Menstruation, which usually starts between age 10 -15, is one of the unique things that sets the womenfolk apart from the men. How much do you know about this monthly flow? Find 8 things every woman should know…
1. Too heavy flow may be a sign there’s a problem. Some women experience heavy bleeding, usually heavier in the first few days of their period, accompanied with severe pains or discomfort. It’s worthy to note that too much menstrual flow may signal an underlying problem, including menorrhagia, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, thyroid problems, endometriosis and PCOS.
If your period lasts more than 7 days or you usually have to change your tampon or pad too frequently, see a doctor. Hormonal birth control may help. Ask your doctor about this and other options.
2. Regular periods doesn’t guarantee fertility or ability to get pregnant. An anovulatory cycle, whereby menstruation takes place without ovulation, is also common. Though your monthly period may be regular, your ovaries may not be releasing an egg at all or every month. Tracking ovulation signs each month is therefore crucial to know if your ovaries are releasing an egg each month. Note that ovulation could happen between days 11 – 21 of your cycle. Start counting from the first day of your period. See ovulation signs here.
3. You may menstruate monthly but have an irregular cycle. The average cycle is 28 days but some women get their period every 21 – 35 days. This is normal. However, if you menstruate every month but the length of your cycle changes from one month to the other, like women who don’t get their period every month, your cycle is also irregular and it may be a sign that you are not ovulating. Talk to your doctor.
READ ALSO: 8 Reasons You May Miss Your Period
4. You can get pregnant during your period. Sperm can live for up to five days in your body. So, if you have a shorter cycle and ovulate sooner after your period, fertilization may take place if you have sex on the last day of your period.
In addition, if you mistake mid-cycle or ovulatory bleeding for menstrual bleeding and have unprotected sex, there are chances you could get pregnant.
5. Toxic shock syndrome. Though very rare, if you use tampons, you should beware and prevent this deadly bacterial infection by always changing your tampon regularly. Preferably, opt for less absorbent ones. You should also see your doctor if you experience very high fever, nausea or vomiting, rashes and aches or your skin is flaking off after your period.
6. Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). This may occur in the final days of your cycle, before menstruation starts. Hormonal changes or fluctuations are responsible for the mood swings, acne, migraines, diarrhea, exhaustion or clumsiness often experienced. Talk to your doctor about relief options if your symptoms are severe and interfere with your daily activities.
7. Your diet and weight affect your period. To maintain a regular cycle and relieve PMS symptoms, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight is essential.
8. Your mum’s menopausal age influences yours. Eventually, all women stop menstruating, signalling the end of fertility. This may happen between age 40 – 56, and the age your mum stops menstruating is said to be one of the biggest predictors for when you will.