What is menstruation and why is it important?

Menstrual PeriodMenstruation is the time in your life when your body shed the lining of your uterus. The blood and tissue leave your body through a small opening in your cervix and out through your vagina. The beginning of menstruation marks an important time in your female reproductive cycle. It marks a time when your body is ready to produce an egg to be fertilized, so you can become pregnant.
Your menstrual period can have both a different flow, light to heavy, and can last for different period of time. Every woman is different. Your period may be painful, and you may have heavy bleeding. Sometimes you can even skip your period. If you experience painful periods, a heating pad or a warm bath can be helpful and soothing. There are also some over-the-counter medications that can help with symptoms.

If you are worried about your menstrual flow or having severe pain during your period, contact The Group for Women to speak with a triage nurse or to make an appointment with your doctor or one of our nurse practitioners. 757-466-6350

What is your menstrual cycle?

For most women, menstruation lasts from 3 to 5 days and can be a light to heavy flow. The monthly cycle that your body goes through, menstrual cycle, is your body’s natural way of getting ready to be pregnant. It’s a sign of a healthy reproductive system. Your body’s natural estrogen increases causing your uterus walls to thicken. At the same time, an egg (ovum) in one of your ovaries begins to mature. Halfway through your cycle, this egg leaves the ovary, goes through your fallopian tube and into your uterus. This called
ovulation. During this time, 3 days before or when you ovulate, the egg can be fertilized by a man’s sperm and can attach to your thickened uterine wall. If this happens, you are pregnant. If your egg does not become fertilized, it will break apart. Your hormone levels will drop, and your uterus will begin to shed its thickened lining, beginning your menstrual period.

Your menstrual cycle can range from 21 days to 35 days in adult women. With young women and women in peri-menopause, the cycle is not as consistent.

When will you get first period?

The average age for a girl in the United States to get her first period is age 12. Keep in mind that time is an average. Your period may start sooner or much later, but if it has not started by the age of 15, you should consult your doctor. Your period will last until you begin menopause, typically between the ages of 45 and 55. Again, it is different for every woman, and the timing is not exact.

If you have questions about your adolescent daughter’s period, contact The Group for Women to speak with a triage nurse or to make an appointment with your doctor or one of our nurse practitioners. 757-466-6350