The word “menstruation” comes from the word “menses”, which is Latin for month, due to the fact that it regularly occurs approximately once a month. All healthy women go through menstruation until they reach menopause. The cycle of menstruation lasts anywhere from 21 to 35 days, with the average for most being around 28 days. Regular menstruation indicates that a woman is healthy and reproductively active; her body is ready to release the egg and nurture the embryo through pregnancy.
The Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle begins on the day your period, and lasts till the day your next period begins. The following are the reproductive organs of your body.
- Two ovaries- where the egg is crated and released
- Uterus or womb
- Fallopian tubes- two narrow tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus
- Cervix- the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina
- Vagina- a muscular tube going from the cervix to outside the body
The process begins with ovulation, when your ovaries release an egg. At the same time, the uterus walls are thickening with additional mucous membranes in preparation for receiving the embryo. The egg is released and travels down one of the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. At this stage, if sperm fertilize the egg, the embryo travels to the uterus, where it will stay for the length of the pregnancy. However, if the egg is not fertilized, the body gets into action to discard the unfertilized egg and the lining of the uterus. The phase during which the body is discarding the egg and the unused lining of the uterus is what you experience as your period. Thus, menstruation begins with the body expelling the discarded uterus lining, getting ready for another possible pregnancy by releasing an egg, and then either preparing for pregnancy or discarding the unfertilized egg and the uterus lining, depending on whether the egg is fertilized to form an embryo or not.
Reasons why you may Feel Moody during your Period
It is estimated that 50-80% of women experience PMS, or pre-menstrual syndrome, in varying degrees of severity. The symptoms include bloating, cramping in the lower abdomen and the pelvis, feelings of being stressed out, irritability and mood swings. The cramping occurs because the uterus is contracting while releasing the discarded thickened lining. The emotional symptoms occur due to the release of various hormones including estrogen and progesterone, during the process of ovulation and the wait for the egg to be fertilized.