Know Your Period: A Guide for Women

Periods, also known as menstruation, are a natural process that occurs regularly in women and people with a uterus. It starts with menarche (first menstrual period) in early adolescence and ends in menopause (the natural aging process in which the ovaries no longer release estrogen).


How does menstruation work?

Menstruation is part of a monthly cycle in which the body prepares for the possibility of an egg to be fertilized and implanted in the uterus, resulting in pregnancy.

We can think of this process being like the building a house for a fertilized egg to develop and grow. While there are several hormones involved in the process, we’ll focus on the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

At the beginning of the cycle, the body is developing eggs, though only one will reach maturity. As it develops, there is an increase in the hormone estrogen which stimulates cell growth along the uterus lining (endometrium). This cell growth thickens the uterine lining like laying “brickwork” to create a fortified home for a future embryo.

Ovulation begins when an egg is released to begin its journey to the uterus. Ovulation triggers an increase of the hormone progesterone which will act as the mortar to stabilize and maintain the brickwork of the thickened uterine lining.

If the egg is fertilized by sperm and attaches (implants) to this newly built home along the uterine lining, progesterone will help to stabilize and maintain the brick foundation throughout the pregnancy. If pregnancy doesn’t happen, the production of progesterone (the mortar) decreases rapidly. With nothing to hold the bricks together, they eventually fall apart. This is the shedding of the uterine lining that occurs during a period.


So what’s normal?

Since people tend to talk in little detail about their own periods, it is difficult for many menstruators to assess what is normal and what is not. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days, but there is a lot of variability.

The bottom line: If you think your menstrual period negatively affects your quality of life, that’s not normal and is worth a conversation with your doctor.


Think your period is heavy?

Here are some questions to consider. Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: The Monthly Horror Show Nobody Talks About.

Important Safety Information The Sonata System is intended for diagnostic intrauterine imaging and transcervical treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids, including those associated with heavy menstrual bleeding. Common Side Effects include bleeding, spotting, cramping, post-ablation inflammatory symptoms, and/or discharge. There are potential risks with this treatment such as skin burn and infection. Women who are pregnant, have a pelvic infection, are known to have gynecologic cancer, or have intratubal implants for sterilization should not have this procedure. For full safety information visit, Talk to your doctor to see if Sonata Treatment is right for you.


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