Understanding how menstruation works - that is, the days of flow - can help you understand how your cycle works, but always remember that the key word, when we talk about cycle, is change: from menarche - the first menstruation - to menopause , the symptoms of menstruation varies and each time they say something different about our health and our psychophysical life. There can be abundant menstruation, scanty and in some circumstances even absent menstruation and this can happen in the same life of a single person. The menstrual cycle is part of the way our body prepares for a possible pregnancy each month and is therefore a complex and every time intense phenomenon to go through. Understanding how it works is important: you can use this information to try or avoid pregnancy, to better manage your menstrual symptoms, and to understand when there may be a problem.
Menstruation is the term to indicate the days in which an important blood loss occurs which, miraculously, we survive, and which indeed renews us! About once a month, most uterus who have passed puberty, except in special cases, will have menstrual bleeding . This is because the lining of the uterus has prepared itself for a possible pregnancy on the pulse of hormones such as progesterone , becoming thicker and supplied by the blood vessels. If pregnancy does not occur, this thickened lining is expelled, accompanied by bleeding. Bleeding usually lasts 3 to 8 days. For most people, menstruation occurs in a fairly regular and predictable pattern. In most cases we will see bright red blood flowing but there can be brown menses and even dark menses, particularly at the beginning and end of the flow. To find out how long a menstruation lasts, let's consider that the average length of time from the first day of menstruation to the first day of the next menstruation normally ranges from 21-35 days, even if, when we talk about premenopausal symptoms, menstruation is the first to present clear reductions in duration, both in the overall cycle and in the days of bleeding. There is no standard age for the end of menstruation - and for many people, cyclicality is a phenomenon that lasts until the end of life - but if you are 47 years old and not menstruating, it is likely that menopause is on the way. We can often consider menstruation with clots to be signs of premenopause.
How to calculate the menstrual cycle?
The exact timing of the cycle stages is a little different for each person and can change over time. We don't all work like a Swiss watch, even if good regularity is always a positive sign: early or late menstruation can indicate hormonal or psychological imbalances that should not be overlooked. The onset of bleeding coincides with day 1 of the entire menstrual cycle. So you could start calculating an indicative period of between 28 and 33 days starting from the first day of blood. Or you could rely on an app to monitor your cycle, simple that does the job for you! A "normal" period can last from 3 to 8 days, but 5 days is the "global average". After eight days we are definitely talking about long periods that need a doctor's attention. Bleeding is usually more abundant in the first 2 days but this also varies from person to person. In some cases you may have a strong flow in the first two days, a slight pause, and again another day of moderate flow . Again everything is normal. The cycle will then start again on the first day of the next menstrual bleeding. To accommodate the natural rhythm of the menstrual cycle, you can organize your calendar also based on the days of bleeding: for some, in fact, it is an excellent time to retire and rest (although we know of many other people who do sport with their periods and live as in all other phases). If you know each other and know when you will have your next period, you can decide first whether to organize - or not - social events or activities. Menstruation is a good opportunity for many to slow down, go to bed earlier and meditate or engage in contemplative activities.
Symptoms of menstruation
Among the most evident symptoms of the arrival of menstruation that can occur during life, which vary a lot according to our health, the climate in which we live and what we eat, are: cramps in the lower square of the abdomen or in the area pelvic pain, back pain in the lower back (lower back), swelling and soreness of the breasts, craving for sweet foods, mood swings , fatigue and a swollen belly . We have noticed that a harmonious relationship with the cycle - a more attentive listening to one's emotional, physical and spiritual needs - is able to improve and even make these symptoms disappear. However, the most evident "symptom" is the blood that arrives and finally dissolves the tension accumulated in the days before menstruation. To collect this blood there are several methods: the classic external sanitary pads, the internal tampons, the menstrual cup and the absorbent panties , one of the most innovative and at the same time oldest methods of blood absorption. Among the most effective collection methods for blood in the case of large flows, there is the cup that is able to absorb the equivalent of 3 maxi absorbent pads. Another method that we like because it respects the body and the environment is the absorbent panty, also of new technology but with an ancient flavor, reminiscent of old grandmothers' tampons, but with an extra gear!
Abundant menstruation and scanty menstruation
Is there a normal flow ? No, as with everything related to menstruation: there is an indicative average but a heavy flow can be as good as a low flow. You have to evaluate person by person. There is a wide range of bleeding that we can define as normal - some people have short, light periods and others have longer, heavier bleeding. Your period can also vary throughout your life. How do we know if a flow is heavy or light? Based on the length of your period and your lost flow. Menstruation lasts between 2 and 8 days. The total loss of blood during menstruation for most people is certainly less than 16 teaspoons (80 ml), and of these the vast majority stops at 8 teaspoons, even if the secretions of other fluids along with the blood can give the impression of a larger volume. Poor and pinkish or red menstruation but less than three days may indicate a low level of estrogen in the body: since estrogen is the hormone that stabilizes the endometrium , a low level of estrogen could lead to tissue breakdown leading to spotting of various colors, including pink. If, on the other hand, it is normal in color but you bleed for less than two days or you often "miss" a period, the causes, as always when we talk about your period, could be different: approaching menopause, below average weight, stress, excessive exercise, eating disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome and why not, pregnancy !
Menstruation can cause some discomfort, but intense pain should neither be ignored (also because it is difficult to ignore it), nor suppressed, because it could be a very important signal. Many people feel intensely the blood drop in the first and second day: this may be due to the fact that the blood, along with clots or "pieces" of the endometrium during menstruation, passes through the cervix and can cause pain or cramps . also due to the fact that smooth muscle helps this expulsion of blood from the uterus to the vaginal canal . In fact, these pains are often more frequent in young people and "disappear" for example after a vaginal birth that widens the cervix. In other cases, the particularly intense menstrual pain is due to Endometriosis , a pathology for which the endometrium grows outside the uterus leading to heavy, painful and debilitating cycles. Although a path of knowledge of one's cycle is essential to live better, there are medical conditions such as endometriosis that must be diagnosed as soon as possible and treated in the appropriate locations and with the appropriate attention. If, on the other hand, your menstrual pain is contained and not incapacitating, you have a wide range of possible remedies that can alleviate the disorder: it all depends on your approach to the pain. Many prevent with supplements taken throughout the month that improve general conditions and lower the possibility of pain, others choose the path of rest and slowdown, still others have a lot of sex with menstruation because orgasm is actually a great painkiller. Finally, others choose a real over-the-counter pain reliever because it's a quicker solution. For us all approaches are valid the important thing is to be aware: it is useless to dream of painless menstruation if our approach is only to "suppress" the symptom by eliminating the pain. Sooner or later it will be necessary to investigate the "root" of the problem and work on it. But we're here to do it together.