Period, menstrual cycle, Aunt Flow, red alert—menstrual bleeding has been known to both women and men in many ways. Simply put, it is the vaginal bleeding that happens approximately every 28 days among pre-menopausal women and adolescent girls. A woman usually loses about 35 milliliters of blood during a menstrual cycle, which is why women are more prone to iron deficiency as compared to men. Menstruation is many times considered to be a landmark between childhood and womanhood.
What is Menstrual Bleeding
Menstrual bleeding is a mixture of tissue and blood shed out by the lining of the uterine walls also called, endometrium. In terms of properties and appearance, healthy menstrual bleeding should be bright red in color, much like the color of blood from a freshly cut finger. Most importantly, a healthy menstruation should not seem like blood clot; otherwise, the woman suffers from extreme menstrual cramps.
Why it is Menstrual Bleeding Important
In most cases, women who do not experience menstrual bleeding are less likely to conceive. In the same light, an unhealthy menstrual cycle may cause irritation and anxiety. The first menstrual bleeding indicates various developments in a young woman’s body. Menstruation causes the egg cell inside the uterus to be infertile, thus causing menstrual bleeding.
Function of Menstrual Bleeding
The function of menstrual bleeding is to shed any sperm-borne pathogen in the uterus, which is why experts believe that high levels of pathogens in menstrual blood. Aside from that, female hormones require the uterus to shed the old endometrium instead of simply reabsorbing it. It is the way the female body prepares for a new and more developed uterine wall to hold the fetus. The female reproductive hormones also prepare the uterus for fertility in support of pregnancy. If the female becomes pregnant, menstrual bleeding usually ceases until after childbirth; otherwise, the female hormones will cause the endometrium to shed the blood and tissue the uterus has prepared for possible pregnancy.
Menstrual bleeding lasts for approximately three to seven days and usually starts about age of thirteen to sixteen, although there are some who had their first period as early as eight years old. At the same time, there are late bloomers who started theirs at age eighteen or older. The menstrual cycle which happens about every 28 days has 5 phases: menstrual phase, follicular phase, ovulation, luteal, and ischemic phase. Menstrual bleeding happens during the first to fourth day of menstruation or after the egg cell is developed and was not fertilized.
Effects of Menstrual Bleeding
Although this isn’t always the case, menstrual bleeding often indicates whether a woman is pregnant or not. Age 21 is usually when the reproductive organ is fully developed. Pregnancies occurring before such time can weaken the reproductive system of the woman causing a difficult pregnancy, as is found in approximately 20% of women. Abdominal cramps, pain in the back and thighs may also occur during the first few days of menstrual bleeding. Also, some women experience unfavorable symptoms caused by premenstrual syndrome or PMS during their menstrual cycle. Certain over-the-counter or prescription drugs may help with the cramping, other aches and pains, and PMS.