|Menstruation occurs in the female once a month, generally every 24 to 32 days. |
Girls start to menstruate between the ages of 9 and 16 and continue through their reproductive lives until the age of 45 to 55. Menstruation can last 3 to 7 days and is a stripping of the inside blood and mucus lining of the uterus, which has built up in the preceding weeks mainly under the influence of the two female hormones, oestrogen and progesterone.
The spongy inside lining of the uterus is designed to receive a fertilised egg. If this occurs the lining is retained and increases in thickness. It nurtures in the developing foetus during the 9 months of pregnancy.
Menstruation does not occur during pregnancy and an absence of menstruation after intercourse and the proceeding month generally, but not always, indicates the onset of pregnancy .
Menstruation should not be associated with any distressful symptoms except the inconvenience caused by the discharge. However, hormone imbalance particularly in young adolescents can cause the muscle of the uterus to tighten up excessively in its effort to help the shedding process and this can produce pain of varying intensity.
Normally menstrual blood passes out freely. If clotting occurs it may be associated with pain and discomfort.
In adolescence when hormone secretion is gradually becoming established, periods may be irregular with gaps of 1 to 2 months. This can result in heavy painful bleeding when menstruation does occur. This can produce anaemia in the young girl and is associated with tiredness and paleness of the skin.
Menstruation, if irregular, may also be associated with headache, acne, sore breasts and depression. Family, school and social activities may be affected.
If you are worried about your periods, you should see your doctor for a proper counselling to help you through this difficult, emotional time of life.
A regular diet, vitamin and mineral supplementation, particularly vitamin B6 and regular but not heavy exercise is also recommended.
|Barrier Methods of Contraception||Breast Cancer|
|Breast Cancer Ribbon||Breast Cancer Stages|
|Inflammatory Breast Cancer||Menopause|
|Natural Womens Health Products||Ovarian Cancer|
|Painful Periods or Dysmenorrhoea||Post Natal Depression|
|Pregnancy||Sexual Activity during and after Pregnancy|
|Smoking and Pregnancy||Stretch Marks in Pregnancy|
|Symptoms of Breast Cancer||Termination (Abortion)|
|The I.U.D. (or Intra Uterine Device)||The Pill (Oral Contraceptive Pill or OCP)|
|The Rhythm Method of Birth Control or
Natural Family Planning
|Tubal Ligation||Uterine Cancer|
|Vaginal Discharge||Womens Health and Fitness|
|Womens Health Care||Womens Health Issues|
|Womens Health Services||Womens Heart Health|
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