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The Menstrual Cycle

The Menstrual Cycle

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The Menstrual Cycle

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  1. The Menstrual Cycle Megan Cuneo

  2. Definition • Menstruation is the sloughing off of uterine lining that takes place if conception has not occurred (Crooks, p. 95)

  3. When does it start? • Average age in the United States: around 12 years • Initial Onset is referred to as the Menarche • Onset can vary due to heredity, general health, and altitude • Average onset in 1900: 14 years • Average onset in 1950: 12.5 years

  4. If conception does not occur during the menstrual cycle, the uterine lining is discharged out of the cervix Some menstrual flows may contain small clots, which isn’t unusual Volume of menstrual flow varies with each woman/girl Menstrual flow consists of blood, mucus, and endometrial tissue 6-8 ounces of tissue=Norm 35mL of blood=Norm Basic Information on the Menstrual Cycle

  5. 28 day Cycle • Every woman is different, but the average lasting cycle is 28 days. • The start of the menstrual cycle begins with the first appearance of blood and tissue flow

  6. Symptoms Symptoms of the menstrual cycle can occur before, after, or during the period itself Symptoms include: >Cramps >Headache >Nausea >Fatigue >Diarrhea >Bloating >Breast swelling >Pain

  7. Increase exercise habits Avoid the use of tampons (TSS) Get a massage Avoid caffeine (coffee, soda, etc.) Try different breathing exercises (breathing deeply) Have an orgasm Eat fresh vegetables and whole grains Ways to alleviate symptoms

  8. Menstrual Synchrony Simultaneous menstrual cycles that sometimes occur among women who live in close proximity

  9. Problems in the Menstrual Cycle • Amenorrhea: The absence of menstruation >Primary: failure to menstruate at puberty >Secondary: The disruption of an established menstrual cycle (Often occurs during pregnancy) >Amenorrhea highly common in the athlete population, due to: • decreased estrogen levels (9%) • Total body fat drops to 11%

  10. Problems cont. • Dysmenorrhea: Pain or discomfort during menstruation >Usually occurs during the start of one’s period >Primary Dysmenorrhea: Occurs during menstruation and is caused by the overproduction of prostaglandins (chemicals that cause the muscles to contract) >Secondary Dysmenorrhea: Occurs before or during menstruation; severe cramping in the lower abdomen >Ways to alleiviate symptoms of Dysmenorrhea include the use of Ibuprofens and having an orgasm

  11. Problems cont. • Never-ending periods: A lengthy and heavy period may be a cause of: < benign uterine tumors, and although may not be harmful, need to be checked out by a doctor <continued use of the mini pill (depo provera, norplant) <IUD users

  12. Toxic Shock Syndrome • TSS is a disease that occurs most commonly in menstruating women and that can cause a person to go into shock. • Most likely the result of the use of extra absorbent tampons or leaving in a tampon for too long (too long being all day or all night) • Symptoms include: fever, sore throat, dizziness, a sunburn like rash, and vomiting

  13. Toxic Shock Syndrome •

  14. Missed Periods/Late Periods • Missed Periods and Late periods may be a sign of pregnancy, but doesn’t necessarily mean that a woman is pregnant. • To find out more, go to following website

  15. According to Our Sexuality, there have been many studies done on sex during menstruation Intercourse during menstruation is often avoided Reasons for avoiding sexual intercourse: pain, tenderness, cramping, shame, embarrassment the sexual drive will vary from woman to woman “When I’m on my period, I leave my tampon inside and push the string in too. My husband and I have manual and oral stimulation and have a great time!” (Crooks, p.99) Sex during your period?

  16. Were all different • The Menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman, and everyone is different. • Women can consult their doctors or physicians about any concerns they have regarding their menstrual cycle

  17. Works Cited Crooks, Robert, Bauer, Karla. (2005) Our Sexuality Thomsom Learning Inc. (2003) The Menstrual cycle: What really happens in those 28 days? Feminist Women’s Health Center. Retrieved November 2006 from (2006) Pads and Tampons. Kids Health. Retrieved December 2006 from (2005) Period Problems. Epigee Women’s Health Retrieved November 2006 from