It is not a topic that most women would openly talk about even with other women. But knowing the answers to these top 15 questions about menstruation can help in giving insight about a woman’s reproductive health.
1. Why do women have periods?
Menstruation is the body’s way of getting rid of some tissues that it no longer needs. These tissues are from the uterus where every month, it thickens its walls to prepare for pregnancy. If pregnancy does not happen, the tissue lining sheds off and comes out through the vagina. The process is called menstruation or period.
2. How does it feel?
A woman may never feel the actual flow of blood unless there is dampness when the underwear is spotted with blood.
3. Should a period smell?
No, it shouldn’t. The odor you smell occurs when the blood becomes in contact with air. Frequently changing pads or tampons should deter the odor.
4. Does it hurt?
Although the process itself does not hurt, there are women who experience menstrual cramps during their period. This is caused by the hormones that are released by the body in order to make the uterus contract so that it can push the lining out.
5. How much blood is lost during a period?
Typically, about ¼ cup of menstrual fluid goes out of the body in the first few days of the period. This can either be more or less and it depends whether a woman is using hormonal medications like contraceptive pills which can alter menstrual amount and flow.
6. How long does it last?
The length of a period depends from woman to woman. There are many factors that can influence how long a cycle is like medications, physical activities, and even stress. To most women, a period averages between 2-8 days wiith the heavier flow on the first 2 days.
7. Why does it seem like a woman has cravings during a period?
The hormonal changes are to blame when it comes to menstrual cravings. Typically, a woman want to eat carbohydrate- rich foods as well as salty, sugary, and even greasy foods that makes a woman feel better during an uncomfortable period.
8. Is taking a bath or having a shower okay during a period?
Of course! It is vital that the body is clean and smelling fresh during a period. Aside from keeping the feminine area hygienic, having a shower or taking a bath will take away the uncomfortable feeling and will help keep the confidence up even with other people.
9. Are there activities that should not be done during a period?
All the things you normally do can be done during a period as long as you are not experiencing cramps which may be uncomfortable when playing sports and other physically straining activities.
10. What are period clothes?
There are women who prefer wearing loose clothes during a period since it is more comfortable. Others also have “period underwear” which are just normal underwear that are inexpensive so they do not worry about staining them with period spills.
11. What can help to make an uncomfortable period better?
For those who experience menstrual cramps during periods, warm compress or pressure over the tummy area can help. There are also pain medications that you can ask from the OB if the pain is intolerable. Some women also find doing light exercises helps but most prefer to have plenty of rest and sleep.
12. Will others notice that a woman is having her period?
Unless a woman shares or shows physical signs of a menstrual cramping, the period is unnoticeable and can go about with doing activities of daily living as usual.
13. Is it true that pregnancy is possible before a period?
It depends on a woman’s cycle but a woman is normally ovulating about 2 weeks before a menstrual flow so if there is intercourse during that time then pregnancy is a possibility. This is why preventing pregnancy by timing the ovulation is risky since there are factors that changes a woman’s cycle and makes it unpredictable to tell when she is ovulating or not.
14. When will a woman stop having her period?
Menstruation temporarily stops during pregnancy and resumes after birth. A period stops for good when a woman goes through the menopausal stage in their 40s or 50s.
15. What should be done when a woman has a lot of questions about her period but is embarrassed to ask?
A lot of girls who have their periods for the first time go through the same feeling. One of the best persons to talk about it is your mom as she went through the same experience. You may also initiate a conversation about it with a sister or an aunt and other women you are comfortable with. However, there may be questions that only a doctor can be able to answer and explain well.