Menstruation, or periods, is a cycle that repeats every month. During this natural process, the body prepares itself for a possible pregnancy, which involves releasing an egg from the ovaries.
If the egg doesn’t connect with sperm and thus fails to get fertilized within a specific timeframe, the uterus lining starts to shed. The lining and blood come out through the vagina. This time of shedding is called the menstrual period, or menstruation cycle.
Menstruation can last anywhere from two to eight days, depending on each person. Usually, people experience particular symptoms while having their period. These symptoms include cramping or mood swings. People can seek period pain relief by administering pain-relieving medicine or certain home remedies.
Any period symptoms can also appear before the actual period. This is commonly referred to as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Menstrual symptoms normally come and go during menstruation. Once the period is over, people should experience period cramps relief.
Duration of the Menstrual Cycle
When determining the duration of a menstruation cycle, it is essential to count the total number of days between day 1 of the menstruation cycle to day 1 of the next period. Normally, the cycle lasts between 21 and 35 days.
The different stages associated with a menstrual cycle are below.
This phase relates to the first day of menstruation and starts after the ovulation process. This involves the follicles of the ovaries, which contain the eggs. An egg stays within a follicle till the start of menstruation period.
As the egg matures, the uterus lining starts to thicken. Estrogen secretion is high at this stage.
Once the egg is mature, it enters the fallopian tube and then the uterus. This process normally occurs two weeks after the start of menstruation period.
At this stage, the body continues to prepare for pregnancy. A high amount of the progesterone and a limited amount of estrogen enters the woman’s blood. If the fertilization of the egg doesn’t take place, it won’t secure a place in the uterus.
This phase marks the end of the ovulation period and starts the menstruation period. The overall timespan of this cycle is approximately 22 days.
This is the stage when the thickened lining of the uterus starts to shed and the period begins. People might feel menstrual cramps prior to this stage. In most cases, period cramps come with a sensation of pain, ranging from mild to severe.
For cramp relief, women normally use over-the-counter medication or home remedies. Both methods are effective and offer desired outcomes if there is no other medical condition.
Most people experience irregular periods at some stage of their lives. It is also normal for a young person to have highly irregular periods. Some may even experience very long periods during the first few years of their menstruation cycle.
Irregular periods involve having more unpredictable, lighter, heavier, longer, or shorter periods than what is considered typical. Most of the time, periods will stabilize after a year or two.
What Affects the Length of Periods?
When it comes to the length of periods, various factors can play a role. Using birth control pills, IUDs, or vaginal rings may result in irregular periods. Furthermore, numerous birth control methods may cause long periods for the first few months.
However, menstruation tends to become normal again after continuous use. As a person gets older, their period will become lighter and regular. Other factors that relate to the irregularity of periods include:
- Extreme workouts.
- Excessive weight loss.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
- Excessive stress.
- An unhealthy diet or one with omega 6 fatty acids.
When to See a Doctor
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it would be appropriate to consult your doctor.
- Suddenly experiencing irregular periods.
- Periods stopping for 90 days.
- Periods lasting over eight days.
- Experiencing heavy bleeding.
- Feeling severe pain and cramping issues.
Every person should track the duration and regularity of their periods. It can help identify any type of irregularity or medical condition. Since each person is different, the conditions and symptoms of having a period are also different. You can achieve period pain relief by keeping track of your period and reporting any irregularities to the doctor.