Menstruation

June 30, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Menstruation Cycle

Menstruation Cycle

Menstruation is the cyclic occurrence of uterine bleeding that occurs near the end of puberty in girls. Typically, first periods occur around age 12 or 13. However, some girls begin having periods as young as 8 or 9 years old, while others may be as old as 15 or 16. If menarche does not occur by the time a girl reaches the age of 16, she should see her doctor for evaluation. Menstruation usually begins about 2 1/2 years after girls begin developing breasts, and growing pubic and underarm hair.


Once menstruation begins, it continues until menopause occurs around the age of 50 when monthly menstrual cycles end. Surgical menopause occurs following removal of the ovaries during hysterectomy. Menstruation also temporarily stops during pregnancy. Hormonal contraceptives also stop normal menstruation and can safely be used to stop periods indefinitely or until pregnancy is desired. If menstruation fails to occur for any other reason, amenorrhea occurs. Amenorrhea is a menstrual cycle disorder.

For the most part, the menstrual cycles occurs predictably and without problems. However, when things don’t go as expect -– when you experience heavy or excessive bleeding, when your period doesn’t occur when expected, when you have physical or emotional symptoms during the weeks before you menstruation, or when you experience painful periods or other symptoms –- you may have a menstrual cycle disorder.

Abnormal uterine bleeding is a common menstrual cycle disorder that includes several types of abnormal bleeding patterns, including amenorrhea. Other menstrual cycle disorders include dysmenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome or PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD, and uterine fibroid tumors. Other factors that may affect normal menstruation include stress, illness, exercise, diet and nutrition, and work, family, and relationship issues.

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