We all usually experience our first period between the ages of 12 and 16, and the amazing thing is the cramps, the flow, and the length of our periods are different for everyone. This article takes a look at how periods differ over the decades of your life – your teens, 20s, 30s and 40s.
Periods During Your Teens
Experiencing your first menstrual cycle is always a little scary, as you never quite know when you will get it, or how menstrual care works exactly, as you’ve never used it before. Once you get your period for your first time, you can celebrate becoming more womanly.
It will be important to experiment with all sorts of menstrual care like menstrual cups, cotton pads, organic tampons and period panties to see what works best for you. You’ll also need to keep one of these in your school bag, in case your period visits you when you least expect it.
Once you get your period, it may be very heavy and last up to 7 days at a time, where you will experience heavy bloating, emotional PMS mood swings, hunger pangs and cravings for sweet things like chocolate.
It is a good idea to visit a gynecologist after the first time you get your period, just to make sure everything is working in perfect order, and to get good advice from him or her. Remember, you can now fall pregnant, so if you start becoming sexually active you will need to use protection.
Periods During Your 20s
Periods during your 20s are similar to your teens in the fact that you will often break out with pimples just before your period, and you can become over-emotional due to PMS. At this age, you are much more active, and have more energy than you will in your later years of life, so although all the exercise you do will help bring on your period, it will also affect them in the way that they don’t always last that long.
During this decade, you’re also very sexually active and may be on the pill, and this totally affects your menstrual cycle, often regulating it, or stopping it all together. You will also experience extremely tender breasts during PMS, and will become extremely lustful as your hormones change within the body, and will want as much sex as possible.
Your 20s are the best time (after your teens) to pick up any serious problems like PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome), and get it treated – even if that means an operation. It’s better to do it while you are young and healthy and not planning on having children anytime soon, than later on in life.
When you’re in your 20s cramps can be severe, so it’s always a good idea to keep a bottle of ibuprofen close, some herbal teas and a hot water bottle for those days. You will also most likely experiment with different menstrual products such as menstrual cups, tampons, pads and period panties, to see which one works best for you.
Periods During Your 30s
In your early 30s, your periods are similar to your 20s. However, this is the decade when you will most likely have children, and after you give birth, your cycle might take a while to return to normal.
After giving birth, you may insert an IUD, as to prevent falling pregnant, and this can prevent ovulation from occurring and therefore your periods will disappear. However, if you don’t choose this option and carry on as normal, your cycle will change due to the fact that you are not as physically active due to work obligations, and may be eating less healthy due to overall stress, and this will affect your cycle overall.
You may also experience a difference in the severity of cramps. This is also the decade that endometriosis is often diagnosed.
Periods During Your 40s
This is the last decade of your period. Funny things will start to occur such as abnormal blood clots and your menstrual blood may change color occasionally to brown or black due to old blood that doesn’t come out in the previous cycle.
Periods may also become highly irregular, and may not arrive when you expect them to. The best thing to do in this case, is carry around a menstrual cup or some organic tampons, so that if you suddenly get your period while out, you can just pop your cup or tampon in. Also, your period usually only lasts a period of 4 days, as opposed to 7 when you were a teen, or in your twenties.
This is the decade that you will experience perimenopausal hormonal fluctuations, as your body prepares for menopause. You may even get a period every three weeks instead of every four weeks.
The best thing to do to keep your body and menstrual cycle as healthy as possible during this period, is eat well and do gentle exercise that stretches your body, such as yoga and pilates. You will also experience a decrease in your libido although you will feel lustful and amorous just a few days before your actual period – but it will feel nothing like when you were in your 20s, and early 30s.
Getting your period truly is a gift. It is one of the main experiences that differentiates men from women. Whether you are in your teens, 20s, 30s or 40s, take care when you get your period, use the products that work best for you, and get the rest and relaxation you need during one of the most special moments you will experience every month.