8112Menstruation or menses is not a new word on the lips of every woman because it is expected that every lady or woman above the age of 15 years will experience it monthly and it will continue for a period of her lifetime.

What then is menstruation?

Menstruation can be defined as a woman’s monthly bleeding. When you menstruate, your body sheds the lining of the uterus (womb). Menstrual blood flows from the uterus through the small opening in the cervix and passes out of the body through the vagina. And this is the way it is expected to run every single month.

Every menstrual cycle is designed to prepare a woman’s body for a possible pregnancy. If  pregnancy does not occur, the endometrium or the lining of the uterus which has been built up during the cycle in preparation for pregnancy breaks down and appears as menses.

Menstrual flow is therefore some sort of uterine tears shed for not conceiving the pregnancy it was preparing for!

What is the menstrual cycle?

The menstrual cycle is the monthly series of changes a woman’s body undergoes in preparation for the possibility of pregnancy.

The menstrual cycle is the cyclic changes a woman’s body passes through. The cyclic changes are in stages. It starts with menstruation followed by the  follicular phase then ovulation and finally the luteal phase and back to menstruation again to start the cycle all over again.

Menstruation is therefore the first of the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle.

Normally, the normal menstrual cycle must have these important characteristics,

1. The cycle length.This is the number of days from the start of menstrual flow to the day before the start of another.

Our mothers made use of the calendar to do this easily by marking them , you can do the same or use some menstruation softwares if you have access.

The normal range is from 21 to 35 days, while the standard or the book average is 28 days.

Your cycle length must not have to be 28 days; any length between 21 and 35 days is considered normal. There are few women that fall outside the range and these woman are around menopause.

2. The duration of menstrual flow.Normal menstrual periods lasts between 3 to 7 days.

3. The volume of the menstrual bleed. According to the books the normal flow must not be less than  80ml, but this figure makes no meaning to the woman at home.

Practically, most women evaluate their normal menstrual flow by the number of pads they use and how soaked the pads are with blood.

4. The quality of the menstrual blood.The normal menstrual blood flow is bright or   light red and may be brown in some women. It is expected not to contain clots. If it does, may be very little clots may be present .

What happens during the menstrual cycle?

The entire menstrual cycle for a 28 days cycle is illustrated and explained in the diagram below.

Day 1menstrual-cycle-day-1Day 1 is the first day of your menstrual flow. As a result of drop of level of hormone at the end of the previous cycle causing blood and tissues lining the uterus (womb) to break down and shed from the body in form of blood. Bleeding lasts between 3 - 5 days.

Day 7menstrual-cycle-day-7Usually by this day bleeding must have stopped. The days up to this time, hormones cause fluid-filled pockets called follicles to develop on the ovaries. Each follicle contains an egg.

Day 7 to Day 14menstrual-cycle-day-7-14Between Day 7 and 14, one follicle will continue to develop and reaches maturity. The lining of the uterus (endometrium) starts to thicken, waiting for a fertilized egg to implant there. The lining is rich in blood and nutrients.
Day 14menstrual-cycle-day-14Around Day 14 , hormones cause the mature follicle to burst and an egg is released from the ovary, this process is called ovulation.
menstrual-cycle-day-14-25Over the next few days, the egg travels down through the fallopian tube towards the uterus. If a sperm meets with the egg here, the fertilized egg will continue down the fallopian tube and attach to the lining of the uterus.

Day 25menstrual-cycle-day-25If the egg is not fertilized, hormone levels will drop around Day 25. This signals the next menstrual cycle to begin. The egg will break apart and be shed with the next period.

So much said about how a normal regular flow should be. Let’s look at menstrual irregularities and their various types.

It is important to note here that women do experience a range of problems with their periods.These includes pains, heavy bleeding, scanty flow and skipped periods.

Let’s look at them briefly.

Types of menstrual irregularities

Amenorrhea the absence of a menstrual flow. This term is used to describe the absence of a period in:

  • Young women who haven’t started menstruating by age 15
  • Women and girls who haven’t had a period for 90 days, even if they haven’t been menstruating for long

Causes can include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Eating disorders
  • Excessive exercising
  • Stress
  • Pelvic pains
  • Hormonal problems such as PCOS
  • Lack of reproductive organs
  • Abnormal vagina structure
  • Serious medical conditions calling for medical attention

As above, when your menstrual cycles come regularly, this means that the important parts of your body are working accordingly.

Dysmenorrhea Characterized by painful periods, which includes severe cramps.  Teens with dysmenorrhea do not have a serious disease, even though the cramps can be severe. The cramp is caused by an excess of a chemical  called prostaglandin

In older women, the pain is sometimes caused by a disease or condition such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis.

Some women employ the use of heating pad or taking a warm bath to help ease their cramps. The use of pain killers is also common.

Scanty Periods – This is also known as hypomenorrhea. It is short menstrual flow.Scanty flow is menstrual flow that is less than 80ml and the duration of flow is less than two days

Abnormal uterine bleeding — Abnormal or unusual vaginal bleeding that very different from normal menstrual periods. It includes:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Spotting anytime in the menstrual cycle
  • Bleeding heavier or for more days than normal
  • Bleeding after menopause

Abnormal bleeding can have many causes. In some cases they are not serious and are easy to treat. While others can be more serious. Treatment for abnormal bleeding depends on the cause.

In both teens and women approaching menopause, hormonal changes can cause long periods tagging  along with it  irregular cycles. If the cause is hormonal changes, you can be sure to get treatment.

Have it at the back of your mind that these changes can occur with other serious health problems, such as uterine fibroids, polyps, or even cancer.


It is not out of place if you are having issues with your periods. Kindly discuss your menstrual issues with me through the comment box, call , sms ,whatsapp or email. I will gladly help you with the right solution.

You can also share a menstrual problem you had and how you regularized the period for us to learn.

You can also get good relief from menstrual issues using this herbal formula made from yimucao chinese (motherwort) that improves menstrual disorders within one cycle.

Enjoy the week ahead






Filed under: GeneralMenstruation disorders

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