picture of tampons, menstrual cups, pads, painkillers and a clock purple background

"What is a period?" Periods 101: Understanding Menstruation

For many women, menstruation is a fact of life that is simply accepted without much thought. But understanding the basics of your menstrual cycle can help you take control of your health and well-being. In this article, we'll take a closer look at what happens during a menstrual cycle and what you need to know about periods.

The menstrual cycle is the process by which a woman's body prepares for pregnancy. It is controlled by a complex interplay of hormones, including estrogen and progesterone. The cycle typically lasts about 28 days, but can vary from woman to woman.

The first phase of the cycle is called the menstrual phase, which is when a woman's period begins. During this time, the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, is shed. This shedding is what causes the bleeding that is associated with a period. The menstrual phase typically lasts between 3 and 7 days.

The second phase of the cycle is called the follicular phase. This is when the body begins to prepare for ovulation, the release of an egg from the ovary. During this time, estrogen levels rise, causing the endometrium to thicken. The follicular phase typically lasts between 8 and 14 days.

The third phase of the cycle is called the luteal phase. This is when the body prepares for a potential pregnancy. During this time, progesterone levels rise, causing the endometrium to further thicken. If the egg is fertilised, it will implant in the endometrium and pregnancy will begin. If the egg is not fertilised, the endometrium will be shed during the next menstrual phase. The luteal phase typically lasts between 10 and 16 days.

Symptoms of menstruation can vary from woman to woman, but common symptoms include cramps, bloating, fatigue, headaches, and mood swings. These symptoms can be caused by the hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle, as well as the physical process of shedding the endometrium. Many women find that over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can help alleviate cramps and other menstrual symptoms.

During your period, it's important to take care of your body. This includes eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. In addition, it's important to use the appropriate menstrual products to manage your period and maintain good hygiene. Options include pads, tampons, menstrual cups, and period underwear.

It's also important to be aware of any changes in your menstrual cycle, such as heavy bleeding, irregular periods, or changes in the duration or intensity of symptoms. These changes could indicate a more serious health condition and should be discussed with your doctor.

In conclusion, understanding your menstrual cycle can help you take control of your health and well-being. By being aware of the physical and hormonal changes that occur during your period, you can make informed decisions about your menstrual products, lifestyle, and overall health.

It is important to take the time to educate yourself about menstruation and the menstrual cycle, it is a natural process that affects half of the population and it is nothing to be ashamed of.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.