Menstruation, or getting your period, is the number of days (usually 2-7 days) every month when blood comes out of your vagina. It can be scary at first! But this is a natural process that is normal.
Why do you get your period?
Most females have thousands of eggs inside their ovaries (the part of the body that makes the eggs).
During puberty, these eggs in the ovaries start to ripen and are released one at a time, every month. The ripened egg is ready to receive sperm so if sperm enters the egg through a process called fertilization, then a female can become pregnant. If no sperm enters the ripened egg then the egg is shed from the body once a month. It is shed together with the extra lining of the uterus (womb). A typical menstrual cycle happens about every 28 days, but it can be longer or shorter depending on your body.
The days of the cycle
It is important to remember that not everyone’s cycle follows the same days.
Days 1- 5: You are on your period
Day 1 is the first day you start bleeding. This means your uterus is losing its wall lining. You may feel some stomach cramps and be uncomfortable.
Days 6 – 13: Your period ends, and your body prepares a new egg
A new egg is getting ripe inside your ovary. Your uterus wall is growing thicker to prepare for the release of the egg.
Days 14 – 19: Ovulation time!
As the egg travels towards the uterus, you are very fertile. This means that your body is ready for sperm to join with the egg. So, make sure you either: use a condom when having sex, are on a contraceptive or avoid sex during this time if you don’t want to fall pregnant.
Days 19 – 28: Egg reaches the uterus
Your egg reaches the uterus. If you are not pregnant, your period will start. You will restart your cycle beginning with Day 1 of your menstrual cycle.
It’s important to know how to take care of yourself when you are on your period. Check out this video by AMAZE.org to learn the basics of period hygiene.
Find out which organs of the female reproductive system play a part in the menstrual cycle here.
Not sure if you are on your period or whether you are spotting? Let us help in this article.