Menstruation- What is it? How does it work?

Menstruation is the technical term for ‘period’. We all know more or less what period is. 

However, there is stigma around period or menstruation, and most women don’t speak about it openly. So, our primary knowledge of the body comes from our mothers, grandmothers, and friends. They all might have their opinions on it, but is it essential that we learn the facts. 

We all know that women bleed every month. This is called menstruation or period. The bleeding happens for 3-7 days. Menstruation is different from the menstruation cycle ( Read ‘understand your cycle, understand your body). 

You must have thought, where does this blood come from? Sometimes people refer to period blood as ‘dirty blood’, but that is not the truth. 

Our period is connected to two hormones called estrogen and progesterone. Our two ovaries release these hormones, which lead to our womb or uterus walls slowly thickening. The fertilized egg will implant on the thick uterus walls. 

If an egg is fertilized by a sperm, a pregnancy will occur. If pregnancy does not happen, the egg will not reach the uterus, and the walls will start breaking down. The wall tissues and nutrients need to be released, and it comes out monthly. This is what we know as period or menstruation. 

Our period usually first occurs between age 10-15 and continues until our 50s. Girls start having vaginal discharge (white-thick release) 6-12 months before getting their first period. 

Even though everyone has different flows, most women bleed three to five tablespoons each month. Our flows and period dates become more stable after we become 18 years old. 


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