The monthly menstrual cycle, affectionately coined Aunt Flo, moon time, and other interesting little names is something that affects most women between the ages of 15 to 45 years of age. There are five different points you should consider when it comes to this fascinating biological process.

Cramps Happen, Stay Calm

Many women may experience abdominal cramps a few days before, and sometimes during the 3 to 7 days that they are menstruating. Cramps are simply a signal that your uterus is preparing to shed the lining inside since there isn’t a fertilized egg to nurture. Be kind to yourself and enjoy drinking tea, take a relaxing warm bath with a book, or take some over the counter pain medication and use a hot water bottle. Feeling debilitating pain is not normal, and might be a signal to consult your physician, as it might be endometriosis.

How Exactly Does This Work

The menstrual cycle typically lasts 28 days and is measured from the first day of a period, until the first day of a next period. This period time is kept in check by the rising and falling levels of the hormone estrogen. In the first part of your cycle, the estrogen levels begin to rise, signaling for the uterus to thicken its lining, in preparation for the release of an egg from the ovaries. Ovulation, or the release of the egg to make its way to the uterus, usually occurs after 14 days. If an egg is not fertilized, the lining of the uterus is shed, and the menstrual flow commences.

You Can Miss Your Period

The condition of not having a period is called amenorrhea. This is the term used to describe a young woman aged 15 years of age who has not had a period, or a woman that misses her period after 90 days. A missed period can occur upon pregnancy, stress, extreme weight loss, or a severe undiagnosed medical condition.

How To Handle The Flow

Today’s modern woman has a few products on the market to deal with their monthly menstrual cycle. There is a choice between tampons, sanitary napkins, and reusable rubber cups, such as The Keeper or Moon Cups that collect the flow. Most sanitary napkins are disposable, but there are more eco-friendly sanitary napkins made of cotton that can be washed and reused.

Benefits Of Your Monthly Cycle

The regular menstrual cycle allows a woman many benefits. It makes it easier for natural birth control methods, with regards to monitoring ovulation for conception. Sometimes women experiencing a cold or congestion, find that symptoms lessen with the onset of their period. The menstrual cycle is a natural experience that can motivate a woman to get in touch with her body, spend time pampering herself and recognizing the ups and downs of her hormones and ever changing body.