Did you know that it was as recently as the 19th century that doctors realized that the menstrual cycle was linked to ovulation? And did you know that it was only after World War I that sanitary pads became available. The story goes that French nurses in the first World War realized that the disposable cellulose bandages that they were using to absorb blood for wounded soldiers could be used during their periods for the same purpose! It was only in 1921 that the first commercially available brand was launched in the United States.
While one would have imagined that in the 21st century, menstruation would have been completely understood, the topic remains a taboo in many parts of the world, including the Middle East. This has led to many misconceptions and myths to develop about the cycle. Here is some information to help dispel at least some such misconceptions.
What Is a Menstrual Cycle?
Menstruation is the monthly bleeding in woman in which blood flows from the uterus through a small opening called the cervix and finally passes out of the body through the vagina. The discharge is not only blood but also tissue from the uterine lining that is shed periodically. A woman’s periods can last anywhere from 3 to 5 days. The regularity of this monthly blood flow is known as Menstrual Cycle. It is the time between the start of one period till the start of the next. On an average, a cycle is 28 days long. But in certain cases, it can range between 25 and 35 days, which is absolutely normal.
What is PMS?
PMS or Pre-Menstrual Syndrome include physical and emotional symptoms that occur in the week(s) leading up do the start of one’s period. The most common symptoms include feeling bloated, changes in appetite, feeling moody or irritable, lower backache, cramps in the lower abdomen, ache in the inner thighs, constipation or diarrhea, acne and sore breasts. These symptoms can last for 2-6 days, depending upon the individual. A woman may not experience all these symptoms or might have totally different ones. However, if the timing is always just before the start of menstruation, it is likely to be part of the PMS.
How to Predict Your Next Menstruation Date?
Step 1: You need to note down the date of the first day you start bleeding.
Step 2: Write down your PMS symptoms, along with monitoring your blood flow. Also, mention the thickness or the lightness of the discharge.
Step 3: Note down the date of your second period.
Step 4: Calculate the difference of days between the start of the first period and the start of the second. On average, the difference is 28 days, but it could differ from person to person.
Step 5: Once you know how many days it takes to complete a cycle, you can stay prepared for the next cycle.