Menstruation or Menstrual vaginal bleeding that occurs at the end of the menstrual cycle. Every month, the female body prepares for a possible pregnancy. The uterus becomes thicker and the ovaries release an egg that can be fertilized with sperm.
If the egg is not fertilized, pregnancy will not occur in this cycle. The body then sheds the lining of the built uterus. The result is menstruation or periods.
The average age of a woman from which the menstruation starts is between 11 to 14 years of age. The period will continue regularly until menopause or 51 years of age (usually monthly).
Several hormones are being synthesized during the menstrual cycle, these include..
- Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone: Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is a hormone responsible for the release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pre-pituitary gland. GnRH is a tropical peptide hormone synthesized and released by GnRH neurons in the hypothalamus.
- Follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone: Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are called gonadotropins because they stimulate the gonads – in men, the testes and women, the ovaries. They are not necessary for life, but they are necessary for reproduction. These two hormones are secreted by cells in the anterior pituitary gland called gonadotrophs. Most gonadotrophs secrete only LH or FSH, but some secrete both.
- Estrogen: Estrogens are hormones that are important for sexual reproductive organ development. They are also called female sex hormones. The term “estrogen” in this group refers to all chemically similar hormones, namely estrone, estradiol (primary in women of reproductive age), and estriol. In women, estrogen is produced mainly in the ovaries. The ovaries are grape-shaped glands located next to the uterus and part of the endocrine system.
- Luteinizing hormone: In women, this hormone in the ovaries stimulates the production of the hormone estradiol. Two weeks after a woman’s cycle begins, an increase in luteinizing hormone causes the ovaries to release eggs during ovulation. If fertilization occurs, the luteinizing hormone stimulates the corpus luteum, which produces progesterone to support pregnancy.
People with high levels of the luteinizing hormone can experience infertility because the hormone directly affects the reproductive system. In women, too high luteinizing hormone levels are often associated with polycystic ovary syndrome, which creates inappropriate testosterone levels. Certain genetic conditions, such as Turner syndrome or Klinefelter syndrome, can also cause high hormone levels. People with these conditions are often unable to reproduce.
Low levels of the luteinizing hormone can also cause infertility, as insufficient levels limit sperm production or ovulation. Too little luteinizing hormone suppresses ovulation in women or decreases gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion in men.
- Progesterone: Progesterone is produced mainly in the ovaries after ovulation every month. It is an important part of maintaining the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Progesterone helps in regulating the cycle. But its main function is to prepare the uterus for pregnancy.
There are two phases of Menstruation
Follicular phase: The follicular phase begins from the first day of menstruation until ovulation. This stage is characterized by the development of ovarian follicles. The rise in LH begins with a sharp increase in estradiol produced by the preovulatory follicle and leads to subsequent ovulation. LH Surge stimulates the luteinization of granulosa cells and stimulates the synthesis of progesterone, which is responsible for the growth of FSH in the middle of the cycle. Also, LH growth completes the cleavage of oocyte depletion with the initiation of meiosis and the release of the first polar body.
The luteal phase: Named for the corpus luteum – the lining of the follicle that has burst after the release of the egg – this is the second phase of the menstrual cycle. It lasted for 14 days.
Menstrual Health and Complications
The average menstrual cycle is of 24 to 38 days. The typical duration of the period is four to eight days.
The monthly or regular period is a sign of a normal cycle. The body is preparing for a possible pregnancy.
In addition to bleeding, 90 percent of menstruating people experience a variety of symptoms. Food craving is one of the common symptoms.A reliable study has found that nearly half of American women crave chocolate at the beginning of their period.
Breast tenderness is another common symptom of menstruation. It can be at its peak in the days just before the period starts. An increase in the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone causes the ducts of the breast and mammary glands to expand. The result is soreness and swelling.
Meanwhile, menstrual pain (also known as dysmenorrhea or “cramps”) is another common symptom. More than half of menstruating women experience some pain during their periods, with some estimates as high as 84 percent.
Prostaglandins are the cause of this pain. These are chemicals that cause the muscles in the uterus to contract. These hormones help the body to get rid of the excess uterine lining which can cause pain and cramps early in menstruation.
Some people have irregular periods. Rigorous exercise or certain medical conditions can lead to irregular periods. Irregular periods can also occur in people:
- Fatty women or obese women
- Lactating mother
- Stressed Condition
The most common health conditions associated with menstruation include the following:
Endometriosis causes the proliferation of uterine tissue outside the uterus. During menstruation, hormones make this wrong tissue painful and swollen. This can cause severe pain, cramps, and heavy periods.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates that endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women between the ages of 15 and 49. They should note that 30 to 50 percent of people with this disorder are infertile.
These benign tumors develop between layers of tissue in the uterus. Many women will develop at least one fibroid during their lifetime. In fact, by the age of 50, 70 percent of white women and 80 percent of African American women will have it, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Menorrhagia is a very heavy menstrual bleeding. Usually 2 to 3 tablespoons of blood flow during your period. People with menorrhagia can produce more than double that amount. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 10 million American women are affected by the disease.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
This is a series of symptoms that usually occur one or two weeks before your period begins. Symptoms may include:
According to womensHealth.gov, 3 out of 4 women suffer from PMS.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
PMDD is similar to PMS but more severe. Maybe this is the cause:
- Mood Swing
- Prolonged anger or Irritability
According to experts, about 5% of women suffer from PMDD.
Poor menstrual hygiene
Poor menstrual hygiene during menstruation is also a health problem. Loss of blood and tissue during menstruation can lead to bacterial problems. It can become a major health concern if menstrual products are not available or basic hygiene, such as clean water, is not available.