12 Menstruation Facts You Should Have Known About Yesterday

Wed Feb 10 20:15:00 2016

Hey! Have you noticed that here’s this odd trend we’re seeing more of: many of us know more about our Facebook pages than we know about our inner workings. Weird! Team Lunette understands, and believes that’s been part of the educational problem: if you knew more about your body, and had better, more credible information (like how your body reacts to current feminine protection offerings), you might be able to make more informed choices. Right? SO here we have it, 12 menstruation facts you should definitely know about!

via GIPHY

1. Aaah, the onset of menstruation. AKA: Starting your period. This happens approximately between the ages of 9 to 16 years of age. During menstruation, which typically lasts between 2 and 7 days, the lining of the uterus is shed and passes through the cervix to the vagina and out of the body as menstrual blood.

2. The total amount of blood that flows during an average period seems to be so much more than it actually is; it’s usually only about 4 teaspoons. But the range is between 1 and 4 tablespoons.

3. The consistency of the blood flow is usually thick and bright red during heaviest flow. It is not unusual to see clots during this time. The thickest and most viscous flow happens as the richest part of the lining literally un-knits from the uterine wall.

4. The menstrual cycle begins on the first day of the period and ends on the first day of the following period. The cycle lasts an average of 28 days but can range from 21 to 45 days. Don’t be alarmed if you’re a little “off.” All folks are different and wherever you may fall within the range is normal for you.

5. During the menstrual cycle, a number of carefully sequenced communications occur between hormones throughout the body. A drop in the level of two specific hormones— estrogen and progesterone—prompts the body to shed the thickened uterine lining in menstrual flow.

6. Estrogen and progesterone are key players in the menstrual cycle and it is the rise and fall of each that initiates various changes throughout the cycle. The levels of these two hormones are at their lowest during menstruation.

7. The menstrual cycle can be broken into 2 primary phases: the follicular phase and the luteal phase.

8. The follicular phase is the first phase of the cycle. It lasts about 10 to 14 days. The uterine lining rebuilds in preparation for ovulation and hormones stimulate follicle development during this phase. The drop of estrogen levels triggers an increase of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) that promotes the growth of a group of follicles within the ovaries. One follicle will continue to develop to a mature egg. Hormones cause the mature follicle to burst and release the egg into the fallopian tube. This is the beginning of ovulation, which marks the end of the follicular phase.

via GIPHY

9. The menstrual cycle enters the luteal phase with the ovulation of an egg from one of the ovaries. A surge of luteinizing hormone initiates ovulation. Estrogen and progesterone levels also rise during the luteal phase causing the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) to thicken in preparation for an embryo (a fertilized egg).

10. If a woman becomes pregnant, the embryo enters the uterus and implants itself in the endometrium within the first few days after ovulation. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), produced by the placenta, interrupts the menstrual cycle by constantly stimulating the burst follicle (corpus luteum) to produce estrogen and progesterone. The high levels of estrogen and progesterone prevent the endometrium from shedding.

11. If conception does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease, signaling the uterus to begin shedding the endometrium. The luteal phase lasts until the beginning of the next period.

via GIPHY

12. Fluctuating hormone levels during the menstrual cycle also cause a number of other bodily changes. There are increases and decreases in temperature and vaginal discharge, as well as abdominal twinges that can be associated with ovulation or the beginning of menstruation.

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