The first time a girl gets her period is a defining time in her life. It indicates important biological diversity in her body and indicates she is now able to conceive a child.
Each month when you get your period, also known as menstruation, your body sheds the lining of the uterus. The menstrual blood pass through the cervix and out of the body through the vag!na. A typical period lasts anywhere from 3 to 7 days.
Why You Get Your Periods
Every month, an egg begins to grow in one of your ovaries. After it is fully developed, it leaves the ovary and travels to the uterus through the fallopian tube. This process is called ovulation.
During this time, the level of estrogen (a female hormone) in your body starts to increase and causes the uterine lining to thicken.
If you have intercourse and the man’s sperm reaches the egg and fertilizes it, the egg secures itself to the thickened uterine wall, and you become pregnant.
If the egg is not fertilized, it disintegrates and the uterine lining sheds and is eliminated from the body in the form of period discharge.
1. Changes Before Your Period may Mimic Pregnancy
Not all pregnancy-associated reactions of your body indicate actual pregnancy. Your periods could trigger the onset of such symptoms, too.
Your body thickens and prepares the lining of your uterus in case a pregnancy occurs. It secretes certain hormones that contribute to creating this uterine lining that will secure and nourish the embryo.
When your body secretes said hormones, such as progesterone, it may result in body changes similar to what occurs with pregnancy, such as water retention resulting in stomach bloating.
You may also suffer other symptoms characteristics of pregnancy, such as nausea, vomiting, and a backache.
2. Prolonged or Heavy Bleeding may Indicate Fibroids
Some women’s periods may last longer than the typical 3 to 7 days, but they may discount the importance of that as well.
Heavy bleeding during periods and cycles that stretch beyond 7 or 8 days might be indicative of a fibroid growth. A fibroid is a noncancerous, fibrous and muscular growth that appears in or around the uterus.
You may also notice the presence of blood clots in your menstrual flow. This, too, can be a sign of fibroids.
3. Excessive Menstrual Pain may Indicate Endometriosis
Abdominal pain and cramps are common complaints during period cycles when the uterine wall is shedding itself.
Endometriosis is an inflammatory disorder in which the uterine tissue, that is typically supposed to grow and stay inside the uterus, grows outside the uterus. This tissue also forms the uterine lining, which breaks down during periods.
If the blood and disintegrated tissue no longer have an exit route out of the body. Over time, this causes painful swelling and lesions, which become even more painful during periods.
4. Irregular Periods may Indicate a Hormonal Disorder
If irregular periods accompany other symptoms, such as obesity, excessive facial and body hair, hair loss and acne, it could be a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
These cysts stop the eggs from being released from the ovaries and obstruct the entire menstruation process. This causes often-missed periods.
5. Stress can Intensify PMS Symptoms
Many women suffer the pain of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), a disorder commonly affecting women right before the onset of their monthly cycle and characterized by stress, anxiety, moodiness, depression, anger, fatigue, mild body aches as well as occasional bloating, and breast tenderness and swelling.
These symptoms often defy their name and persist through the period cycle. If this has been happening to you, it might just be your body’s way of telling you that you are stressed.
High levels of stress before the onset of monthly cycles were found to be positively associated with aggravated PMS before and during the cycle.
6. Abrupt Absence of Period may Indicate Low BMI & Affect Fertility
The BMI measures the amount of fat in your body.
If you are suffering irregular periods, check your BMI. Low fat coerces the body into an emergency mode, causing it to focus on performing only the most crucial and life-sustaining functions. Thus, the body may stop menstruating.
This may have a huge effect on your fertility. If you are not having periods, your ovaries will not release eggs for ovulation and subsequent fertilization.
A BMI of less than 18.5 was positively associated with infertility in females.
7. Your Period Does Not Protect You from Pregnancy
The sooner this myth is banished, the better. Yes, the probability of conceiving during your period is less because you have just passed an ovulation cycle and your next ovulation cycle is still days away.
However, there are a few exceptions. A menstruation cycle is the length of time between your last period and your next. Many women have a typical 28- to 30-day cycle. If you are one of them, the chances of getting pregnant when engaging in intercourse during your period are less.
In a shorter cycle, ovulation occurs earlier. Since sperm can survive in your body for up to 5 days, you could conceive right after your period stops even though you had intercourse days earlier.
If you are trying to avoid pregnancy, use a condom no matter what time of the month it is.
8. Period Abnormalities may Indicate Thyroid Issues
Period abnormalities can take many forms, and they can all be indicative of thyroid problems.
Whether you have less frequent and irregular periods, heavy periods or no periods at all, these could all be symptoms of a thyroid disorder.
Furthermore, thyroid issues can also trigger early menarche (onset of menstruation or the first time a girl gets her period) or delay it.
Women with thyroid problems suffer period irregularities, infertility and an unhealthy sense of morbidity during pregnancy.
Getting your thyroid checked would be a wise choice if you have been suffering menstrual irregularities and aren’t sure why.