At What Age Does Menstruation Typically Begin
Girls start menstruating at the average age of 12. However, girls can begin menstruating as early as 8 years of age or as late as 16 years of age. Women stop menstruating at menopause, which occurs at about the age of 51. At menopause, a woman stops producing eggs . Menopause is defined as one year without periods, and after this time a woman can no longer become pregnant.
Reason For Painful Cramps: Ectopic Pregnancy
The fertilized egg didnt travel to the uterus to attach to the endometrium of the uterus. Instead, it is attached to the fallopian tube, most often in ampulla, ovarian, isthmus parts, fimbria site of the ovary or cervix.
Very often ectopic pregnancy is mistaken for appendicitis. The symptoms of the ectopic pregnancy are severe pain and bleeding. Shall you develop any of the symptoms, dont hesitate to address your healthcare provider.
Bleeding During Late Pregnancy
If youre bleeding in later trimesters, it could be a sign of complications including:
- Placenta previa: This occurs when the placenta fully or partially covers the opening of the birth canal. Placenta previa can occur late in the third trimester.
- Placental abruption: This happens when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall before or during birth, possibly preventing the fetus from getting enough oxygen or causing you to lose too much blood. Other symptoms of placental abruption include tenderness of the uterus, abdominal cramps, back pain, and clots from the vagina.
- Uterine rupture: A scar from a C-section can tear open during pregnancy. Youll need an emergency C-section because this occurrence can be life-threatening. Symptoms may include abdominal pain or tenderness.
- Placenta accreta: The placenta becomes inseparable from the uterine wall.
- Vasa previa: This rare condition is when blood vessels providing blood to the fetus grow across the cervix. The fetus may be deprived of blood if the blood vessels tear. Signs of vasa previa include excessive bleeding and an abnormal fetal heart rate.
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Can Anything Prevent Or Lessen This Constant Urge
If youre busy like I am, you know how annoying a trip to the bathroom every hour can beand how important not holding it in is. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to lessen your urge.
Avoiding fluid retention as much as possible can actually help. To minimize fluid retention before your period, Dr. Dunham says you should increase fluid consumption and stay well-hydrated. Avoiding salty foods also helps reduce fluid retention. Eating more crunchy veggies and less processed food can help move fluids through our systems. Other than drinking water, Racz recommends taking Advil or Ibuprofen to help with cramps.
It is also possible to address the hormones directly. The other way to prevent the progesterone plunge is to take a combination contraceptive and suppress the hormonal ups and downs of a regular cycle, Dr. Dunham says. Taking the pill can help in a variety of ways. Birth control is very effective to alleviate cramping, and very painful periods can be a sign of an underlying problem, Racz says.
Other than that, you may have to stick it out. Peeing constantly on your period is no fun, but at least it only lasts a week or less, right?
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When Can I Get Pregnant During My Menstrual Cycle
You have the highest chance of getting pregnant on the days leading up to ovulation these are called fertile days.
Ovulation usually happens about 14 days before your period starts but everyones body is different. You may ovulate earlier or later, depending on the length of your menstrual cycle.
Your egg lives for about 1 day after its released from your ovary, and sperm can live in your uterus and fallopian tubes for about 6 days after sex. So you can usually get pregnant for around 6 days of every menstrual cycle: the 5 days before you ovulate, and the day you ovulate. You can also get pregnant a day or so after ovulation, but it’s less likely.
Many people track their menstrual cycles and other fertility signs to help them figure out when theyre ovulating. This is called fertility awareness some people use it to prevent pregnancy, and others use it to try to get pregnant. Check out our app, which makes it easy to chart your cycle and figure out your fertile days.
Some people have very regular cycles, and other peoples cycles vary from month to month. Its really common for young people to have irregular periods. Since your period can be unpredictable, its hard to know for sure when youll ovulate . So if you dont want to get pregnant, use birth control every time you have vaginal sex.
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When Does Menstruation Start
On average, a young woman in the U.S. has her first menstrual period at about age 12. This is generally 2 to 3 years after her breasts start to grow. This is also soon after she notices pubic and underarm hair. Stress, strenuous exercise, and diet can affect when a girl first has her period.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that a young woman consult her healthcare provider if she has not started to menstruate by the age of 15, or if she has not begun to develop breast buds, pubic hair, or underarm hair by the age of 13.
When Should I Expect My First Period
Most girls get their first period somewhere between the ages of 10 and 14, with an average of just over 12 years old. Its hard to tell when your first period will arrive. It usually happens about two years after the first signs of puberty , and about a year after you begin growing pubic hair. You will also notice white or yellowish vaginal discharge in the few months leading up to your period.
There are numerous factors that are thought to influence the age of the first period, including:
- Parental education
- Illness and stress
The average age of the first period has been decreasing over time. In 1900 in the United States, the average age of the first period was between 14 and 15 years of age. The decreasing age of the onset of menstruation seems to have levelled off now at 12.
There is no way to predict exactly when you will get your first period, and there is nothing you can do to make it start, except wait. If you are worried about your first period, talk to your family doctor.
If you are sexually active, you will need to consider the possibility that you could get pregnant once you have your period. In fact, you can even get pregnant if youve never menstruated, since its possible to ovulate before your first period. There are many forms of birth control available read about them here. You are also at risk of sexually transmitted infections if you are sexually active learn how to protect yourself.
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Sex During Your Period: Possible Consequences
Although having sex during your period comes with many upsides, there are also a few downsides:
- It can be messy. Theres always a chance that blood will get on you, your partner, and the sheets, especially if you have a heavy flow. Whats more, you might find yourself worrying about making a mess, and this can take some of the fun out of sex.
- You have an increased risk of STIs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having sex during your period increases your risk of getting or transmitting an STI like HIV. The virus may be present in your period blood. Health experts strongly encourage using a condom to decrease this risk.
- It might be smelly. Period blood can often have an unpleasant smell. In the heat of the moment, you and your partner might not be focusing on the smell, but its good to be prepared.
- Your positions are limited. You or your partner might not be comfortable with oral sex when youre on your period. Being on top might also be messier, thanks to gravity. A great position to try could be lying on your back.
Possible Complications Of Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps wont cause any other medical complications if you go to see a doctor on time in order to prevent further conditions to occur. It mainly affects your daily activities. Furthermore, if endometriosis is not discovered in time, it may cause fertility problems. The pelvic inflammatory disease can increase the risk of a fertilized egg implanting outside of the uterus,
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Are Hormones To Blame
When you get your period, your levels of estrogen and progesterone are low.
In the first 4 or 5 days, your pituitary gland increases output of follicle-stimulating hormone and your ovaries start producing more estrogen.
Between days 5 and 7, estrogen levels typically crest, your pituitary gland releases a surge of luteinizing hormone , and your progesterone levels start to increase.
A shift in hormone levels could create the appearance of a stop-and-start pattern.
Period flow or regularity issues could be affected by a variety of health conditions, including:
- Fibroids, which are abnormal benign growths that develop in or on the uterus.
- Endometriosis, which occurs when endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome , which occurs when the ovaries make large amounts of androgens . Sometimes, small fluid-filled sacs form in the ovaries.
Do You Need To Use Condoms While Having Sex On Your Period
There are two significant reasons to avoid having unprotected sex during your period:
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Breast Pain And Swelling
Do you experience increased pain in your breast before your period starts? Do you notice your breasts are slightly larger before your period?
Before period, some women may experience breast pain and swelling. This is a sign of period coming soon. Some women may have a lump in their breast that disappears after period starts.
Changes in the breast before your period is due to the effect of hormones. Hormones Estrogen and progesterone, will cause your ducts to enlarge and your glands to swell.
In women with a 28-day menstrual cycle, breast tenderness usually occurs 4 days before period .
What to do?
- Drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen can ease your breast pain
- If your breast pain is persistent, you should talk to your doctor
Is It Okay To Have Oral Sex On Periods
If you and your partner consent to it, oral sex during your period doesnt have to be off-limits. Just remember that its possible to transmit infections through tiny cuts or tears in the mouth, so make sure to protect yourself and your partner.
Sex involves a wide range of fluids and excretions, including sweat, sperm, vaginal discharge, and even blood. With a little preparation and protection, youll be ready to enjoy the moment with your partner.
Hambach, Anke, et al. The Impact of Sexual Activity on Idiopathic Headaches: an Observational Study. Cephalalgia : an International Journal of Headache, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23430983.Can You Have Sex during a Period? NHS Choices, NHS, 5 Apr. 2018, www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/sexual-health/can-you-have-sex-during-a-period/.HIV Transmission. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6 Aug. 2019, www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/transmission.html.
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Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
Yes, if you have painful periods you and your obstetrician-gynecologist should talk about your symptoms and your menstrual cycle. If needed, your ob-gyn may recommend a pelvic exam. A first step in treatment may be medications. If medications do not relieve your pain, treatment should focus on finding the cause of your pain.
An ultrasound exam may be done when pain is not relieved with medications. In some cases, an ob-gyn may recommend a laparoscopy. This is a procedure that lets an ob-gyn view the organs in the pelvis. With laparoscopy, a small incision is made near the belly button. A thin, lighted cameraa laparoscopeis inserted into the abdomen. Laparoscopy often is done with general anesthesia in a surgery center or hospital.
Medications are usually the first step when treating painful periods. Certain pain relievers target prostaglandins. These medications, called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , reduce the prostaglandins made by the body and lessen their effects. This in turn makes menstrual cramps less severe. Most NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can be bought over the counter.
Acupuncture, acupressure, and nerve stimulation therapies may be useful for treating painful periods. Physical therapy that eases trigger points also may help with pain.
Are There Other Reasons Im Cramping Without A Period
Thanks to the fairly central location of our reproductive organs, its pretty easy to mix up other cramp-causing conditions with your period. For example, a fairly serious cause of abdominal pain is appendicitis. You can check for this by pressing on the right side of your body, between navel and side, and then letting go. What youre looking for is more pain in the release than the press. That rebound tenderness and fever are two sure signs its time to get to the hospital ASAP!
With an urgent issue like appendicitis ruled out, several other things might be the culprit. It could be that certain penetrative sex positions have irritated your cervix, or that you have a urinary tract infection . Or, its a digestive issue like lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity, an ulcer, or IBS.
This wide range of causes means that seeking medical attention if the issue persists is a pretty good idea. If you miss more than three periods, definitely seek medical care.
And as medical self-advocacy best practices suggest, you can bring a list of things youve ruled out or things you think it might be along with you. You might not know what is or is not significant, and a good doctor will understand that. Its better if you tell them everything than leave something out!
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