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It’s that time of the month when you don’t feel like yourself. The cramps, the pain and the hormonal imbalance, all point towards the onset of your monthly cycle. Menstruation is a part of a healthy female body and the start of periods indicates the development of a woman’s body from a girls. Let us learn more about menstruation and learn why is it an important milestone for female puberty.

What is Menstruation?

The important stage of puberty in girls where discharge of blood and tissue from the uterine lining occurs through the vigina every month.The menstruation cycle is different in different women. It is a healthy part every woman’s life.

Hormones play a major role in the menstrual cycle. This causes one to bleed once a month. The ovaries (left or right) produce and release one egg. This process is called ovulation that is controlled by hormones. The uterine lining thickens before the release of the egg from the ovary. The uterus prepares itself for the implantation of a fertilized egg. When the egg is not fertilized, the uterus sheds its lining, a process that is also controlled by hormones. This process of shedding blood and tissue is called as menstruation or menstrual period.

What is a Menstrual Cycle?

When a woman experiences regular menstruations, it is called as a menstrual cycle. A normal menstrual cycle indicates normal, healthy functioning body. Every month, the body prepares itself for pregnancy. All women have a different menstrual cycle. A cycle is calculated from the first day of the period to the first day of the next. For example, if Jane gets her periods on the 9th of March and then the next period on 2nd April then her cycle lasted 24 days. The average menstrual cycle length is 28-32 days. Also, the symptoms of menstruation differ woman-to-woman.

When Does Menstruation Begin?

Menstruation starts between the age of 12 years and 14 years. However, in some cases, it may begin as early as 9 years or as late as after 15 years.

How Long Does A Menstrual Cycle Last?

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Menstrual cycles may last anywhere from 2 days to 7 days. This is considered normal. The amount of bleeding also  varies from woman to woman. The time duration and bleeding amount may vary in the same woman at times.

Problems Associated With Menstruation

There are many problems related to menstruation. Individual women complain of different problems. Some of the common problems due to menstruation are as follows:

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the most common problem associated with menstruation. It is the physical or emotional changes experienced before the start of the menstruation. The symptoms of PMS include:

Amenorrhea is lack of menstrual periods in adolescents who don’t start menstruation by the age of 15 years. It is also considered in women and girls who do not get their periods for 90 days after the previous menstruation. This can happen during pregnancy and breastfeeding women. However, it is a matter of concern in case of women and girls with eating disorder, excessive exercising, stress, extreme weight loss or in those having serious medical condition that requires treatment.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal problem that can affect the menstrual cycle

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Dysmenorrhea is developing painful periods along with severe cramps. It is common in teenagers due to presence of hormone called prostaglandin. In older women, it can be due to uterine fibroids or endometriosis.

Abnormal uterine bleeding where the woman experiences:

  • Bleeding after sex
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding heavier for many days than the normal 2-3 days
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Spotting anytime in the menstrual cycle

This may happen due to a number of causes, some of which requires medical attention. Speak to a doctor immediately to help you get treatment and solve the problem before it turns serious.

How Long Does A Woman Have Periods?

Menstruation lasts until menopause. Menopause can occur anywhere between the age of 45 and 55. In most women, it is in the age of 50 years. Menopause is the phase where the woman no longer ovulates or produces eggs. Thus, she can no longer have periods and lose the ability to get pregnant. Menopause too varies from women to women and leads to many physical as well as emotional changes in the woman.

A woman gradually enters menopause and this phase is called as menopausal transition. This phase can last anywhere from 2 to 8 years. In some women, early menopause may occur due to a surgery, illness or other treatments.

This was some information related to menstruation. The menarche, that is, the start of periods is a sign that the girl’s reproductive system has started to mature and working in tandem. If one does not experience periods 90 days after the previous period or has heavy bleeding, suffers from severe PMS, do not start periods by the time they are 15 years of age, they should seek medical help. Speaking to your mother or doctor will help you find a solution to your period problem.

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Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: April 07, 2015

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