A mark of becoming a woman, periods are a part of the female experience. Although made to be sound more glamorous than it is, periods are a necessary evil. Part of the process to support reproduction, periods are an accomplice of the childbearing age.
Periods start when the sex hormones in the body are activated in the process of puberty. Due to the coming of age, every month, a female’s body prepares itself for pregnancy; the uterus lining becomes thick, and body undergoes ovulation. If there is no fertilization, then the lining is sloughed off the uterine walls, and discharged through periods.
Generally, girls get their periods at the age of around 12-13 years, however, some get it a little sooner or later as well. Most get their periods after a couple of years into their breast development.
However, as their entire process is moderated by hormones, their fluctuations can lead to different timeline in different girls. However, most get girls get their period by 15 years max, after which, gynecologist in Lahore should be consulted as the delay could be indicative of some underlying health issue.
First periods: Leading, coping, surviving!
It is very embarrassing to be caught off guard with periods, especially as teenagers are more self-conscious, and well, school can be pretty brutal. Hence, parents should talk to their daughters and give them briefing over what periods are, what to expect from their first periods, and of course, they should give them periods kit with sanitary napkins and spare underwear.
Furthermore, there can be some warning signs of periods, albeit not everyone gets the memo. Some telltale symptoms of periods include breakouts, bloating, cramps, digestive issues which can range from constipation to diarrhea etc.
Behavioral and emotional changes also accompany this condition. From bouts of anger to irritability to strong urge to cry, mood is all over the place. Craving for certain foods is also great in the time leading up to periods.
The time after periods can be hard. Some girls experience very severe symptoms whereas others, not so much. Moreover, it is possible that the periods are irregular after the first time.
Hence settling in may take some time. Waiting for periods and being caught unaware can be a little daunting. However, due to hormonal changes in the body, one usually gets some symptoms of PMS. It may be a while, but everyone learns what they are!
The Mid Years
Once you get used to it, periods just become less scary, although not for those who get severe PMS symptoms. Cycle generally is regular by this point, but there are other factors that end up influencing it.
20s and 30s are when most women decide to get pregnant or are sexually active and take steps to ensure that they do not get pregnant. Either of these choices end up impacting their cycle.
After giving birth, periods are contingent on your nursing choices. For women who do not breast feed the baby, their periods come earlier. However, the action of nursing causes hormonal changes in the body due to which women do not get pregnant. Nursing is a very primitive –albeit not very accurate –form of contraceptive!
For women who do not want to get pregnant, contraceptive basically involves two options: hormonal route or physical barrier. The latter, like diaphragm and condom, do not impact periods but hormonal contraceptive pills can. These help to regulate the cycles, make it shorter and lighter. They also have milder PMS symptoms as the hormones do not go haywire.
Birth control pills are hence recommended by doctors for women whose cycle is disturbing them.
Menopause: It’s ending
Menopause is split into phases, perimenopause, menopause and post menopause. Throughout this entire process, body is gradually going off the reproductive cycle. Hormonal changes are happening as the body closes up an important chapter in life.
Women start experiencing these at around mid 40s to mid 50s. Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, mood swings, painful sex due to vaginal dryness, problem sleeping etc.
The time leading up to and during menopause can be extremely hard. Period cycle also changes: it may become longer or shorter. Whereas some have only mild flow, others have extremely heavy flow which causes weakness and fatigue in them. It can also lead to anemia in some cases, so much is the blood loss.
Some women also have bladder issues during menopause; from UTIs to urinary incontinence, the problems are aplenty.
The magnitude of these symptoms varies from person to person. If you think you are having trouble coping, visit the Best Gynecologist in Lahore rather than suffering in vain.