How to Explain Menstruation
Women take menstruation as a matter of course, although it’s an unpleasant and usually painful part of life. Knowing the process your body goes through during this cycle may give you new respect for your body’s ability and flexibility. At birth a girl’s body contains approximately 450,000 eggs, more than she’ll ever need for her entire life. When a girl reaches puberty, the cycle of releasing these eggs begins.
Note that for most females the menstrual cycle begins approximately at the age of 12 and lasts for an average of 28 days. The menstrual cycle begins on the first day of what women usually call their “period.” It usually announces its arrival with abdominal cramps, bloating, irritability, headaches and other symptoms.
Understand how the cycle begins. The eggs are kept in the ovaries in sacs called follicles. The lining of the uterus thickens during the follicular stage because of an increase in the amount of estrogen–a hormone produced by the ovaries in women and the testes in men. This thickening prepares the uterus for a possible pregnancy.
Take note the follicles in the ovary begin to develop due to the influence of hormonal interplay. After several days 1, or rarely 2, follicles become predominant and the others die off. The remaining follicle releases an egg (ovum) and this is called “ovulation.” If fertilization of the egg does not occur within 1 to 3 days of ovulation it will die and be absorbed by the woman’s body.
Consider what happens if the egg is fertilized by spermatozoon. The blood supply increases and brings the fallopian tubes and ovaries closer together to allow the embryo to enter a fallopian tube. It then begins a two-week trip through the fallopian tubes into the uterus and is implanted. This is how a woman becomes pregnant.
Prepare for menstruation if the egg is not fertilized. After the process of ovulation, dominant follicles in the ovary become a mass of yellow cells (corpus luteum) which produce large quantities of the hormone progesterone to prepare the uterus for the possible implantation of an embryo. In 2 weeks this mass of cells dies if pregnancy has not occurred.
Realize that, when the corpus luteum dies, this causes a drastic drop in progesterone and estrogen levels, making the uterus shed its lining. This is called “menstruation.” The blood and tissues travel through the cervix and leave the body through the vagina. This process continues throughout a woman’s life until she goes through menopause.