Four Things Girls Need to Know About Their Period.
Why do I have to get a period (menstruation)?
Often times we think getting our period is annoying and gross and something we would rather not have to deal with each month. While it may be inconvenient and sometimes lead to embarrassing stories and accidents, menstruation is an amazing part of your female reproductive cycle which allows you to create a special lining in your uterus for a tiny new human to implant into. Every month your body prepares to receive a new life. If no baby implants that month, the body sheds that lining and begins again. Menstruation is the process of shedding that uterine lining so that the uterus can begin to prepare for the next month.
How long is my reproductive cycle?
Medically we count the first day of your period as the starting point of your reproductive cycle because it is easy to keep track of. A girl’s very first period is called Menarche and after her last period, she reaches Menopause. For most women the time between periods lasts around 28 days. Some women may have longer or shorter amounts of time so it is important to keep track of how long your cycle lasts. There are some great period tracking apps for both android phones and iPhones. Keeping a log of your periods will help you to know when to expect your next one, know when you are most likely to get pregnant, and know if you have missed your period which could signal a pregnancy or health concern.
When am I most fertile?
Ovulation (when the egg is released and you are most fertile) usually happens two weeks before your period. While we can’t know for sure when your next period will start, if your cycle is usually regular and you keep track of how long it lasts each month, you will be able to estimate when you are most fertile each month. With a typical 28 day cycle, you would ovulate around day 14. However, if you usually get your period every 44 days, then you may be most fertile around day 30 of your cycle.
Hygiene is Important During your Period:
Most women use pads or tampons to help stay clean during their period. It is important to change your pad or tampon every 4-6 hours because of the buildup of blood and possible bacteria in a moist environment leading to possible infection. The blood and secretions can also have an unpleasant odor. The longer a woman goes without changing her pad, the more risk she has for getting a rash or urinary tract infection. For tampon users, there is a connection between super absorbent tampons and something called toxic shock syndrome which can be life threatening. It is ok and highly encouraged to shower and or take a bath during your period.
There is so much amazing information to learn about your reproductive system. Our female bodies are worth understanding from the anatomy itself (ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus are just the start) to the really cool way all the hormones work together to allow the body to prepare for a new human life. If you are interested in learning more, you can call our office at 307-472-2810 and ask about our Feminine Genius /sexual integrity program – it focuses on educating women about the reproductive system, sexuality, STDs, and making healthy life choices, all of which contribute to overall future health.