What is Menstruation

Menstruation is part of a woman’s reproductive cycle. Every month, in response to reproductive hormones – mainly estrogen and progesterone – a woman’s womb gets ready for pregnancy.

Menstruation is the process where an unfertilised egg, or a fertilised egg that has not become embedded in the uterus lining, is removed from the body via blood flow through the vagina.

Humans are very rare among species in having the trait of menstruation, as most animals do not bleed on a regular basis to remove the uterus lining and unfertilised egg or underdeveloped embryo. Only humans, monkeys, apes, leaf-nosed bats and elephant menstruate. In most animals, the uterus lining is reabsorbed into the body if a female does not become pregnant after releasing an egg from the ovary.

The Benefits of Menstrual Period

• Menstrual period is the 1st signal to determine women pregnancy and also to use as guideline for expected delivery date.

• Changes in menstrual period cycle and volume are important signals for any symptom of women diseases.

• Periodical blood loss is good for eliminating excessive iron.

• Promote hematopoietic function which generates new bloods.

Why does the uterus lining grow so thick? 

The inner lining of the womb, known as the endometrium, prepares for an embryo to implant in it. The endometrium thickens, divides into different layers and develops an extensive network of blood vessels.

If the woman doesn’t get pregnant, progesterone levels begin to fall. The thick endometrial tissue with its blood vessels then begins to slough off, and passes out through the vagina. This bleeding is menstruation.

On average, women lose 30 to 90 ml of fluid over 3-7 days of menstruation.

Why are periods so painful?

The way that the endometrium is lost involves contractions of the uterus to loosen the lining and allow it to be lost through the vagina. Many women only experience mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, but for some, these cramps can be incredibly painful and debilitating. Other issues associated with periods include back pain, joint and muscle aches, breast soreness and headaches.

Are period pains genetic?

The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, include painful abdominal cramps, headaches, bloatedness or diarrhoea, muscle soreness, joint pain, lower back pain, tiredness and irritability. Some women have such extreme PMS that they suffer from depression or anxiety. These extreme cases are called premenstrual mood disorder, or PMDD. A study has recently found that PMDD is linked to a gene cluster called ESC/E(Z), according to a study in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. The finding opens up possibilities for evidence-based treatments for PMDD, which have so far been lacking.

How long does a period usually last? 

Periods typically last between three and seven days, and happen around every 28 days. This can be affected if a woman takes hormonal contraception. Several forms of hormonal contraception can reduce bleeding or prevent periods entirely. This is only temporary while the woman continues taking the hormonal contraception and her fertility returns to normal once she stops taking them, provided she has not passed the menopause.

Why do women stop having periods? 

Women can go through times after puberty when they do not menstruate. If a woman is underweight or malnourished, her body may save resources by halting menstruation. If this happens for more than three months, it is called amenorrhea. Women may also stop menstruating temporarily if they are taking certain kinds of hormonal contraception, such as the combined oral contraceptive pill, the ‘mini pill’, the implant or the intrauterine device. Women also stop having periods permanently during and after the menopause, which usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55.

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