YIKES, it's that time of the month again!

- by Justaqi -

Do you get flushed or embarrassed to talk about your... ehemm? Don’t be! It’s a perfectly normal occurrence and learning about it will make you understand your body better. I used to have irregular periods when I was in high school, I won’t get my period for months and that would freak me out!

Understanding menses cycle and what affects it.

Period, menstruation or menses is the discharge of blood from the inner lining of the uterus that happens periodically. Your periods can tell you a lot about your body or your well-being in general.

For a few years now, my cycle has been in the range of 33-37 days, which is normal for me. A friend of mine can have a range of 28-30 days and that is considered normal for her and most other girls. Another friend of mine, whom is having an irregular period with a cycle ranging from 39-88 days, is considered normal for her, even if it’s different from ours. When you know your body, you will learn what to look for when something is wrong.

How do you count your days in a cycle?

Pfft, easy peasy. All you need is your smartphone, ladies! Simply download any menstruation cycle app in your phone, just enter your data, and the app will do the rest for you. If you’re the type of person who still appreciates pens and papers or insists on doing things manually, then let’s get down to it!

Your cycle starts on the first day of your period, so jot down the first day and date that you bleed and count from there (including the days that you’re having your period) to the day before your next period. Your cycle may vary from time to time, but your average would fall into the same range. A lot of things can affect your cycle, so take this into account too! Being in a lot of stress such as suffering an illness, going through something that is life changing, or even rushing for a deadline can disrupt your cycle, but relax, it will go back to normal once you learn how to overcome it.

If you’re on a diet or doing rigorous training exercises, this can also affect your cycle. Some athletes go through a type of irregular menstrual irregularity known as hypothalamic amenorrhea, which makes their periods infrequent or even absent.

Fluctuating weight can be a factor too! If you’re underweight, it can make your body feels as if you're not healthy enough to bear a child or if you’re overweight, excess estrogen can build up and cause heavy menses or heavy irregular menses. So stay healthy, ladies!

Taking birth control pills on the other hand, can affect your hormones and force your body into an artificial cycle. So always seek for your doctor's advise to fully understand what you’re taking into your body. Medications like anti-depressants can also have this effect. Another common factor is smoking, as it will wreak havoc with your hormones (Eeeekk!).

Why do we need to know about our cycles? It’s better to be prepared! When you know how it works, you’ll understand what is normal for your body, and you’ll be more prepared to identify when something is out of the ordinary! So start counting, girls!

Photo credits (from the top): SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, Philippa Willitts, SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget


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