What is Menstruation?
Menstruation is natural vaginal bleeding that happens as part of women’s monthly cycle (menstrual period) and lasts for several days. Menstruation generally occurs every 28 days or so, but it can occur in longer or shorter cycles.
Menstrual periods can last for 3 to 8 days, but will usually last about 5 days. You may experience heavy bleeding in the first 2 days. Blood during heavy bleeding usually appears red in color. While during light bleeding, the color of the blood may be pink, brown, or black.
You will lose about 30 to 72 ml or about 5 to 12 teaspoons of blood during menstruation, although some women experience more bleeding. Contact your obstetrician through Smarter Health if you ecperience any menstrual problems.
Menstrual cycle is a cycle that affects your hormones. The beginning of menstruation is on the 1st day and usually ends on the 3rd to the 5th day of the menstrual cycle. Here is how a woman’s menstrual cycle goes:
- The beginning of the 1st day is the first day of menstruation (bleeding).
- On the 14th day is the day of your ovulation
- On the 25th day, your hormone levels finally drop if the egg is not fertilized.
- Then, on the 30th day, eggs begin to dissolve and the cycle begins again.
Most menstrual periods vary – the bleeding may be mild, moderate, to severe and may last from about 2 to 7 days. The cycle usually shortens and becomes more regular with age.
The average age of girls starting their first menstruation is at age 12. Women usually menstruate until the age of 45 to 55 before menopause.
Causes of Menstruation
Menstruation occurs due to hormonal changes in your body. Hormones are chemical messengers. Your ovaries will release estrogen and progesterone hormones, which cause the lining of the uterus to accumulate. The formed layer is ready to become a place for a fertilized egg to attach and begin to develop. If there are no fertilized eggs, the lining will break and bleed. Then the same cycle will happen again, which is known as menstruation.
It usually takes about a month for the lining of the uterus to accumulate and then break down. That is why most women have menstruation about once a month.
When to See a Doctor for Menstruation
You should consult an obstetrician if you:
- Have not started menstruating within 3 years after the breasts started growing or if the breasts have not started growing by the age of 13.
- Have not started menstruating by the age of 15.
- Experience bleeding between periods.
- Experience extreme menstrual pain
- Experience bleeding for more than 7 days.
- Menstruation suddenly stops for more than 90 days.
- Experience sudden fever and nausea after using tampons.
- Menstruation occurs more frequently every 21 days or less than 35 days.
- Menstruation becomes very irregular after having a regular monthly cycle.
- Bleeding more than usual or using more than 1 pad or tampon every 1 to 2 hours.
Symptoms of Menstruation
Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS is a condition when the hormones that control the menstrual cycle cause changes in your body and emotions before or during menstruation. Some of the most common symptoms of PMS include:
- Cramps, pain in the lower abdomen or lower back.
- Feeling tired.
- Breast pain.
- Feeling bloated
- Breakouts or pimples
- Mood swings. Your emotions change quickly, such as feeling sad, angry, or anxious.
You may experience all or only some PMS symptoms. Some women experience PMS with each menstrual period, while other women experience PMS only occasionally. Some women do not experience PMS at all.
Treatment for Menstruation
Menstrual cramps are one of the most common PMS symptoms before or during menstruation. It can be very painful or simply irritating. You can treat cramps by taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen.
In addition to medications, you can place a heating pad in the area where you feel cramps, take a warm shower, exercise, or stretch to help relieve cramps.
Certain types of contraception such as pills, injections, implants, and IUDs can help treat PMS and other menstrual problems.
If you experience serious PMS which interferes with your normal activities, talk to a gynecologist. Your doctor can help you find the cause and recommend the right treatment.
Treatment Cost for Menstruation
Treatment cost for menstruation or PMS symptoms varies greatly, depending on the method of treatment your doctor recommends. Your choice of hospital and specialist doctor will determien the cost of treatment.
To calculate the estimated treatment cost for menstruation or PMS symptoms at home and abroad, contact Smarter Health.
Home Remedies for Menstruation
Pain and cramps during menstruation can makes you feel uncomfortable – which makes it difficult for you to go on about your day. As a preventive step, adopt a healthy lifestyle to have a smooth menstrual cycle while maintaining your overall health. Follow these tips:
A study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information shows evidence that yoga is an effective treatment for various menstrual problems. Practicing yoga for 35 to 40 minutes, 5 days a week for 6 months, can lower hormone levels associated with irregular menstrual cycles.
Yoga has also been shown to reduce menstrual pain and emotional symptoms associated with menstruation, such as depression and anxiety, as well as improve the quality of life for women with primary dysmenorrhea. Women with primary dysmenorrhea experience pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen during menstruation without any pelvic abnormalities or diseases.
Maintain Ideal Body Weight
Weight changes can affect your menstruation. If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help regulate the menstrual cycle. However, extreme weight loss can lead to irregular menstrual cycles. That is why it is important to maintain a healthy weight.
Overweight women are more at risk of irregular menstruation, as well as experiencing heavier bleeding and more serious pain compared to women within the ideal weight range. This is the impact of fat cells on hormones and insulin.
Exercise offers many health benefits that can help with your menstrual problems. The results of clinical trials show that exercise can effectively treat primary dysmenorrhea.
In addition, exercise can help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight and is usually recommended for patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), as PCOS can cause irregular menstrual cycles.
Low vitamin D levels can increase the risk of irregular periods. Taking a daily vitamin D supplement can help regulate your menstrual cycle. Vitamin B can also help reduce PMS symptoms.
Get a consultation with a domestic or international obstetrics and gynecology specialist doctor via Smarter Health if you experience menstrual problems or very severe PMS symptoms.