Understanding the Menstrual Cycle, Heavy Flow, Cramps, Regular and Irregular Cycles
Understanding the Menstrual Cycle
Understanding the Menstrual Cycle ; the menstrual cycle is the hormonal process a woman’s body goes through each month to prepare for a possible pregnancy. Menstruation occurs because the lining of the uterus has prepared itself for a possible pregnancy by becoming thicker and richer in blood vessels. If pregnancy does not occur, this thickened lining is shed, accompanied by bleeding in girls who have undergone puberty.
Regular and Irregular Periods
The normal length of a woman’s menstrual cycle is 28 days, but this varies between individuals. Irregular menstruation is when the length of the cycle is more than 35 days, or if the duration varies.
Different women have different experience when it comes to the mestrual cycle. Some have painful cramps, others very severe cramps, while there are some that don’t get any cramps. There are myths that after delivery the cramps reduce or disappear . But is this true?
One thing is for sure when it comes to the cramps; its not advisable to take sugarly stuff during those times as sugar intake disrupts your body’s blood sugar levels, causing the levels to rise and the higher your blood sugar goes, the more severe your period symptoms may be.
When there are clots in your periods, you know those are heavy menstrual flows and one has to visit the doctor so as to find out what is causing them.
It is said that women experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding lose about 80ml or more in each period, equivalent to 16 teaspoons of blood. The average menstrual flow is equivalent to six to eight teaspoons of blood.
Indicators of a heavy flow include having to change your sanitary products every hour or two and passing blood clots larger than 2.5cm. This is according to the National Health Service, UK.
Other indicators including bleeding through to your clothes or bedding, or the need to use two types of sanitary products together.
Understanding the Menstrual Cycle Photo
Causes of Heavy Flows
There are no known causes known for half of women with heavy menstrual bleeding . But, there are a few conditions that can cause heavy bleeding. These include conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids, cancer of the womb and diabetes.
How Contraceptives can affect your Menstrual Cycle
For women taking contraception measures, their flows and cycles may change due to the change in hormonal levels.
Contraception can sometimes delay your flow. It can cause an abnormal flow or one may start spotting over a long period of time.
However, if the spotting last more than a week, you should visit your doctor because it is considered an abnormality.
Abortion and Menstrual Cycle
For women who have terminated or lost a pregnancy, their menses are expected to resume between four to six weeks. However, the menstrual flow may delay after pregnancy and the first flow may be heavy.
Giving Birth and Menstrual Cycle
It is normal for every woman to have her spot or bleed lightly after delivering. However, ones period will typically return about six to eight weeks after giving birth, if you aren’t breastfeeding. If you do breastfeed, the timing for a period to return can vary. Those who practice exclusive breastfeeding might not have a period the entire time they breastfeed. “Exclusive breastfeeding” means that your baby is receiving only your breast milk. But for others, it might return after a couple of months, whether they’re breastfeeding or not.
If your period does return quickly after giving birth and you had a vaginal delivery, your doctor might recommend that you avoid using tampons during your first menstruation post-baby.
This is because your body is still healing, and tampons could potentially cause trauma. Ask your doctor if you can return to using tampons at your six-week postpartum checkup.