Menstrual cycle

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Menstruation is part of the female reproductive cycle that starts when girls become sexually mature during puberty. It takes three to seven days. Each cycle lasts about 28 days, unless a woman becomes pregnant.

Regular menstrual cycles are a sign that large parts of the body functioning normally. Menstrual cycle provides important body chemicals called hormones for it to be healthy. A woman’s menstrual cycle prepares the body for pregnancy each month.

A cycle is calculated from the first day of menstruation until the first day of the next period. Its variation can be anywhere between 21-35 days, in adult women and 21-45 days, the teenagers. A menstrual cycle is characterized, during the month, by the rise and fall of hormone levels.


1. Overview
2. What happens during the menstrual cycle?
3. What is menstruation?
4. Specific problems of menstruation
5. OverviewWhen menstruation begins?
6. Can the ovulation be felt?
7. How long should last the menstruation?
8. When it’s time to see the doctor?
9. What affects the menstruation?
10. What are the symptoms of painful menstruation?
11. What can be done to relieve symptoms?
12. What causes painful menstruation?
13. How often should you change the tampon?

What happens during the menstrual cycle?

In the first half of the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels begin to rise. Estrogen plays an important role in maintaining health, especially in building strong bones and maintaining their health as they age. Estrogen is what determines growth and thickening of the mucosa of the uterus. This mucosa is what will nourish the embryo, in the case of pregnancy. As the uterine mucosa grow, the egg starts to mature in the ovary.

At about 14 days, if a cycle of about 28 days, the egg leaves the ovary. This process is called ovulation. After the egg leaves the ovary, it travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus. High levels of hormones help prepare the uterine lining for possible pregnancy.

A woman has the best chance of getting pregnant in the three days before ovulation or the day of ovulation. People who have menstrual cycles shorter or longer may ovulate before or after day 14. A woman becomes pregnant when an egg is fertilized by sperm, and then attaches itself to the uterine wall. If the egg is not fertilized it will be removed. Then the levels of hormones decrease and the uterine lining begins to thicken during the menstrual cycle.

What is menstruation?

During menstruation, a woman removes the thickened uterine lining and excess blood from the vagina. The menstruation may not be identical each month. The type of menstruation can vary, especially depending on the menstrual flow. Thus, it may be quantitatively unimportant, for some women, while for others, symptoms and behaviors are quite important.

Normal menstruation may take between 2-7 days. In the first years after onset, menstrual cycles are longer. The menstrual cycle will be shorter and more regular with age. Generally, menstrual cycle will be 21-35 days.

Specific problems of menstruation

Women can experience a variety of menstrual symptoms, including pain, heavy bleeding, but also the absence of menstrual period.

1. Amenorrhea is absence of menstruation, term used to describe the lack of menstruation:

- young girls who are older than 15 years and not menstruating
- women and girls who have not had period for 90 days, even if menstruation started some time ago, in their case

Causes of amenorrhea include:

- task
- breastfeeding
- extreme weight loss
- eating disorders
- physical exertion
- stress – serious medical conditions requiring treatment.

In some cases the lack of menstrual periods means that the ovaries have stopped producing normal amounts of estrogen. Lack of these hormones can have significant effects on general health. This problem may involve hormonal problems such as those caused by polycystic ovary syndrome or serious reproductive organs. It is important to consult your doctor if you have these problems.

2. Dysmenorrhea refers to menstrual pain accompanied by severe cramps. Menstrual cramps in adolescents are caused by elevated prostaglandins. In older women, the cause of dysmenorrhea is represented by a disease or condition such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis.

For some women, the use of various sources of heat applied locally may help relieve cramps. At the same purpose may be used on these painkillers without a prescription ibuprofen, naproxen, etc. If the pain does not disappear even after using these drugs and interfere with the normal professional or social activities, seek medical advice. Treatment will depend on the causes of the problem and severity.

3. Abnormal uterine bleeding are vaginal bleedings that are different from normal menstrual periods. These include:

- bleeding between menstrual periods
- bleeding after intercourse
- heavy bleeding more days than normal
- bleeding after menopause.

Abnormal bleeding can have many causes. The doctor will begin by investigating the patient and by identifying the most common problems in this age group. Some of the problems are not serious and are easily treated. Abnormal bleeding’s treatment depends on their cause.

Both the teen and women approaching menopause, hormonal changes can cause prolongation and disruption of their menstrual cycles. Even in case when the cause is hormonal imbalance, you may need treatment. You should know that these changes may be accompanied by other serious health problems such as fibroids, uterine polyps or cancer. Consult your doctor, if present any abnormal bleeding.

4. Irregular or rare menstrual periods – Sometimes menstrual periods quantity is low or infrequent during the onset and when a woman approaching menopause. This is normal, because the egg does not occur every month. Many women have one or two irregular periods every six months. This is not caused by a serious disease and usually isn’t necessary to consult a doctor.

The most common cause of rare menstruation is a condition called polycystic ovaries. This is a common condition that affects about 10% of women, of which, to a very small cysts occur in combination with a hormonal imbalance.

This condition causes irregular ovulation and therefore menstruations are rare. The diagnosis of polycystic ovaries can be established only after some blood tests that will measure the levels of hormones and pelvic ultrasound of the ovaries. Treatment is necessary only if there are concerns about irregular menstrual periods or when a woman has difficulty becoming pregnant.

When the menstruation begins?

Currently, the girls began to menstruate at about 10-14 years (average age 12). Your period will last for 45-55 years, when installing menopause. A woman will have approximately 500 menstrual periods during her life.

Can the ovulation be felt?

Ovulation occurs usually about 14 days after the first day of menstruation, but the exact timing may vary quite widely from one woman to another. Some women know when they’re ovulating, because it felt a slight pain in lower abdomen. Others may bleed slightly during ovulation. Vaginal discharges change slightly during ovulation. Their consistency changes and becomes more watery due to hormonal changes. Checking mucus can be a contraceptive method, by avoiding intercourse during the fertile period.

How long should last the menstruation?

Women usually have to go through menstruation until they rich menopause. Menopause occurs between 45 and 55. Menopause refers to the fact that women do not ovulate or does not have menstrual periods and can’t get pregnant. Like menstruation, menopause can vary from woman to woman, but some changes occur over years. When a woman’s body prepares for menopause is called the transition to menopause. This may take between 2-8 years.

Some women experience early menopause caused by surgery, other treatments, illness or other reasons. If you have not had your period for more than 90 days, you should consult your doctor. It will try to discover the presence of pregnancy, early menopause and other health problems that can trigger or stop menstruation.

When it’s time to see the doctor?

Seek medical related to menstruation problems if:

- menstruation has not started even after age 15
- have not menstruating after 3 years since the breasts have started to develop or if their development is not started even after age 13
- menstruation suddenly missing more than 90 days
- her periods are irregular, after you have had regular cycles, monthly
- menstruation occurs before 21 days or after 35 days
- bleeding persists for more than 7 days
- during menstruation is necessary to change more than one buffer at 2 hours
- bled between menstrual periods
- you have severe pain during menstruation
- have sudden fever and malaise after changing the buffer.

What affects the menstruation?

Menstruation is a complex process involving different hormones, sexual organs and nervous system. First, hormones are those that influence menstruation. If there isn’t a balance of these, menstrual cycle will be affected. If menstrual periods are irregular, you can ask the doctor, measurement of blood hormone levels, to detect if there is a serious hormonal problem.

What are the symptoms of painful menstruation?

The degree of discomfort experienced by women during menstruation varies. Some people aren’t disturbed by their menstrual periods, while others seem to be affected by unpleasant symptoms. Among events during menstruation may include:

- abdominal pain
- vaginal pain
- nausea and malaise
- diarrhea
- sweat
- fatigue.

What can be done to relieve symptoms?

There are several measures that can be taken to reduce the discomfort:

- during menstruation will avoid drinking caffeinated drinks (tea, cola, cocoa)
- avoid stress: massage and relaxation can do wonders
- exercise and a form of envy helps prevent painful menstruation
- will keep the heat in the abdomen
- be used painkillers, if necessary.

Consult your doctor, when the situation does not improve with these solutions.

What causes painful menstruation?

There is no single proven theory, but there are several possible reasons:

- uterine contractions similar to those felt in childbirth due to prostaglandin
- pain caused by dilation of the cervix, when the blood and tissues penetrate the uterus
- previous infection, inflammation of the uterus or benign tumors in the uterus
- in some cases, menstrual pain are hereditary.

How often should you change the tampon?

Change the pad before the bloodstained. Each woman knows what type of buffer is most effective in his case. You have to change the tampon at least 4-8 hours. Make sure that you use the lowest absorbent pad according to your flow, to avoid toxic shock syndrome, a rare but deadly, a reaction with certain types of buffers.

TSS (toxic shock syndrome) is caused by bacteria that can produce toxins. If the body can’t fight the toxins, the immune system reacts and this way the symptoms of TSS occur. Is more likely that young women to develop this syndrome. The use of internal tampons increases the risk of this type of syndrome compared with other types of buffers.

In order to avoid problems related of the using of tampons, follow these tips:

- follow directions on package to insert internal buffers
- choose the smallest size tampon according to your menstrual flow
- buffer change at least every 4-8 hours
- consider alternating internal and external buffers
- inform yourself about the warning signs of TSS

If you have any of these symptoms of TSS while using tampons, remove pad and contact your doctor immediately:

- high fever
- muscle pain
- diarrhea – vomiting
- rash similar to sunburn
- sore throat
- red eyes.



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