What is a Period?

A womens time of the month better known as her period is very important to a female body and its reproductive system.

When you have your period you bleed both blood and tissue from your uterus, this usually happens once a month from the ages 14 years old to 48 years old. Every women is different so depending on her individual body and her birth control method this could vary.

image of underwear and red sparkles representing a period

So why do we have period? Well our menstrual cycle helps our female bodies prepare for carrying a child inside our uterus – let me break it down some more…

Our period is controlled by hormones estrogen and progesterone which allows this whole process to happen. You have two ovaries one on each side of your vagina, each one of these ovaries hold a bunch of super tiny eggs – too small to see with our eyes.

During the menstrual cycle the hormones make the eggs in your ovaries “mature”, and when the egg is matured it means it is ready to be fertilized by a sperm cell (which comes from a male). These hormones make a thick lining in your uterus so if you are planning to become pregnant the eggs will have a nice and cushy place to start to grow.

About halfway through your menstrual cycle your hormones tell one of your ovaries to release a “mature” egg – this is called ovulation.  Once the egg leaves your ovary is goes through one of your fallopian tubes towards the uterus. If pregnancy doesn’t happen, your body doesn’t need the thick lining in the uterus so it will break down. It will then be released with blood, nutrients and tissue in what’s known as your period.

the word "period" spelt out

Long Story Short!

A period is when a women’s body releases tissue it no longer needs. This tissue comes from the uterus which is where a baby would develop in a women body. Every month the uterus lining gets thicker to prepare for a fertilized egg if a women wants to get pregnant. If the eggs doesn’t get fertilized that lining is released from the body as blood through the vagina known as a period.

“What Is Menstruation?: Get Facts About Having Your Period.” Planned Parenthood, https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/health-and-wellness/menstruation.

“10 Common Period Questions.” Always®, https://always.com/en-us/tips-and-advice/your-first-period/10-common-period-questions.

“All About Periods (for Teens) – Nemours KidsHealth.” Edited by Krishna Wood White, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, Oct. 2018, https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/menstruation.html.

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