Menstrual cycle occurs only in women. It can start from when they are young and ends only when they attain their menopausal stage. Menstruation is said to be the crying of the uterus when pregnancy didn’t happen in a woman’s body every month.
Menstrual cycle is the bleeding from the crumbling of the lining of the uterus which entails the culmination of a series of interlocked events that prepares the uterus to accept a fertilized egg. So when pregnancy did not take place in a woman, this prepared lining is shed from the uterus causing the entire cycle of events to take place.
The main controller of these events is the hypothalamus, which is a part of the brain that contains a number of small nuclei with different functions that is linked to the nervous system to the endocrine system via pituitary gland. So this hypothalamus which is part of the brain is affected by emotions and upsets and its demonstrated by the fact that menstruation may cease after a particularly strong emotional upset by the girl or woman.
However, the time limit during which menstruation ceases varies according to individual difference and the periods can happen again after two or three months time. The absence of periods is known as Amenorrhoea. Some women may experience absence of their periods even more than a year. But in these cases, the affected woman may require a careful examination and investigation to exclude an underlying disease which may cause amenorrhoea. In most cases result shows that its not causes by any disease while the menstruation can also be restored by administering some drugs if so desired by the physician.
When there is no disease, the absence of the periods is of no importance.
Myths About Menstruation
Contrary to the popular myth, menstruation does not clean the body system of a woman neither does the absence of menstruation mean the dangerous substances are dammed up within the uterus.
Therefore, as the sequence of events leading to each menstrual period is cmplicated, it is perhaps best to start at the time of menstruation and trace what happens up to the time of the next menstruation.
The menstrual cycles repeats itself in all women throughout their reproductive years, unless pregnancy occurs. At each extreme- both in adolescence and near menopause – the cycles are less regular, and ovulation may not occur. In these cycles the endometrium is only stimulated by oestrogen, and only FSH is secreted (in any quantity) by the pituitary gland.
The menstrual cycles tend to be irregular in duration: they may be as short as 12days or as long as three or four months. The duration and amount of menstraul bleeding varies according to individual. Some women have scanty or short duration, while some have heavy flow and long menstrual cycle. If you are an adolescent girl and experiences too heavy or too prolonged bleeding, try to consult a doctor who can give you hormonal treatment for a few months to regulate your periods.
During this moment, the girl’s own rythm is established. Also in most cases, the irregularity may not be too inconvinient and the knowledge that normal cycles will eventually appear is sufficient reassurance.
Attitudes to menstruation
Women should always teach their daughters about menstruation. Unfortunately, most mothers don’t have access or feel comfortable talkng to their daughters about menstruation. Some girls already start seeing their periods before the discussion will be thought to them in school. So they end up not having opportunity to get the full information either from school or home.
However, these lack of knowledge of menstruation gives them alot of concern and makes them to think that menstruation is unpleasant and serious. Some young girl feel very embarrassed about menstruation while some see it as an illness period, especially if they become tired or irritable during their period while other women see menstruation as nuisance.
Facts About Menstruation
Most women feel off color two days before their menstruation. She may have either headache or have a little swollen stomach. Some women feel very tired or irritable and may have pressure feeling in her pelvis. Sometimes those symptoms diminishes as soon as menstruation begins.
Menstruation can last from three to seven days.
Menstrual discharge can amount upto 30ml (1fluid ounce) and depending on individuals, most women lose less while some more. More flow can be upto to 80ml which is abnormal and is usually accompanied by the loss of blood clots.
Menstruation can take place every 22 to 33 days based on individual body chemistry.
How to Protect yourself during menstruation
In other not to stain yourself with menstrual blood, its wise to use a clean absorbent and easily disposable materials such as sanitary pads and intravaginal tampons. However, the disadvantage of sanitary pads is that it may chafe the upper thighs as it lies applied to the vulva which may be apparent especially in sports clothes.
The latter objection is more often in the mind of the wearer than of the observer, and if menstruation is considered a normal function (which it is) , it is surely unimportant if others know that a menstrual period is in progress.
Meanwhile, an intravaginal tampon has the advantages that is it convenient, inconspicuous and efficient. A tampon can be used by women of any age, provided it can be introduced into the vagina without discomfort. Special slim tampons are available for women who have not had sexual intercourse. Alot of women prefers to use tampon than sanitary pads. But some women who have profuses periods, find that the tampon is inadequate to mop up the blood discharge and may prefer using sanitary pads. It all depends onvthe woman’s choice based on which is superior to the other, both being satisfactory.