Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

If you think you have all information about your menstrual periods then you may not be entirely accurate. A normal female has more than 400 periods in their life before attaining menopause. This suggests that you have a lot of time to learn new information about menstrual periods. Menstrual Periods always spring up a surprise for you.

Read on for some qualityinformation about your periods that you didn’t know.

5 Facts About Your Periods That You Didn’t Know

5 Facts About Your Periods That You Didn’t Know

Periods are a natural phenomenon but many women may experience various complaints during this phase. However, knowing about your period can help you deal with it better. Here are some facts about your periods that you didn’t know.

Period Changes Throughout A Woman’s Life

Just when one feels like they can predict exactly when their period is going to occur, everything changes. Hormone shifts are responsible for causing these period changes throughout a woman’s lifetime. When a woman first gets her period, their cycles can be longer, meaning more time can pass between the starting of one period to the next. A typical cycle for a teenage girl can range from 20 to 40 days. Over time, the menstrual cycles tend to get shorter and become predictable, averaging around 20 to 30 days. This is one of the most important facts about your periods that you didn’t know.

Hormone alterations which occur during perimenopause, which are the years before menopause when a woman’s body begins to make less estrogen, can cause unpredictable changes. The time between periods can get shorter or longer, and the bleeding during period can become heavier or lighter. This phase can last for around 10 years before menopause begins and one stops getting their period for good. Gradual life changes are normal. But sudden and unusual issues like missed period or very heavy bleeding are not. Women should contact a doctor if they notice such unusual changes.

Women Can Get Pregnant During Their Period

Period does not protect a woman from pregnancy. Although surprising, this too is one of the worth noting facts about your periods that you didn’t know. Some women tend to bleed after eggs are released by the ovaries every month, a process called as ovulation. This can be mistaken for a menstrual period. A woman’s fertility peaks when she ovulates. So indulging in a sexual intercourse during this time increases the likelihood of the female getting pregnant. Ovulation can take place before periods are over or a few days post stoppage of the bleeding. As sperms can survive for up to three days in the body of a female, the chances of the female getting pregnant during this time frame is also quite high. Regardless of the time of the month, if you are not planning to conceive then it is mandatory to indulge in sexual practices with adequate protection irrespective of whether you are having bleeding or not.

Periods Occurring While On Birth Control Pills Is Not Considered to be True

Sometimes, a female can experience bleeding even while on birth control pills. However, this is not a regular period but is termed as withdrawal bleeding which is different from the regular bleeding that occurs during menstrual periods. It is necessary to know such facts about your periods that you didn’t know.

Normally, ovulation occurs in the middle period of menstrual cycle. If no fertilization takes place of the egg there is a decrease in the hormone levels resulting in shedding of the inner lining of the uterus with resultant bleeding which is what is termed as menstruation. Even though contraceptive pills prevent the process of ovulation with almost all forms of contraceptives hormone should be supplemented for at least 2-3 weeks followed by a week of pills alone. -Although contraceptives protect releasing of egg from the uterus, these pills do not prevent formation of the inner lining of the uterus which ultimately causes periods every month.

The bleeding which is similar to menstruation occurs as a reaction of the body due to lack of adequate hormones during the last week of the course of taking the pill .

Pads and Tampons Are Not The Only Available Choices

One of the other facts about your periods that you didn’t know, is that there are many options you can choose from during periods. Menstrual cups are cup-shaped products used during menstrual periods to maintain proper hygiene. This cup is fitted inside the vagina to collect blood during period. Another popular product is the period panties. These are specifically made to absorb blood and can be worn alone when the bleeding is light or with a tampon when the bleeding is heavy. Another product is the cloth pads that can be cleaned and worn again so that ou do not have to change a pad daily during heavy bleeding. They are cost effective and prevent any unnecessary waste of products. In certain instances, they also provide enough time in between a change of a pad. Citing an example, if a female has to change a tampon every four hours, they can afford to not change it for up to 12 hours of they use a menstrual cup. A woman can identify the product which best suits her by trying out the all the products and selecting one.

Premenstrual Syndrome Still Remains a Mystery

Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) is also one of the facts about your periods that you didn’t know. The genetic structure of every female is different but the common thing among all of them is PMS as they all tend to suffer this condition during their reproductive years. Sluggishness, breakouts, bloating, cravings, and mood swings are experienced by many women, 1 or 2 weeks before their period start. However, the exact cause of PMS is still not known. Some researchers suggest that it is a combination of hormonal changes during menstrual cycle, certain chemical changes occurring in the brain, and emotional stress like depression. All of these together tend to worsen PMS. The plethora of symptoms of PMS may continue even after periods.

A study suggests that pain related to menstrual periods like bloating, cramps, headaches and backaches can affect the overall thinking and concentration of a female as she may be preoccupied with the symptoms and not be able to focus on errands on hand. However, one can still do complete the tasks but with a bit more effort. PMS is best controlled by making certain lifestyle changes like exercising for at least half an hour at least three to four days a week, sleeping for 8 hours a night, avoiding smoking. Even loading the diet with fruits, vegetables, and limiting the intake of salt, sugar, alcohol and caffeine can help ease PMS. When PMS negatively affects the quality of a woman’s life and causes symptoms like anxiety or depression, it is necessary to seek medical advice as there may be a more serious condition like premenstrual dysphoric disorder at play here that requires medical attention.

While these are some of the facts about your periods that you didn’t know, women may experience varying symptoms before, during and after periods. While most problems can be managed with a healthy lifestyle and adequate rest, for any concerns that affect your daily routine or repeatedly bother you, it is best to take a medical opinion.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: December 4, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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