The Menstrual Cycle: What’s Normal and What’s Not

A typical menstrual cycle lasts 28 days and the last seven tend to be when the lining of the uterus begins to break down and reset – this is normally when you will have your period. Periods tend to last around 5 days per cycle, with most in between 3-7 days. As your period is your cycle resetting itself, this is the reason women tend to bleed once a month. Any more could potentially indicate a problem within your cycle. Whilst shorter periods are generally nothing to be concerned about, if you’re bleeding considerably longer than 7 days, it may be worth getting in contact with your doctor to see if there is an issue with your cycle. Cramps are also normal, but if you find yourself in excruciating pain, don’t be afraid to seek help.

Keeping up the trend of having a wide variation between women, the average menstrual flow of each cycle is roughly around 35ml and the clinical definition of heavy menstrual bleeding is 80 ml. If you think you’re bleeding more or less than these two amounts, there probably isn’t any cause for concern. If you feel your flow is a lot heavier than it usually is or if you find yourself bleeding at irregular intervals in between when you would expect your period, clinically referred to as intermenstrual bleeding, it may be worth a trip to your doctor just to be sure there isn’t any underlying issues.


How Can I Keep it Under Control?

There are a lot of factors involved in the successful functioning of your periods. But if you have something planned, like a holiday or a celebration that you think will end up clashing with your period, the thought of dealing with cramps and having to constantly change your pads and tampons may seem like a bit of a nightmare, but there are actually several ways to make your period come faster.

After some online research, you are likely to come across ways to keep your cycle under control. One of the most popular methods is using birth control. There are tonnes of options available out there, from the pill, the injection or the implant to the copper coil. Each method has its own list of pros and cons. Unfortunately, as women tend to vary so drastically in terms of their reaction to each birth control method, the best way to find out which method is right for you is through trial and error.

Regardless, it’s important to remember that periods themselves are perfectly normal. Menstruation is a totally natural process, (grueling as it may be) and there is nothing shameful about it. So, the next time you’re in the store trying your best to hide your pads or your tampons from any passers-by, take a second to remember nearly half of the population has had to do the same at least once a month, so don’t be ashamed have them in full view. If anybody does have an issue with them, simply remind them that there is no shame in buying toilet roll, so why should menstrual products be any different?



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