The menstrual cycle is one of the most important aspects of a woman’s Health, but it can also be the least understood. The truth is that every woman’s cycle is different.
Do you associate it with cramps, bloating, and mood swings when you think about menstruation? While all those symptoms are real and can significantly affect your life, there’s so much more to your menstrual cycle than the period itself. If you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant, your menstrual cycle is vital to your due date calculator.
There are some fascinating things about our periods that most of us don’t even know about. This article will cover five interesting facts about the menstrual cycle to help you understand what’s happening with your body during your cycle.
1. It Is Okay To Skip Your Period
It’s normal to miss a period once in a while. It could just be your body’s response to stress or changes in your eating or exercise habits.
But if you’re on the pill and miss your period, it’s time to get concerned. If you’re not pregnant, there could be something wrong with how the drug works for you.
It’s safe to skip your period while taking birth control, but it might not be the best idea if you’re trying to avoid pregnancy. Some types of birth control are designed specifically for women who don’t want to have their period each month, so talk to your healthcare provider about those options if this is an issue for you.
2. You Can Get Pregnant if You Have Sex During Your Period
The age-old myth has been nipped in the bud: Your period doesn’t protect you from pregnancy. Many assume you can’t get pregnant while on your period and won’t have a period if you’re pregnant. We hate to break it to you, but neither of these assumptions is true.
Though you typically ovulate about 14 days after the start of your period, some people can ovulate unpredictably, Felice Gersh, MD, ob-gyn and founder/director of Integrative Medical Practice in Irvine, California, told Health.
As MedlinePlus points out, “sperm can live inside a woman’s body for less than five days.” So you could conceive if you have sex on the last day of your period and ovulate earlier than normal within that five-day window.
3. Heavy periods could mean you have a hormone imbalance.
Heavy periods could mean you have a hormone imbalance. Some women experience heavier than regular periods; however, if you are wondering what constitutes a heavy period, we recommend you consult your doctor.
Hormone imbalances can also cause irregularity in the menstrual cycle, which involves changes in the frequency and length of your period. Symptoms of hormone imbalances include irregular periods, heavy bleeding, and pain during sex or ovulation (the release of an egg from your ovaries).
4. Probably Lose a Lot Less Blood Than You Think
You may be wondering how much blood you lose during your period. It may seem like a lot, but you’re only losing between 30 and 40 milliliters, or two to three tablespoons, of blood during menstruation. However, some research Source suggests this figure may be closer to 60 milliliters or about four tablespoons.
Another study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says women lose between 10 and 35 ml of blood throughout each period. This is only around 1 – 2 tablespoons of blood, and it is spread over five days, so it probably isn’t as much as you think!
The amount of blood that comes out during your period is called “flow.” It changes from one woman to another and can vary from cycle to cycle. In general, though, most women have about four tampons or pads available for each day of their period—that’s enough for them to be comfortable and confident that they’ll have everything they need when they’re out and about!
If you’re worried that your flow might be heavier than usual or if you’re experiencing pain during your period, talk with your doctor. They can help you figure out what might happen so you can feel like yourself again.
5. The menstrual cycle is tied to brain activity.
Notice how you feel a little bit off during your period? Well, it turns out that’s not just in your head. A new study has found that the menstrual cycle is tied to brain activity and that cells in a brain region called the hippocampus generate different types of receptors for the brain chemical GABA during various menstrual cycle phases. These changes may affect a woman’s susceptibility to anxiety, depression, and seizures.
The new study suggests that these changes could be related to the shift from high estrogen levels during the follicular phase (when ovulation occurs) to low during the luteal phase (when progesterone levels rise).
With all these menstruation facts, we can finally tolerate menstruation as a normal part of life. It’s also one of the most essential parts of our health—and you must deal with (and embrace) it every month. It’s time to take control of your body and your health.
And to make informed decisions about your own body, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of menstruation:
- What happens during each phase?
- How it affects your mood and energy levels.
- What options are available for managing it when it gets uncomfortable or inconvenient?
- What to look out for before during your cycle.
The good news is that you can feel empowered by taking control of this process! You don’t have to be at the mercy of your period anymore—it doesn’t need to get in the way of what you want to do in life.
The more you know about what goes on “down there,” the better equipped you’ll be to handle any issues and track potential problems in advance.
So there you have it. We hope these five facts have helped you comprehensively understand your menstrual cycle. We know that learning more about this fundamental part of our biology can be empowering—and hopefully, it’s given you some new ideas for taking care of yourself during those days when you might otherwise feel like taking a nap!
But don’t stop here. The more we learn about how our bodies work, the more empowered and informed we are—and the more empowered we are to take charge of our health and well-being.