroscopy. Using a viewing instrument inserted through the vagina, your healthcare provider can see the cervix and the inside of the uterus.
- Dilation and curettage .This procedure involves scraping and then examining the uterine cavity.
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?
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Symptoms Of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
- bleeding for more than eight days
- heavy blood loss during the menstrual period for example, soaking through one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour for several hours in a row
- needing to change your pad or tampon during the night
- have to change or restrict your daily activities due to your heavy bleeding
- bleeding or spotting between periods
- cramping and pain in the lower abdomen
- any vaginal bleeding after menopause.
If you think you may be experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding, you may find it useful to keep a pictorial blood loss assessment chart this can help you give your doctor an idea of how heavy your period is.
Tears Can Result From Dryness Or Birth Control Pills
Tears can happen around the opening of the vagina or deeper inside, Millheiser told INSIDER. Most occur as the result of dryness and vigorous sex. That said, women on the pill may be more prone to tears because birth control can cause the tissue of the vagina to be thinner, according to Millheiser.
Small tears that bleed for a few minutes after sex are common, but Millheiser said more serious tears could require an emergency room visit and stitches.
Millheiser also told INSIDER that the rate of blood flow and the amount of blood can help you distinguish between your period and a tear. “If you’re bleeding bright red blood profusely after sex, there’s likely something else going on,” she said.
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When Do Most Girls Get Their Period
Most girls get their first period when they’re around 12. But getting it any time between age 10 and 15 is OK. Every girl’s body has its own schedule.
There isn’t one right age for a girl to get her period. But there are some clues that it will start soon:
- Most of the time, a girl gets her period about 2 years after her breasts start to develop.
- Another sign is vaginal discharge fluid that a girl might see or feel on her underwear. This discharge usually begins about 6 months to a year before a girl gets her first period.
When Should A Doctor Be Consulted
The following symptoms of vaginal bleeding should be brought to the attention of a doctor:
- A change in the regularity of the menstrual cycle .
- A noticeable change in the amount of blood during a menstrual cycle .
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse.
- Any bleeding before puberty or after menopause.
- Bleeding in association with douching.
- Bleeding after beginning a new medication or hormone treatment.
- Bleeding during the 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy.
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What Causes Menorrhagia
During your menstrual cycle, if an egg is not fertilized, the uterine lining breaks down, and bleeds. The egg and the uterine lining are then shed during your period.
Hormone problems or conditions that affect the uterus can result in heavy bleeding. Other diseases or bleeding disorders can also cause it.
Hormone problems include:
- Pregnancy problems
- Use of an intrauterine device
Other conditions such as thyroid, kidney or liver disease, cancer or bleeding disorders can also cause heavy bleeding.