Ovarian liningEndometriumVaginal tissueCorpus carvernosum
The endometrium is shed!
The endometrium is the innermost lining of the uterus. It builds up and becomes thick during the menstrual cycle so that a fertilized egg (embryo) can implant if a pregnancy occurs. If a woman does not become pregnant, her body sheds the endometrium lining, which exits the body as period blood.
Luteinizing hormoneProgesteroneFollicle-stimulating hormoneOxytocin
Oxytocin is not involved in the menstrual cycle!
Oxytocin is involved in female reproduction, but not menstruation! It's actually released to induce contractions during labor and stop bleeding after childbirth. It's also released when the nipples are stimulated during breastfeeding. However, oxytocin has also been shown to play a role in sexual behaviors, orgasms, bonding, and the feeling of ~love~.
7 days28 days60 days2 days
The average menstrual cycle is 28 days!
The menstrual cycle includes the processes of both menstruation and ovulation. At the start of the cycle, the uterine lining starts to thicken, until ovulation occurs around days 12-17. If no pregnancy occurs, the body sheds the uterine lining around day 21, with menstruation lasting until about day 28, at which point the cycle restarts. The timing and length of menstruation and ovulation within the cycle can vary.
1-2 days3-5 days7-10 days12-15 days
The average period is 3-5 days long!
The average length of the actual period, or active menstrual bleeding, is 3-5 days. The length of a period can definitely vary due to many different factors, but it tends to not be shorter than 3 days or longer than about 10 days.
Corpus luteumCervical mucusSodiumIron
The corpus luteum is not in menstrual blood!
Period blood is made up of shed uterine lining, mucus, potassium, sodium, chloride, and iron. The corpus luteum is the area of the ovary from which the egg has been released, and it breaks down in the ovary if the egg isn't fertilized. However, instead of passing into the uterus, it actually dissolves within the ovary and becomes a corpus albicans.
A co-occuring yeast infectionPregnancyOld bloodMenopause
Dark or brown period blood has just been sitting in the vagina for a while and it's old!
The brownish color means that the blood has been exposed to oxygen. Brighter red means fresh and active bleeding. Both are normal.
Prostaglandins cause menstrual cramps!
Prostaglandins are a group of lipids released during your period, which trigger the contraction of the uterine muscles and surrounding smooth muscles near the stomach. The result is painful, intense cramping. Luckily, anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen can block the production of prostaglandins and help reduce pain.
Premenstrual mood swingsPremenstrual stressPremenstrual mood syndromePremenstrual syndrome
PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome!
Premenstrual syndrome is a condition that affects some women before and during menstruation. Symptoms can vary but usually include mood swings, breast pain, fatigue, irritability, and depression. The exact cause of PMS is unknown, but it's probably tied to cyclic changes in hormones and chemical changes in the brain before and during menstruation.
Yes, you can!
Although it's rare, you can still get pregnant from sex on your period. Sperm can actually survive and hang out in the uterus for up to five days. So if you have sex toward the end of your period and then you ovulate earlier than normal, fertilization can occur and create an embryo, causing a pregnancy.
Ovaries --> Vagina --> UrethraUterus --> Fallopian Tubes --> VaginaCervix --> Uterus --> UrethraUterus --> Cervix --> Vagina
The pathway for menstrual blood is Uterus --> Cervix --> Vagina!
The menstrual blood originates in the uterus, then passes through the cervix and into the vagina...and eventually out of the vagina and into your favorite pair of underwear.
Clots mean a heavy flow!
Clots will form in period blood when the flow is very heavy and it has been sitting for a while in the vagina. Clots are not any reason to be concerned! However, if you are bleeding excessively (through pads or tampons every hour for several hours), you might want to reach out to your gynecological health provider to make sure everything's all right.
Cervical plugPeriod underwearSea spongeMenstrual cup
A cervical plug is not a menstrual hygiene item!
Menstrual hygiene items are used to catch or control the flow of period blood and keep the vagina and vulva clean. A menstrual cup is a flexible silicone cup that collects blood in the vagina, period underwear (like Thinx) has padding inside the fabric to catch blood, and the sea sponge is inserted into the vagina to absorb blood. A cervical plug is formed from mucus during a pregnancy to close the womb while an embryo develops and block out any pathogens from the vagina.
EstrogenFollicle-stimulating hormoneProgesteroneLuteinizing hormone
The sharp drop in progesterone triggers menstrual bleeding to begin. Estrogen does also drop along with progesterone, but the decline in estrogen is not what actually triggers the period to start.
Yes, you can get a period on birth control!
You can still get a period when you're on hormonal birth control such as the pill, the ring, or an IUD. The synthetic estrogen in birth control still allows you to build up endometrial lining so it can shed. The synthetic progesterone (progestin) drops at the end of the cycle or during placebo pill week, which triggers the shedding of uterine lining just like a normal period. The difference is that ovulation (when the ovary releases an egg) doesn't occur or influence the cycle or period on most hormonal birth control methods.
Dietary changeSwimming in the oceanWeight lossThyroid condition
Swimming in the ocean would not cause a period to be late!
Many things can cause a period to be irregular or late — such as extreme weight fluctuation, physical stress, or other hormonal disorders like PCOS. Swimming in the ocean (or in any open water) does not affect a menstrual period, even if water enters the vagina.
1 liter500 ml1-2 ml30-40 ml
The average amount of blood lost is 30-40 ml!
On average, you lose around 30-40ml, or about 2.5 tablespoons, of menstrual blood during a period. It might be less if a person's flow is lighter, and losing 60-80 ml is considered a very heavy flow. However, it's important to remember that blood loss from a period is not the same as blood loss from a wound, which can actually harm or kill you. Period blood is meant to be shed, so it isn't exactly "lost" from the body.
Irregular appetiteSleep disturbancesAcneBad breath
Bad breath is not a symptom associated with periods!
Periods can come with a whole range of physical and mental symptoms — but bad breath is definitely not one of them!
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