top of page

5 Facts you did not know about your period

Updated: Jan 19

There is nothing more frustrating than not having access to the right information about an issue that directly affects your health and wellbeing (maybe not having access at all anyways), Common biological changes in humans such as periods, pregnancies and others are surrounded by a lot of truths, facts, exaggerations and falsehood. So, getting authentic facts about your health and lifestyle is proving difficult by the day, especially with the increase in false information and spam articles that does little to improve your knowledge. A good and reliable outlet is pertinent for a healthy and fulfilling life.


           WHAT ARE PERIODS?


Periods are normal bleeding through the vagina that occurs as a part of a woman's menstrual cycle. Periods (also called menstruation, monthly flows, menses) are characteristic features of a healthy female reproductive age; Men do not get periods.


            MENSTRUAL CYCLE?


As I earlier stated, periods are part of the menstrual cycle; The menstrual cycle is a series of cyclical changes in the ovaries and the endometrium (uterine linings) that occurs in females as the reproductive tract prepared a mature egg for fertilization with the male spermatozoa. Endocrine hormones tightly regulate these cyclical changes; examples of such hormones are Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Estrogen, Progesterone and the Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormones.


            WHAT ARE THE PHASES OF THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE?


The menstrual cycle occurs in four phases:

1. THE MENSTRUAL PHASE:

This is the period of actual bleeding; the menstrual blood is a combination of blood, and uterine tissues from endometrial innings sloughed off. The menstrual phase lasts from the first day of a new cycle to the fifth day.


2. THE FOLLICULAR PHASE:

During this phase, the endometrial lining of the uterus grows bigger and thicker; ovarian follicles also grow fast. Both processes are due to the increased levels of Estrogen and FSH, respectively, and it occurs between days 6 to 14.


3. OVULATION:

In this phase, a sudden surge in the level of the luteinizing hormone (LH) causes the ovaries to release their eggs. This increased level in LH is called the LH peak or surge typically occurs on day 14 of a 28-day menstrual cycle.


4. LUTEAL PHASE:

The progesterone hormone plays a major role in this phase, which usually comes after ovulation. Once the ovaries release an egg, it travels down to the fallopian tube and, if fertilized, to the uterus. The progesterone hormone prepares the uterus for implantation and pregnancy, and if the egg is not fertilized, the levels and levels of other hormones drop. This leads to shedding off of uterine linings, enlarged blood vessels burst, and the tissues flow in them through the vagina to the exterior.

The phase lasts from about the 15th day to the 28th day of an average cycle. The menstrual cycle varies for different individuals. On average, it is 28 days long but can range from 21 days to 34 days.


         THE FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE TRACT?


 The female reproductive tract is made up of the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus (womb), fallopian tube (oviduct), and ovaries (where the ova or eggs are stored). One organ plays key functions in fertilization, pregnancy and partition.


           WHEN DOES YOUR PERIOD START AND END?


 Females, on average, start seeing their period at age 12, but it can be as early as age 9 or as late as age 17.


The first monthly flow experienced by a female is known as menarche; this is usually a strange and embarrassing experience for a girl who has no prior knowledge of this normal change in her body. Females stop menstruating once they reach the age of menopause which is usually between the age of 50 to 60 years. Menopause usually indicates an end to the reproductive capability of that female, and the levels of sex hormones diminish greatly during this period afterward. 


 Women have about 450 periods during their lifetime; for certain individuals, it is associated with a combination of signs and symptoms days or weeks before; this is known as Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS.)


            WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME?

 Symptoms of PMS include:

•Depression.

•Abdominal cramps and bloating.

•Headaches.

•Food cravings.

•Breast tenderness.

•Photosensitivity.

•Anxiety.

•Mood swings.

•Acne.

•Joint pain and Tiredness.

•Insomnia.

Contrary to myths, Premenstrual Syndrome does not occur in all women and is treatable once diagnosed; eating healthy meals, good hygiene, and certain exercise helps. I advise you to seek professional health care providers.


          MYTHS ABOUT PERIOD?

Apart from the widely held false belief that Premenstrual syndrome is common to all women, with similar symptoms, Other myths about periods include;

  • It is an impure state, and so women should be isolated and not talk about it: Many individuals consider period flow as something unclean, this may be the reason why majority of persons shy away from the topic. Some parents (especially Dads) find it difficult to discuss the topic with their kids, leaving a vacuum in the knowledge of their children.

  • It is fixed and should last exactly one week: Another false belief about menstrual flow is that is is a fixed occurrence that should come at exactly specific time for all women, this is not true.

  • Exercising during periods is not safe: This is not entirely true as research shows that certain exercises can help improve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. The goal is to find the right exercise that can help and this is where we come in, At _

  • It is unlikely to get pregnant during your period: This is not correct as evidence shows a high possibility of pregnancy if you engage in sexual intercourse, especially when this period overlaps with your fertility window.

  • Menstrual flow is a disorder: This is certainly false; the menstrual cycle is a natural process, there is nothing remotely wrong with females having normal monthly flow. However, like every normal physiological process in the body, there are situations where disruptions may occur.


         WHAT ARE MENSTRUAL DISORDERS?


       IRREGULAR MENSTRUAL PERIOD

Menstrual disorders are irregularities that disrupt the normal monthly flow in females. The four common menstrual disorders are:

•Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

•Dysmenorrhea

•Amenorrhea

•Menorrhagia


PREMENSTRUAL DYSPHORIC DISORDER: It is a much more severe form of Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and requires treatment by a physician.


DYSMENORRHEA:  This condition is characterized by recurrent and severe pain, muscle cramps, weakness and fainting during menstruation. The cause can be:

Primary- Due to hormonal imbalance.

Secondary- Resulting from other conditions like endometriosis, uterine fibroid, infections, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), etc.


AMENORRHEA: Amenorrhea is a condition where there is an absence or missed menstrual period for three or more monthly cycles.

Amenorrhea can also be:

Primary- Menstruation is not present at puberty.

Secondary- In which the normal menstrual cycle increasingly becomes abnormal.


      CAUSES OF AMENORRHEA?

•Natural: Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, Menopause.

•Genetic defect.

•Obesity and Underweight.

•Stress and strenuous exercise.

•Thyroid disorder.


MENORRHAGIA:  This is a disorder characterized by excessive and prolonged menstrual bleeding. The forms of this condition include; Polymenorrhea (frequent menstruation), postmenopausal (menstrual periods even after menopause), and metrorrhagia (bleeding between periods).


       CAUSES OF MENORRHAGIA?

•Hormonal imbalance.

•Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

•Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.

•Bleeding disorders.

•Fibroid of the uterus.

• Noncancerous tumors.

•Uterine and cervical cancer.



 

Periods are normal for reproductive females, a knowledge of what it is and what to expect is extremely useful when disorders arise. For more information or questions and assistance, visit Hati Health, a reliable and efficient teleconsultation healthcare service. We provide the perfect care for all our patients at an affordable cost, book with us at Hati Health.

80 views0 comments

Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page