What Is Menstruation?

Learn about the causes of irregular menstruation.

Menstruation is a woman’s menstrual bleeding.

Menstruation is a series of hormonal changes that a woman’s body undergoes in preparation for pregnancy.

Each month, the lining of the uterus (or uterus) thickens. Your body sheds this lining along with the blood, if an itchy egg does not stick to the uterine wall.

Blood and tissues pass out of the body through the vagina.

Menstruation, or menstruation, usually lasts three to five days for most women.

Every woman’s menstrual cycle is slightly different. The normal length of menstruation can be anywhere from 21 to 35 days. The average length of menstruation is 28 days.

Period Calculators

Many women track their menstrual cycles. If you are trying to conceive, keeping a record of your period can help you know when you are ovulating and whether your period is late.

Tracking periods can also help you detect any irregularities or changes in your menstrual cycle.

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends marking each day of your period with an “X” on the calendar. Note any changes in pain or flow.

There are many websites and apps that offer free time trackers or period calculators.

As you may know, many period tracking apps have been found to be inaccurate, according to a June 2016 review in Junior Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Menstrual Cramps (Dysmenorrhea)

Dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramps, is menstrual cramps.

Menstrual cramps are common. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, more than half of menstruating women report pain for one to two days each month.

Hormones called prostaglandins can cause pain during normal menstruation. Prostaglandins are made from the lining of the uterus.

The pain usually occurs before menstruation begins and can last for a day or two. The pain usually subsides throughout the period when you shed the lining of the uterus.

If you see your doctor, the pain may increase when menstruation continues, does not go away after the period is over, or is so severe that it affects your daily life. This could be a sign of a more serious medical problem.

Irregular Periods

Certain menstrual periods can cause a woman’s period to be irregular, absent, or abnormal.

Amenorrhea refers to the absence of a period for three to six months in a woman who has had her first period or when menstruation has not started since the age of 15.

Oligomonuria: This is a medical term for unexpected periods. Women with oligomenorrhea have less than six to eight periods a year.

See your doctor if you miss three or three consecutive menstrual periods in a year.

Many conditions can lead to irregular periods, including problems with the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina or hormone-releasing centers in the brain.

Heavy Periods

Menorrhagia is a medical term for menstrual bleeding that lasts longer or is heavier than usual.

Heavy periods can be a sign of other health problems. Anemia (low blood cell count, or lack of hemoglobin in the blood) can occur.

Talk to your doctor if:

Your period is longer than seven days
Your menstrual flow continues to wander through one or more tampons (or pads) every hour for several hours.
There are blood clots in your period that are a quarter or more in size.
You are unusually tired or short of breath during your period

What Is Menstruation?
What Is Menstruation?

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