Menstruation is part of a woman’s life from an early age and accompanies her until the onset of menopause, around 45 and 55 years of age. Although it is a natural event of the female reproductive system, it is not uncommon for many patients to come to the office with numerous questions about it.
If you also have doubts about menstruation, know that you are not alone: a survey carried out by the organization Plan International, in the United Kingdom, pointed out that one in ten women do not feel comfortable talking about it, not even with their own friends, which which ends up further limiting knowledge about menstruation.
First, let’s understand what menstruation is:
Every month the woman’s body prepares for pregnancy, that is, the fertilization of the egg. When this does not occur, the endometrium (internal membrane of the uterus) detaches, giving rise to the “period” or menstrual flow, which is composed of blood and uterine tissue.
To be considered normal, menstruation lasts between 3 to 5 days and should not have excessive cramps or other discomforts that interfere with the woman’s daily life. Otherwise, it is worth remembering the importance of consulting with a gynecologist to investigate the possible causes.
Now that you know what it is, read below the 6 things EVERY woman should know about menstruation:
1. Menstrual blood does not smell bad.
When changing pads, it is common for women to smell something that is not at all pleasant and understand that blood has a bad smell, right? Wrong!
This unpleasant odor occurs mainly due to the use of disposable pads, which have chemical components that, when they come into contact with menstruation, result in an unpleasant smell. In fact, many women adhered to the menstrual cup, or “little cup”, precisely because it does not have any odor other than the natural one of blood, which is marked by the presence of iron, reflecting very well all the nutrients it contains.
2. Your blood is not dirty.
The taboos behind menstruation still exist! One is the belief that menstruation is something dirty and impure that must be hidden.
All these theories are linked to historical and cultural factors but, in fact, menstruation is not dirty and is nothing more than a NATURAL response of the female reproductive system when pregnancy does not occur.
3. Blood loss is 20 to 80 ml per cycle on average.
The amount of blood lost during menstruation defines whether the woman has a light, moderate, or heavy flow, and is a great indicator of health.
It is worth remembering that changes in the volume of menstruation are common, as they are related to hormone rates that may vary due to factors such as: stress, exercise, diet and contraceptive method. In addition, each menstruation is different and each body has its own particularities, but when noticing signs of irregularities in your menstrual flow, the ideal is to take the situation to the doctor.
4. Cramps shouldn’t get in the way of your routine.
Colic occurs due to the contraction of the uterus to eliminate menstruation, and is a common symptom of this period. However, I often see reports of women who are unable to stay at work due to severe cramps. This is not normal!
There are a lot of way to get rid of the period pain, one of the best one is using a menstruation pain relief belt, which relieves endometriosis & period pain instantly by stimulating the nerves to block pain signals.
When the cramps become excessive and the discomfort interferes with the woman’s quality of life, it is advisable to take the complaint to the gynecologist, as this could be a sign that something is not right. Many diseases even have this factor as their main symptom, which is the case of Endometriosis and Adenomyosis.
5. Blood clots are normal.
Usually accompanied by a darker coloration, it is normal for clots to come out in menstruation on days of more intense flow. This occurs when the blood that comes out of the uterus collects in the vagina for a certain period of time before going out to the external region. However, it is important to pay attention to the volume of these clots, as if they are abnormal, this should be reported to your doctor.
6. It is possible to get pregnant during menstruation.
During menstruation, in theory, the uterus is no longer prepared to receive the fertilized egg. However, although rare, the possibility of pregnancy occurring during menstruation exists, and it may happen after unprotected sexual intercourse, in addition to an irregularity in the woman’s menstrual cycle. Some conditions that can influence this change include nerves and anxiety, weight changes, excessive physical exercise and even some pathologies.