10 Common Asked Questions About Menstruation

Hey there! Today’s article will be dedicated to answering the most frequent questions you have about menstruation.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

When does menstruation begin?

Scientifically, menstruation is supposed to begin at the age of 12, when puberty begins. However, there are girls who begin to menstruate as early as the age of 8 and this is okay. It is part of being an early bloomer and you don’t have to feel awkward about it.

Why is it called menstruation?

Menstruation is derived from a Latin word called menses. The Latin word menses when translated means month. Menstruation occurs in every month of a girl’s life and therefore the name it has. They last between 3 to 7 days on the cycle.

Why do I have cravings before menstruation?

According to research, before menstruation occurs, there is a change of levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen in the female body. This in return leads to the desire for high carbs and sweet foods. This is a common symptom of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).

Other than that, eating sweet foods and carbs leads to the production of serotonin, a feel good hormone. The constant release of this feel good hormone leaves you wanting more of it and therefore the cravings.

Is it normal to poop a lot during menstruation?

Yes it is! During menstruation your body is releasing hormones known as prostaglandins that are associated with the pain you feel during your periods (cramps). Prostaglandins facilitate contraction in your uterine wall enabling it to shed off as period blood. As contraction happens on the uterine wall, so is bowel movement facilitated. As a result, you end up pooping and sometimes, you diarrhea.

Is it okay to have irregular menstruation?

This is a common experience among young girls transitioning to puberty and it is okay. During this stage, your body is undergoing changes, inclusive of hormonal imbalances and gaining weight. These are contributing factors to the irregular occurrence of your periods.

Related article: Irregular periods

Other than that, irregular periods can also be as a result of using contraceptives such as birth control pills, the patch, vaginal rings and IUDs for the fist time. This is because they lead to a hormonal imbalance and your body will be adjusting to their presence in your body.

Other factors that lead to irregular menstruation are:

  • Excessive exercise
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Severe weight loss
  • Infections to the reproductive system
  • Change in diet

Is it okay to spot after my period?

This is very normal! After your uterus is done shedding off the uterine wall, some of the old blood remains and comes off as brown discharge. This removal of this brown discharge is what is referred to as spotting.

Spotting can also be a sign of underlying conditions. Symptoms such as cramps, itching, burning sensation when peeing or an odor accompanying the brown discharge should be a signal for you to see a gynecologist.

Is period sex safe?

Period sex may not be safe as we would want to believe. The menstrual cycle varies in every woman and ranges between 21 to 35 days. This means that ovulation can happen while you are still in your periods and fertilization can occur if you have sex. It is therefore advisable to use protection if you want to have sex during your periods.

Are there safe days in my menstrual cycle?

I would dare to say that there are no safe days in a woman’s cycle once you discover you are fertile. First things first, ovulation occurs 12 to 14 days before your next period. This can be 3 or 5 days after your previous period. Additionally, sperm can survive in the female body for about 6 days. All these reasons show that a woman can get pregnant at any time of the month. It is therefore advisable for any sexually active woman to use contraception every time they have sex.

How do I relieve my period cramps?

Period cramps occur because of prostaglandins hormones. One can relieve the pain they cause by:

  • Exercising
  • Taking a walk
  • Massaging the abdomen area using a heat pad
  • Taking over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen
  • Drinking warm tea
  • Having a warm bath
  • Avoiding sugars

What does it mean if my periods do not show up?

When periods do not show up, the first conclusion to make is that you are pregnant. However, if you have not been sexually active, other reasons for a missed period are:

  • Stress
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Medication
  • Change in diet
  • Exercise
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Low body weight
  • Anemia
  • Thyroid issues
  • Use of birth control
  • Chronic health conditions

Consider visiting a gynecologist to have any of the above reasons confirmed and dealt with.

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