The 411 on Menstruation
men·stru·a·tion [mènstroo áysh’n]: monthly discharge from womb.
Teenagers’ bodies go through a lot of changes. The sex organs of young men and women (the penis and vagina) begin to function in different ways. One of the changes in young women is that they have bleeding from the vagina which happens about once a month. It’s a natural change in your body and nothing to get alarmed about.
Why Do Women Have Their Period?
A period is the natural way in which a woman’s body prepares for pregnancy. Each month, a woman’s ovaries produce an egg that travels to the uterus. This process is called ovulation. If sperm happens to be in the uterus while the egg is there, FERTILIZATION can occur, meaning that the egg sticks to the wall of the uterus and becomes a PREGNANCY or the beginning of a baby. If the egg is not fertilized, the walls of the uterus shed off (don’t worry, it rebuilds itself every month). This means that during that time there will be bleeding from the vagina while that wall sheds off. This lasts for about three to seven days. A period usually starts out with spots of blood, gets heavier and then gets lighter throughout those days. The whole process repeats itself about every 28 days.
Hey. What Happens to the Egg?
Since the egg is not fertilized (meaning no pregnancy), it passes through the uterus, the cervix and the vagina with your period.
Did you know that…
An egg (or ovum) is only as wide as a human hair? Now, that is tiny! Normally just one egg is released during ovulation. Every woman is born with millions of immature eggs that are awaiting ovulation.
Tampons vs. Pads
Absorb blood while inserted inside the vagina. Include an applicator that helps you insert the tampon into the vagina. Won’t get lost or move around in your body. Need to be changed every four to eight hours. Include an attached string that helps you remove the tampon. Come in different sizes, depending on how heavy you’re bleeding. TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME (TSS) is an infection that can happen if you leave a tampon in too long. What are the warning signs?
- Light Headedness.
- Dizziness Headache.
- Fever Sunburn-Type of Rash.
- Belly Pain.
- Muscle Pain.
Stick to underwear and absorb blood when it leaves the vagina. Come in different thicknesses for heavier or lighter flow. Must be changed when they become soaked with blood.
What in the World is PMS? Is it for Real?
Premenstrual Syndrome is a normal condition. You may experience these symptoms before the start of your period…
- Mood swings.
- Tender breasts.
- Swelling of the breasts.
- Belly aches.
- Cramping below the belly.
- Bloating or feeling swollen around your belly.
Got PMS? Stay away from sugars, fats and salts in your food Try to avoid caffeine. Sleep well. Do some light exercising. Take it easy and try to avoid stress. When in doubt, give your doctor a shout!