6 questions and answers about periods

Your period is your faithful visitor, stopping by every month from puberty to menopause. Your menstrual cycle helps you track your fertility and pregnancy, it also affects your mood and your hormones. Because periods are an important element in women's health, I will answer some of the most frequently asked questions in this article to guide women and girls.

periods

1- How does period bleeding happen?

Every month the ovaries produce hormones that help build up the inner lining of the uterus, to get ready to welcome the fertilized egg, and for pregnancy. When pregnancy doesn’t happen, the lining sheds away producing the blood of your period. So, it is normal blood, coming from the shedding of tissue inside your body.

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 2- Is it OK to shower during periods?

You might have heard from your mother, or your grandmother that you can’t shower during your period, and that water will make your period stop. But the truth is this is just a misconception there is no medical reason to forbid you from showering.

3- Can I exercise during my period?

No reason would forbid you from exercising during your menstrual cycle, if you are physically able, and not in too much pain. Cramps and back pain are among the symptoms of periods, in addition to fatigue. But if you feel fine, you can do any kind of exercise you feel comfortable with.

 4- When can I use the oral contraceptive pills?

When using regular OCPs, you need to start on the first day of the period and continue for 21 days, then take a one-week break before resuming. There is also the daily OCPs that are taken for 28 days non-stop. This type is useful for continuity, as many women stop taking the pill for more than a week when using the first type of contraceptive pills. This reduces the efficiency of the pills and pregnancy might happen.

 5- Is the white discharge before a period a sign of pregnancy?

No, this is just normal vaginal discharge and not a symptom of pregnancy.

6- Why are periods painful?

Period pains happen because of cramping inside the uterus, which is caused by the production of Prostaglandins, which are produced when ovulation happens. It is normal for a period to be painful, pain on the first and second days, that gradually subsides is completely normal. You can take an over-the-counter painkiller, use a hot water bottle, or have hot herbal tea, but if the pain increases and lasts throughout the period, you must see your doctor.

Check out Precocious puberty in young girls: is it serious?

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