Your period is something really special. You never knew when you were first going to get it, and when it did, I’m sure it took you by surprise.
I remember my first period; it totally took me off guard. I was fifteen years old watching Interview with The Vampire (ironically a movie about blood), and after the movie I went to the bathroom and BAM! There it was, my first period.
Did you know that in one complete lifespan, you may even get up to 500 periods? Yup, that’s a lot of menstruation and blood, so you are in it for the long haul. Here are other interesting facts you probably didn’t know about your monthly:
Interesting Facts About Your Period
1. Periods on “The Pill” Aren’t Real
When you ovulate, it will be in the middle of your menstrual cycle. When your ovaries release an unfertilized egg, the result will be lowered hormone levels. This will cause you to shed the lining inside your uterus, and the end result is that you will get your monthly flow.
When you take birth control pills, however, it prevents ovulation. Most of them give your body hormones for a maximum of three weeks, followed by seven days of “sugar pills.”
For most women, you will bleed during those seven days, but what it really is, is “monthly withdrawal bleeding.” It is not the same as a regular, healthy period.
Although “the pill” stops your body from releasing an egg, it doesn’t prevent your body from building up the lining of your uterus during the month.
The blood flow you will experience during the time you take the “sugar pills”, which will be the fourth week, is simply the reaction your body is experiencing due to the lack of hormones that it is normally supplied with.
2. Sanitary Pads & Tampons Aren’t Your Only Option
YouTube and TV are inundated with adverts about happy gymnasts and women enjoying picnics all dressed in white, promoting sanitary pads and tampons.
But there is in fact, another great choice that has been around for decades! Menstrual cups are simply amazing! They are really flexible and just need to be folded and inserted to catch your monthly flow!
Using a menstrual cup is a serious cost saver as you don’t throw it away. It only has to be changed and washed twice a day. As opposed to pads and tampons that can often be changed up to eight times a day for a heavy flow.
Menstrual cups are also better for the environment as wastage does not occur. They are normally made from materials that are biodegradable or better for the environment than the cardboard and plastic containers that sanitary pads and tampons come in.
You will also never have to worry about having an accident and not having anything on hand to handle it. Menstrual cups can be folded and fitted into their little containers that can be carried around in even the smallest of handbags or even fitted into the pocket of jeans.
If you are curious and have never used one before, know they are really easy to use, you just need to know how. They are simply amazing and there a whole range of different options to choose from, from small to large, low capacity to high capacity, you will find one that fits you perfectly!
3. Nobody Can Really Explain PMS
PMS is only a thing that teenage girls and women go through. If men could actually experience PMS, I’m sure only then, could they really understand the pain and misery of it, which we females experience every month.
Everything that goes into the cauldron that is PMS, (and I do call it a cauldron because us females can turn into real witches while experiencing PMS) are very painful stomach/womb cramps, terrible bloating, insatiable hunger cravings, skin breakouts (pimples, whiteheads, blackheads & acne), tender breasts, and mood swings that would make one think Godzilla is in the room!
To this day, doctors are still baffled as to the direct link of why hormones changes which affect the chemicals in the brain, lead to depression and different states of rollercoaster emotions.
In fact, PMS can actually be used in the court of law as a defense in criminal cases as women have done the most unlawful, terrible things while experiencing PMS.
Then, when you actually do experience your monthly, PMS symptoms may continue into cramps, migraine headaches, backaches and bloating. It can really affect your work as your judgement is often clouded and thoughts can be foggy. It sure is tough being a female sometimes!
The best way to combat PMS is through eating healthier, avoiding too much junk food, taking up some form of exercise, and avoiding toxins such as too much alcohol, coffee (all the sugar and milk), and nicotine.
One thing is for sure. Every woman’s handbag contains painkillers for good reason!
It’s also important to note that there is a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which takes all the mood swings, irritation and depression of normal PMS to a maximum level on a regular basis. If you suffer from this, it’s important to speak to your doctor about this so he or she can refer you to a professional.
4. Your Period Will Always Change
It is pretty normal to have a diary that marks off the same day each month that you will get your period. That is great, but thanks to hormone changes, your regular period date may shift.
When you first get your period, your cycles may last much longer. This means that more time can last between two consecutive periods. If you’re a teenager, it may last from 21 to 45 days. Once you become an adult it shortens from 21 to 35 days and is easier to predict.
Menopause can be scary and it’s a time when your period will stop. Just before that, you will experience perimenopause and your hormones will change. This will be around your mid-to-late forties.
Less estrogen will be produced by the body, during this time, and the time between periods may be longer or shorter with heavier or lighter bleeding. This can last up to 10 years, so be prepared!
All these different changes in the body should happen gradually. However, if you stop getting periods, or your period won’t stop, you need to immediately go see your doctor and find a solution.
5. You Can Fall Pregnant While Menstruating
Most women (and people in general) think that when you have your period, it safe-guards you against pregnancy. This simply is not true. You can most definitely fall pregnant while having your period.
You see, you may bleed because your ovaries have released an egg (which happens, normally, every month), and this is called ovulation.
However, it is not a period. It is important to keep in mind that your fertility is at its utmost peak at this time. Due to this, it is easy to fall pregnant. In fact, it may even be more likely.
Ovulation may occur also before your periods stops or even a few days after you stop bleeding. Sperm can stay in the body for five days and therefore you can fall pregnant during this time.
If you do not want to fall pregnant, you need to use protection, and that includes condoms, female condoms and birth control pills. This fun video explains discusses falling pregnant while menstruating and other common period questions:
Periods are never a bag of fun, but after reading these interesting facts, hopefully you will be able to understand why things happen the way they do when it comes to that time of the month, and what you can do about it!