When menstruation periods are addressed, this issue tends to generally interest many women, curious to have additional information on the symptoms, which may differ from one woman to another. Here’s how to know if something is wrong with your menstrual cycle.
Menstruation period: What is it?
The word menstruation comes from the Latin mensis meaning month. In adolescence, when a girl has her period, her body shows that her sexual reproduction system is ready, and will be functional until menopause. Throughout her life, a woman will menstruate every month (except during pregnancy when the cycle is interrupted). The exact cycle corresponds to 28 days but few women (unless using contraceptive pills) have duration between 21 and 40 days.
Period (blood loss) is a consequence of the decomposition of the surface layer of the endometrium which is accompanied by loss of blood (hemorrhage), expelled through the uterus.
During this period, several things happen: the endometrium thickens to promote embryo implantation and eggs (gametes) to mature for fertilization.
What are the health complications that can occur during this period?
Most women experience severe pain during this period and in the opinion of many doctors, this is a time particularly favorable for the occurrence of infections in the genitals (mycoses, etc.). In this article, we will mainly focus on the major signs / abnormalities observed during this special time in the life of every woman.
- Blood pressure
During the period, you should check your blood pressure. If it is abnormally low, you should consult a doctor. But generally, it does not present serious health complications. It can be caused as a result of a loss of hemorrhagic blood, resulting in anemia.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS): many women are subject to physical and mood changes during the period before the cycle: irritability, depression, physical fatigue, etc. These symptoms may be accompanied by weight gaining, bloating and swollen breasts.
- How many days the cycle should last?
It is abnormal to have period for more than 5 days, with a particularly strong flow. If it lasts more than 5 days, you should consult a gynecologist to check your health.
- How to know if you have heavy periods?
Do you have enormous bleeding? Are you physically exhausted? Blood loss causes iron deficiency and causes anemia. If you need to change more than 5 times a day your sanitary pads throughout the duration of the period, it is not considered normal.
To get an idea of the average amount of blood that is lost during this period: 35 ml of blood per day (during the first three days mainly) is considered normal.
Tip: (during this period): focus on fiber and iron rich foods (bananas, lentils, kidney beans, apples, etc.)
- Are you pregnant?
Generally, a missed period is one of the most common warning signs of pregnancy. In case of menorrhagia (abnormally heavy bleeding) it can also be a sign of miscarriage.
Menorrhagia may also have other medical interpretation: fibroid is one of the most common conditions related to high blood loss during menstruation (the fibroid is visible on ultrasound) as well as endometriosis, polyps, etc.
Grandma’s tips for relieving menstrual cramps
A sage-based herbal tea
Sage is rich in phytoestrogens, which relax and are very effective in relieving period pain (note that is not recommended for pregnant women and nursing mothers).
Put 1 teaspoon of dried sage in a cup of hot water; let it stand for 15 minutes. Filter and add honey. Drink this mixture several times a day in case of severe pain.
Evening primrose oil
Numerous studies show that evening primrose oil has great anti-inflammatory properties due to its essential fatty acids. It is generally consumed in capsule form from the first appearance of pain. However, people with epilepsy should not consume this oil, as well as those with blood clotting and those who are about to undergo surgery.
Sources: infertility.about.com, beinggirl.com, xojane.com