While we are not strangers with our monthly bleedings, not all of us can claim to understand the complete mechanics behind our periods. Besides the unbearable cramps, bloating, mood swings and nasty pimples, are you aware of these 10 facts about our period?
1. You can get pregnant while having your period
Although chances are slim, you can still get pregnant when you are on your period! Do not assume menstruation is a natural method for birth control, because sperms can live for about a week inside your vagina and fertilize an egg if ovulation occurs right after your period ends.
2. Menstrual blood isn’t normal blood
I’m sure we are all aware that our menstrual blood looks and feels thicker than normal blood. This is because menstrual blood is a mixture of blood and the lining shed from the uterus. This also explains why blood clots may occur during the heavier days of your period.
3. Menstrual blood can be dark brown or black
This usually occurs towards the end of your period, when the older blood is expelled slower. Older blood tends to appear in darker shades, and are usually not a health concern.
4. You actually don’t bleed much
I know, on heavy days it feels like a waterfall is gushing underneath. But the truth is, we only experience about 60ml of blood lost during one cycle! Heavier periods can go up to 80ml.
5. Period and pregnancy symptoms are quite alike
After 5 to 7 days of ovulation, your body releases progesterone whether you are pregnant or not. Thereafter, if you’re not pregnant, your progesterone levels will gradually drop to allow your period to come. The increase in progesterone levels is the main culprit behind your PMS symptoms, such as cramps, breast tenderness, spotting, bloating. These symptoms are similar to what a pregnant woman may experience!
6. Period may worsen anemia
In general, more women suffer from anemia than men. Women’s period actually worsens this due to the amount of blood we lose when we menstruate. If you find yourself experiencing the symptoms of anemia (such as dizziness, rapid heartbeat, fatigue and shortness of breath) try to eat food that’s rich in iron such as red meat, quinoa and spinach!
7. We use more than 12,000 disposable menstrual products in our lifetime
According to a study, a woman uses about 12,000 to 15,000 menstrual products (pads or tampons) on average in her lifetime. While these disposable products burden our environment, they also amount to quite a significant sum of money. This is why reusable and biodegradable menstrual products such as menstrual cups are recommended.
8. Women in close proximity may experience a period sync
If you stay or hang out very often with your girlfriends, chances are that all of you may find your period slowly syncing up. This amusing effect is called the menstrual synchrony. While not many researches can prove the possibility of such occurrences, the possibility of menstrual synchrony isn’t ruled out. Afterall, having someone to go through the rough week with you can be a comforting idea!
Now you know more about your period and body! Since periods are a necessary body occurrence, we cannot do anything but to embrace it!
Cover Image: Enauka.mk