Women's Health

Menstrual Cycle

The internal female reproductive organs consist of:

  • Ovaries: where eggs are stored, developed and released.
  • Fallopian tubes: Two thin tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus.
  • Uterus: Where the fertilized ovule is implanted and the baby grows.
  • Cervix: the entrance to the uterus from the vagina.
  • The vagina.

Menstrual cycle:
It is the monthly hormonal cycle that the female body goes through to prepare for pregnancy. It is defined chronologically as the period from the beginning of the first day of menstrual blood from one cycle to the first day of menstrual blood from the next cycle. The average menstrual cycle is often about 28 days. During the menstrual cycle, it increases thickening of the lining of the uterus in preparation for pregnancy. When pregnancy does not occur, levels of estrogen and progesterone begin to decline, which tells the body that the menstrual cycle has begun. It usually begins about two years after breasts begin to grow, and the duration of the cycle lasts between 2-7 days. Blood flow tends to be more abundant on the first and second days.

Ovulation occurs when the ovary releases an ovule so that it can be fertilized by sperm to give birth to a child. A man's sperm can live for 3 to 5 days in a woman's reproductive organs, and a woman's egg lives for only 12 to 24 hours after it is released from the ovary.

Ovulation period:
A few days before ovulation, vaginal secretion changes and becomes more viscous and clearer. It helps the sperm to ascend to the uterus and fallopian tubes to fertilize the ovule, and some women feel slight contractions in one side of the pelvic area when ovulating.

In addition to the flow of blood from the vagina, some of the following symptoms may occur:

  • Cramping pain in the abdomen or pelvis
  • Lower back pain
  • Swelling and pain in the breasts
  • Cravings for food
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Headache and fatigue

Normal amount of bleeding during the menstrual cycle:
The average woman loses approximately 1 to 5 tablespoons of blood during her menstrual period, which may be lighter or heavier than the average amount. Periods may also change according to age, as some women experience heavy bleeding during perimenopause and the transition to menopause. Symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding may include:

  • The need to change a pad or tampon every one to two hours.
  • Pieces of blood clots come out.
  • Bleeding that often lasts more than 7 days

When to see a doctor:
When the menstrual cycle is long or irregular.

  • Menstruation begins before the age of 8 years.
  • Delayed onset of menstruation at the age of 15 years.
  • Menstruation does not start within a month
  • Three years of breast growth.
  • When you notice a change in vaginal odor, or severe or unusual pain.
  • The menstrual cycle comes every more than every 21 days or less than every 45 days.
  • Menstrual cycles are more than 90 days apart, even in one cycle.

The most important menstrual problems:

  1. Dysmenorrhea:

It is the most common problem that women face during their menstrual periods, and it means feeling pain during the menstrual cycle. The pain is usually mild, but it is more severe in some women, which affects their daily activities. There are two types of dysmenorrhea:
- Primary dysmenorrhea: This is the most common type of dysmenorrhea, and the pain usually occurs due to uterine contractions, as the uterus contracts during the   menstrual cycle to help the uterine lining leave the body, so its severity decreases after the first days of bleeding.
- Secondary dysmenorrhea: This type of dysmenorrhea is usually caused by another health problem (such as: endometriosis, uterine fibroids). The pain may begin a few days before the start of the menstrual cycle and get worse as it continues, and it may not disappear after it ends.

   2. Irregular menstrual cycle:
The menstrual cycle is considered irregular if it is shorter or longer than average. Irregular menstrual cycles are considered normal for teenage girls and pre-menopausal women. Causes of irregular menstrual cycles include:

  • Eating disorders including bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.
  • Thyroid problems (such as: hyperthyroidism)
  • Increased prolactin (a hormone that causes breast growth during puberty and makes breast milk after birth, and also helps control the menstrual cycle) in the blood.
  • Certain medications (such as: epilepsy or anxiety medications)
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): It is a condition that usually leads to multiple ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalance, and irregular menstrual cycles.
  • Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI): occurs when the ovaries stop working normally before the age of 40.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): An infection of the reproductive organs. Pelvic inflammatory disease is most often caused by a sexually transmitted infection.
  • Stress and pressures: High levels of chronic (long-term) stress can lead to irregular menstruation
  • Uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Excessive exercise.

When to see a doctor:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle after regular normal cycles.

   3- Severe bleeding:
The menstrual period may be so painful and heavy that it is difficult to do normal activities (such as going to work or school), due to:

  • Ovulation problems.
  • Endometriosis problems.
  • Thyroid problems.
  • Uterine fibroids.
  • Uterine polyps.
  • Certain medications (such as blood thinners) can cause heavy or long periods.
  • Pregnancy problems: miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
  • Bleeding disorders (such as hemophilia and von Willebrand disease) are hereditary bleeding disorders that cause heavy bleeding during menstrual periods.

When to see a doctor:

  • The menstrual cycle lasts more than eight days.
  • The need to replace the pad or tampon every one to two hours.
  • Feeling dizzy, weak, tired, chest pain, or difficulty breathing during menstruation Or after.
  • Large blood clots during menstruation.

Instructions during the menstrual cycle:

  • Change sanitary pads every 4-8 hours at most, regardless of blood flow.
  • When using a tampon, you should not leave it for more than 8 hours at most.
  • Pads come in many sizes, so you can choose one that suits the heaviness or lightness of the menstrual cycle. Some women use different products on different days of the cycle depending on how light or heavy the bleeding is.
  • Wash hands before and after using the bathroom and before using a menstrual product.
  • Dispose of sanitary pads properly, by wrapping them in a tissue or other material and then throwing them in the trash.
  • Wear light, breathable clothing (such as cotton underwear) as tight fabrics can trap moisture and heat; This allows germs to spread.
  • Maintaining the cleanliness of the genital area by washing it daily and wiping from front to back and not the other way around.
  • Use only water to rinse the vagina, as the vagina is a self-cleaning organ.
  • Use handkerchiefs, tampons, or unscented sanitary pads.
  • Drink enough fluids, as this can help flush the urinary tract and prevent infection.
  • Track and monitor the menstrual cycle on the calendar or use a mobile application designed for this purpose.

Last Update : 18 September 2023 02:56 PM
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