We go through it every month. The cramps, the bloating, the mood swings, until finally we see that little spot of blood that ruins are underwear and everything starts to makes sense.
Most of us get our periods in our teenage years, and we are blessed with this monthly gift for the next 30 to 40 years of our lives. But despite the fact that we go through it every single month, very few women actually understand what their body is going through and why it happens. But your sister Nina is here to break it down, so here we go:
What is Menstruation? Aka. The period
Menstruation is a normal vaginal bleeding that occurs every month in women.
Biologically speaking, the uterus has one thing on it’s mind and that is to get pregnant. So, every month, it builds up a cozy lining on its walls making it ideal for a fertilized egg to grow. However, if no pregnancy occurs the uterus will break down that lining and pass it with blood through the vagina.
How would my uterus know when to start bleeding?
Amongst the bunch of chemical and hormones that your body is made up of, you have two important hormones called Estrogen and Progesterone. When you’re pregnant, your body will have high amounts of these hormones, but if a pregnancy does not occur, these hormones will start to decrease.
Low levels of Estrogen and Progesterone will tell your body to start menstruation.
What is the Menstrual Cycle?
From the 1st day of your period to the 1st day of your next period, your body will go through a hormonal journey known as the Menstrual Cycle.
On average, most women will have 28 days in between periods, but the length of the menstrual cycle can vary from one woman to another. Some might have their menstruation every 24 days, while others get it every 38days. The number of days don’t really make a difference, if you get the same number of days between every period your enstrual cycle is Regular. But if your period is always a surprise, and if the number of days change for every cycle then you have an Irregular Menstrual Cycle.
What happens to my body during the Menstrual Cycle?
To explain this, I’m going to assume that you have a regular 28-day cycle and a pregnancy did not occur, but keep in mind that a lot of women will have small varieties.
Day 1 – The first day of your bleeding: Your uterus will break down the thick lining, and it’s mixed with blood and removed through the vagina within 4 -8 days. During this period, your Estrogen levels are low which might leave you feeling sad or irritable.
Days 1 -5: During these days, your ovaries will develop small fluid-filled pockets known as Follicles. Each Follicle will contain an ovum (aka. Egg)
Days 5 – 7: After the 5th day, your body will select one of those follicles to continue growing, the rest will be absorbed back into the ovaries. In the meantime, the Estrogen levels in your ovaries will continue to rise.
Days 8 – 12: By now your period would have ended, and the selected follicle will continue to grow and push out Estrogen. This increase in Estrogen sends a signal to your uterus lining telling it to grow and become thicker. As it grows, the uterine lining starts to store blood and nutrients making sure its ready to nourish the embryo (fertilized egg) if a pregnancy occurs. The high Estrogen levels are also likely to give you happy and calm feelings.
Day 14: At this stage, your estrogen levels would have reached their highest point causing a sharp increase in Luteinizing Hormone (LH). LH will burst the grown follicle and release the egg from the ovary into the Fallopian Tube (aka. Ovulation). The ruptured follicle will also signal the body to produce another hormone called Progesterone which thickens the uterine lining even more.
This release means that the egg is now waiting to be fertilized, so having sex on Day 14 will likely result in pregnancy. But that is not the only day that can result in pregnancy. Sperm (the male eggs) can live inside a woman’s body for three-five days, while a woman’s egg lives for 12 to 24 hours. So, having unprotected sex anywhere between Day 9 (5days before ovulation) to Day 15 (24hours after ovulation) has a high risk of pregnancy.
Days 15-24: If sperm was inside the woman’s body during ovulation it will likely travel all the way up to the Fallopian Tube and fertilize the egg. Whether fertilized or not, the egg will travel down the fallopian tube into the uterus. If the egg is fertilized it will stick to the uterine wall and pregnancy will start.
Day 24: If the egg was not fertilized it will break apart, and your body will decrease the levels of estrogen and progesterone as they are no longer needed. This drop in hormones usually affects your mood, hence why you’ll experience stress or depressed moods before starting your period. Finally, the egg will leave your body along with the uterine lining and blood causing your next menstruation.
And the cycle will repeat itself all over again 😊 It’s pretty impressive what our bodies go through each month!
Do you have any questions about your menstruation?
Plus, we’ll be posting new articles every Monday! But in the meantime, why don’t you hop over to our Erotica Section and take 5 minutes of your day to enjoy yourself? 😉