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Menstruation Definition, Symptoms, Pain Relief & Remedies

What should I know about menstruation (monthly period)? What is the medical definition it?*

Picture of the female reproductive system

*Medical section written by: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

Everyone (adolescent boys and girls) who is about to enter puberty (the process of body changes that cause a child’s body to become an adult body capable of reproduction) should be taught or know the basic medical definition of menstruation and that it is a normal process that females go through as their bodies prepare themselves for potential pregnancy. It is a part of the monthly menstrual cycle (regular cycling of hormones) that occur in the female reproductive system that makes pregnancy possible.

Medically, menstruation (also termed period or bleeding) is the process in a woman of discharging (through the vagina) blood and other materials from the lining of the uterus at about one monthly interval from puberty until menopause (ceasing of regular menstrual cycles), except during pregnancy. This discharging process lasts about 3-5 days.

What are the signs and symptoms of menstruation?

Beside the bleeding, other signs and symptoms of menstruation may include headache, acne, bloating, pains in the low abdomen, tiredness, mood changes, food cravings, breast soreness, and diarrhea.

Whan does menstruation begin? When does it end?

The menstrual cycle is the hormonal driven cycle; Day 1 is the first day of your period (bleeding) while day 14 is the approximate day you ovulate and if an egg is not fertilized, hormone levels eventually drop and at about day 25; the egg begins to dissolve and the cycle begins again with the period at about day 30. Menstruation begins day 1 and normally ends days 3-5 of the menstrual cycle.

At what age do girls go through puberty and begin and start their period (begin to menstruate)?
The average age for a girl to get her first period in the US is 12, but the range of age is about 8 to 15 years old. Women usually have periods until about ages 45 to 55.

At what age do girls go through puberty and begin and start their period (begin to menstrate)?

The average age for a girl to get her first period in the US is 12, but the range of age is about 8 to 15 years old. Women usually have periods until about ages 45 to 55.

How long does a period last?

The menstrual cycle is the hormonal driven cycle. Day 1 is the first day of your period (bleeding) while day 14 is the approximate day you ovulate and if an egg is not fertilized, hormone levels eventually drop and at about day 25. The egg then begins to dissolve and the cycle begins again with the period at about day 30.
Most periods vary somewhat, the flow may be light, moderate or heavy and can vary in length from about 2 to 7 days; with age, the cycle usually shortens and becomes more regular.

What is the treatment for pain and other symptoms caused by menstruation?

Treatment for the causes of menstrual pain depend on what the cause is, and may include birth control pills, heavy or prolonged periods, IUDs, noninflammatory steroid drugs (NSAIDs), for example, ibuprofen (Advil, ), aspirin, naproxen (Aleve), and other-the-counter pain (OTC) medications to relive pain and cramping.

What is toxic shock syndrome? Is it life threatening?

Women should change the pad/tampon before it becomes soaked with blood (about every 4 to 8 hours); follow directions on the box to help avoid TSS (toxic shock syndrome), a potentially deadly disease. Call your doctor or other health professional if you have any abnormalities in your period, for example, excessive bleeding, no periods, severe pain, fever with tampon use, sudden irregularities, and other problems.

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