Periods in women: duration, calculation, symptoms, pain

Periods in women duration calculation symptoms pain

Menstruation (menses) is a loss of blood that usually occurs once a month. They can be more or less long, more or less abundant, more or less painful. Definition, average duration, symptoms, calculation…

Menstruation (or menstruation) is a normal phenomenon in women. They correspond to the monthly and temporary flow of a mixture of blood and vaginal secretions through the vagina. The duration is variable depending on the woman, but generally, the periods last from 3 to 7 days. They are more or less abundant, more or less regular, more or less painful. Duration, symptoms, protections, problems, calculation… All about the rules.

Definition: what are rules?

The menstruation are the scientific name of the rules. They designate the blood loss monthly through the genital tract in women. This corresponds to the elimination of the uterine lining. These are a normal phenomenon in non-pregnant women, from puberty to menopause.

What triggers menstruation?

Periods come from the destruction of the inner layer of the uterus, called the “uterine lining” or “endometrium”. The uterine lining allows nesting of the fertilized egg. When there is no fertilization therefore implantation of the egg, it desquamates and is evacuated in the form of more or less abundant bleeding

  • The ovaries produce the eggs and hormones essential for the development of the endometrium.
  • Estrogens are hormones that increase the thickness of the endometrium.
  • Progesterone increases after ovulation to allow the endometrium to persist and accommodate the fertilized egg. In the absence of implantation, the hormonal level drops and causes menstruation.

At what age do periods begin?

The onset of menstruation at puberty, around the age of 11-13marks the beginning of the menstrual cycle.

How long do periods last?

They return cyclically on average every 28 days. The rules usually last 3-5 days.

What are the phases of the menstrual cycle?

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When pre-ovulatory phase, the first phase of the cycle, the endometrium increases in thickness. One or more follicles (future egg) develop in the ovary. This phase can be extended in the event of long cycles.

When ovulation phasethe oocyte is released from the ovary.

The post-ovulatory phase lasts 14 days for a 28 day regular cycle but can however last between 10 and 20 days in the event of very irregular cycles. If there has been no fertilization, there is a sudden drop in hormone levels and the onset of menstruation. If there has been fertilization, there is production of a hormone specific to the pregnancy : HCG. This hormone maintains the production of other hormones, including progesterone. It thus makes it possible to keep the endometrium intact so that the future embryo settles there. Body temperature varies during the menstrual cycle and its elevation at the time of ovulation can help identify it.

► The duration of the female cycle is normally 28 days. The cycle starts on the 1st period day and ends the day before the 1st day of the next period. For example: if the 1st day of the period is the 2nd of the month and the 1st day of the next period is the 30th of the month, the cycle is 28 days. However, the length of menstrual cycles can vary from one woman to another, as well as for the same woman, who can have irregular cycles.

  • A cycle is said to be “long” when it is greater than 35 days. Cycles can sometimes last 56 days or more.
  • A short cycle is a cycle less than or equal to 21 days.

Symptoms: what happens when you have your period?

The different phases of the menstrual cycle cause symptoms, more or less marked depending on the woman. Menstrual period can cause sometimes intense pelvic or lumbar pain, nausea and vomiting. The pre-ovulatory phase is the least symptomatic phase. The second phase of the cycle, before menstruation, can cause premenstrual syndrome. This syndrome has an impact on mood with frequent irritability, it causes breast tension, weight gain that can go up to 2 kg and the appearance of acne pimples in the girl.

What periodic protections exist for periods?

Women who are menstruating have a choice of periodic protections:

  • Sanitary napkin
  • Buffer
  • Menstrual panties
  • menstrual cup
  • Free Instinctive Flow Technique

What can explain a late period?

What can explain the cessation of periods?

Pregnancy : Menstruation stops during periods of pregnancy and breast-feeding because of the hormonal changes they cause.

Menopause : The definitive cessation of menstruation indicates the end of reproductive capacity: it is menopause which generally occurs around the age of 50.

Pills : Some birth control pills can block periods.

What are menstrual abnormalities?

Menstrual abnormalities may exist as periods too abundant in quantity or duration, called menorrhagia or hypermenorrhea. It is the most common menstrual disorder. It occurs especially at the end of a cycle without ovulation. Generally, prolonged periods have some delay. A significant delay (greater than 15 days) followed by prolonged periods can be a symptom of miscarriage. Hormonal treatment, a tumor or inflammation of the cervix are sometimes the cause of prolonged periods. An ultrasound can highlight the responsible cause and choose the appropriate treatment. Periods can also be painful, this is called dysmenorrhea.

On the health forum: discussions about menstruation

To remember

► The arrival of menstruation is at puberty, around 11-13 years.

► Menstruation characterizes the destruction of the inner layer of the uterus called “uterine mucosa” or “endometrium” which has not received a fertilized egg.

► The length of the female cycle is normally 28 days.

► The definitive cessation of menstruation indicates the end of reproductive capacity: this is menopause.

► Abnormalities of menstruation may exist such as periods that are too abundant in quantity or duration.

Thanks to Dr Anne-Christine Della Valle, general practitioner.