Menstruation is also known as a “periods” or “menses”. In local parlance in India, it is known as a “monthly” or “mahavari”. The word “menses” has been derived from Latin language that means “month”. Similarly, the word “menstruation” is called “menstrualis” in Latin meaning monthly.
Periods, or menstruation, is the process wherein the uterus lining is shed through the woman’s genitalia each month after attaining the age of puberty. If a girl attains early puberty, it is called precocious puberty. All females and some other female mammals menstruate during their age of reproduction. For knowing your most fertile days, you need to know the body changes at the time of ovulation (the process of egg release from the ovaries). Copulating with your male partner around the time ovulation increases the chances of attaining pregnancy.
Menstruation also includes bleeding from the vagina and is found to be happening only to female humans and other developed and intelligent group of mammals like monkeys, apes etc. In some mammals, the uterus lining gets reabsorbed in the animal.
Menstruation generally happens every month and the duration of your periods may vary from 3 days to 7 days.
According to an adapted media release published in the Medical News Today , health experts have pronounced that a woman’s menstrual cycle is a critical indicator of the woman’s overall health.
When do girls begin having periods?
The onset of periods, called Menarche, happens when a girl’s reproductive system gets matured and begins working collectively.
The average age for a girl to attain her menarche is around 12. This does not imply that all girls will start menstruating at the age of 12. The girls, in fact, begin menstruating at any point of time between 8 and 15-year-old.
Mostly, the first menstruation in girls begins near about 2 years after the initiation of their breast development. Any girl not having her first menstruation until the age of 15 and, 2 or 3 years has gone by since her breasts began developing, are advised to consult a doctor.
For determining when a girl will start menstruating, the US and European researchers attribute the influence of two genes found on Chromosome 6 and 9.
A girl may notice a clearer discharge from her genitalia nearly around six months before her first period. If the discharge is a smelly and causing irritation, there is a reason to worry about and consulting a doctor is advisable. Otherwise, it is a considered normal.
The menses will happen recurrently month-after-month until the woman attains her menopause. Normally, the menopause comes around late 40s or early 50s.
According to the US scientists, girls, who are overweight in their childhood, will begin menstruating early as compared to the girls, whose weight has been normal in their childhood.
While the beginning of periods may be exciting for some girls, others may feel petrified and edgy. And, the fear and anxiety are seemingly found to be on the higher side among girls ignorant about the reproductive system and the reproductive cycle and what takes place during the periods.
According to a study, the earlier a girl begins menstruating, the greater are the prospects for her children being overweight.
How long does a woman have periods?
Normally, women go on menstruating until they attain menopause. Menopause usually happens in their late 40s or early 50s.
Menopause is a condition when women cease to be producing eggs and ovulating or having periods. The simple implication of this is that they lose the ability to achieve pregnancy. Similar to periods, menopause also varies from one woman to another. And, these changes may happen over many years.
The time when your ovulating body starts lapsing into menopause is known as the menopausal transition. This transitional period may variably last for 2 to 8 years. Some women may face menopause at an early stage than normal. The reasons for this may be:
- If you have through a surgery or any other treatment
- If you are going or have gone through some kind of ailments etc.
- Unexplained reasons
In case 90 days have passed since you had your last menstruation, there is an urgent need for consulting a doctor. He or she may advise you to go in for a pregnancy test. If your pregnancy test result is in negative, she may put you to premature ovarian failure diagnosis and tests or any other health problems that can cause periods to stop or become irregular.