What is menstruation? Understanding Periods Made Simple | Sushmita’s Diaries

Understanding Periods Made Simple

Big man, strong man not making country strong….

Woman strong, mother strong, sister strong then country strong

Do you recall this famous dialogue from Hindi movie PADMAN? This dialogue is so hard hitting and apt that, when our very own lovely Sushmita asked to contribute some content for women health and hygiene, I could not find a better way to introduce the topic.

Menstruation is an inseparable part of every woman’s life. It signifies her power to give birth.


Period or menstruation, also known as menses, is the shedding of the womb’s lining. The inner lining or endometrial tissue is shed from the womb and is released through vagina.This release is seen in form of blood.

Shedding of Womb – Picture Credit proprofs.com

Every woman has ovaries that contain a number of eggs. Every month during the reproductive years, an egg is released.  Hormones are released by the pituitary gland in the brain to stimulate the reproductive cycle.

These hormones cause some of the eggs, stored in the follicles of her ovaries to grow and mature. The follicles start producing a hormone called Estrogen. The increased estrogen causes the womb lining to become thicker in preparation for receiving a fertilized egg.

Also, every month with the formation of new eggs, the womb prepares a new lining incase the egg should become fertilized. If the egg does not fertilize, Estrogen and progesterone levels drop and the womb lining
(endometrium) won’t be needed, so together with the egg, it breaks down and sheds in the form of blood. This marks the onset of Period or Menstruation.

The period discharge consists of blood and endometrial. The bleeding is caused by the breaking of fine blood vessels within the womb as the lining detaches itself. Menses are a part of normal sexual health for women during their reproductive years.

If a woman had sex within a few days of the eggs being released, the eggs become fertilized due to the sperms being active in her fallopian tube for a few hours.

On the egg being fertilized, the womb needs the lining for the Embryo to develop on and, thus, it will not be shed. This is why the period stops when pregnancy begins.

However, it is important to note that pregnancy is possible with unprotected sex at any time during the menstrual cycle.


The beginning of periods is known as Menarche. It starts when all the parts that make up a girl’s reproductive system are mature and working together.

Reproductive Phases in Woman’s  – Picture Credit  blogs.allizhealth.com

A girl usually gets her periods between the age of 12 to 14 years. It is a milestone in her life and one of the several physical signs that she is blossoming to become a woman.

Read my blog : How to prepare your pre-teen daughter for her first periods.

Menstrual Cycle
Menstrual Cycle  – Picture Credit fightyourinfertility.com

Around 6 months before getting her first period, she may detect a more clear vaginal discharge. Unless this discharge has a strong odor or causes itchiness, it is normal and nothing to worry about.

The periods occur regularly each month and last for 5-7 days in a month. Periods occur regularly after a gap of 28 days until the woman reaches her menopause. This is known as the Menstrual Cycle.

Some women experience heavier than normal discharge, known as Menorrhagia. Menorrhagia should be evaluated by doctors, as it can lead to Anaemia due to the loss of more blood.


  • Abdominal bloating
  • Acne
  • Headache including migraine and backache
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Lack of concentration
  • Breast  tenderness or swelling
  • Body ache and fatigue


Keep following essentials with you to be period ready always :

Menstruation is not a dirty word or process. It signifies the power of the womb, we all owe our lives to!

Period Talk: Watch My Video To Prepare Your Daughter For Her Periods

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