Menstrual Period

Menstruation, or getting your period, is the signal that your body is preparing for a normal biologic function: the ability to reproduce or have children. The menstrual cycle is repeated every month throughout the reproductive years, generally between the ages of eleven and fifty.

Menstruation is the shedding of a bloody fluid from the uterus or womb.

About every month, the uterus or womb builds up a lining to receive a fertilized egg. If the egg is not fertilized by a male sperm cell, the lining is not needed, so it is shed. This lining is combined with the menstrual fluid and comes out of your body through the vaginal opening.

Menstruation is only a small part of the entire process known as puberty or the process of growing up to be an adult. The first sign of puberty occurs when you begin to develop breasts and pubic hair. The first menstrual period occurs later in this process, usually one to two years after you start to develop breasts.

PMS Symptoms

PMS encompasses as many as 150 different symptoms, although no woman experiences them all.

When one considers how common the symptoms of PMS are in “technologically advanced” cultures, (somewhere between 80% and 90% of all menstruating women between the ages of 20 and 50 experience regular symptoms of PMS), the conclusion might be drawn that women (and their mates) are destined to suffer.

However, because there are numerous cultures among whom this condition is essentially non-existent and unknown, diet, stress and xenoestrogens (foreign estrogens), often introduced in the form of contraceptives, are all major contributors to this disorder.

The observable symptoms generally include all or some combination of:

# Irritability
# Frustration
# Vertigo
# Bloating
# Mood Swings
# Food Cravings
# Depression
# Exhaustion
# Weight Gain
# Loss of Libido
# Acute Headaches
# Anger
# Panic
# Backaches
# Fatigue
# Breast Swelling & Tenderness

As if the above symptoms are not enough, secondary consequences usually result in impaired work ability and strained interpersonal relationships.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: June 22, 2011
Last revised: by Andrew G. Epstein, M.D.