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The 11 most popular questions about menstruation

Natalia Vodianova

A gynecologist and a psychologist-sexologist explained why the menstrual cycle is irregular why so hungry before the onset of these days, why the chest is greatly increased causing so much stomach pain, and answered other common questions about menstruation.

Until recently, menstruation was a taboo subject. What are the results of the survey, according to which only 68 percent of Russian women are ready to discuss the monthly with a friend, 66% mom and only 31 percent of the respondents touched on this topic in communicating with your partner. Moreover, almost half of our compatriots admitted that they hesitate even to utter the term “menstruation”, replacing it with other (more socially acceptable) expressions.

In the West, this subject has long ceased to be taboo. Lena Dunham is not blushing says three million fans in Instagram about her first menstruation, and Jennifer Lawrence is ready during the interview to spend hours discussing “crimson rivers”. Spouse Prince Harry Meghan Markle also contributed last year she wrote an article for Time magazine, which told about “the stigmatization of critical days” in Africa, India, Iran and other Eastern countries.

Another step — coverage in the media. Recently in the UK for the first time showed a “fair” advertising strips. British brand Bodyform has replaced the blue liquid in their advertising on the red, simulating blood. And Lola even released special sets for first menstruation with manual and toiletries.

In our country things are different. One of the first for an open conversation about menstruation made Natalia Vodianova (Yes, we are talking about the same photo strip). The model proposed not to ignore such an important topic that directly affects the lives and health of women every month. Recently she became part of the team of FLO apps for smartphones — the women’s calendar to record the days of menstruation.

Despite the fact that the answer to literally any question about “red days of the calendar” can be found on the Internet, often the information online is inaccurate. We have collected the most popular questions about menstruation and went to the doctor-the gynecologist from “Clinic German medical technology GMTClinic” Marina Averyanova and psychologist-sexologist Ekaterina Fedorova with a request to respond to each of them.

Why cycle slips and not always regular?

Do not think that the cycle must be 28 days. In any case, from 21 to 35 days is the norm. The menstrual cycle in a year is possible, but not more than two times. If you constantly fail cycle delay, it is a chance to go to the doctor, you need to find the cause. Perhaps influenced by external factors: stress, change of climate, taking certain medicines, exercise.

It is safe to sleep with a tampon during menstruation?

Some experts do not recommend to put a tampon on the night, explaining that it is better to use no more than four hours in a row and regularly change to avoid the risk of inflammation. Others believe that the gasket may be crumpled or twisted, which will lead to its displacement, but tampons give greater freedom of movement while you sleep.

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There is a misconception that tampons contribute to the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria. During menstruation change slightly the pH of the vaginal environment, but this physiological process does not depend on the use of tampons. Disease and bacteria develop due to improper or insufficient hygiene! If the time to change hygiene products, use them in accordance with the amount of discharge, the health risks are minimal and the day and night. Tampons do not harm the flora of the vagina. Moreover, many manufacturers produce special tampons with high absorbency.

At the same time, the use of tampons is associated with a rare and dangerous disease called toxic shock syndrome (TSS). The disease accompanied by high fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, lowered blood pressure, headache and mental confusion, redness of the skin resembling a sunburn, and sometimes can lead to death. By itself, the tampon does not cause TSS: for its occurrence in humans in the body must already contain certain bacteria. Pathogens TSS (which, incidentally, is not only for women) — bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus group A. the First of them — the ubiquitous bacterium that inhabits the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract and the skin. Streptococcus rare and extremely dangerous microbe. The higher absorptive properties of the tampon, the more favorable environment for bacteria, which love moisture and heat. And although in itself the factor of absorption is not a sufficient condition for the development of TSS, large tampons can damage the vaginal wall, and the bacteria will gain access to the bloodstream.

Why food habits often change during the premenstrual period and after the menses?

For this it is necessary to “thank” hormones. In the second phase of the cycle in a woman’s body is dominated by progesterone. He most often affects eating behavior, therefore, possible not only mood swings, and overeating. With the advent of menstruation progesterone than estradiol, and is not in itself is not desirable.

Why so hungry before the onset of menstruation?

This is due to a change in the hormonal background of women. Progesterone can also stimulate the production of other hormones, such as ghrelin, the so-called hunger hormone. Everything is very individual — not all women experience increased appetite.

Why on some days the blood is bright and the others dark?

Menstruation is the rejection of the functional layer of the endometrium. It happens gradually, not overnight, and so the elements of the uterine lining change color. At the beginning of menstruation blood can be bright red because it is the most fresh. At the fourth and fifth day, the blood becomes darker, because it was longer in the body and can oxidize. If an increase in the number of days with bright or dark discharge, you should consult a gynecologist, as it could be a symptom of the disease.

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How should last month?

Duration of menstruation may be from three to seven days, with age, the menstrual reaction is changing.

Is there any rule for the amount of discharge?

If we talk about the volume of menstrual blood loss is between 50-80 ml per cycle on average. You should alert a very strong menstrual flow, and also the state when they are frankly not enough, as it is a good reason to visit the gynecologist. Also pay attention to present in the secretions of clots, their unpleasant smell, possible change of colour to pink or brownish.

Why are there cramps in the abdomen and it hurt so much?

Unpleasant cramps you feel during menstruation is uterine contractions. These are called hormone-like chemical compounds called prostaglandins. By subtracting, the uterus gets rid of the already unnecessary mucous membrane. Also reacts to hormonal the intestines, which causes discomfort. According to statistics, only about 25 percent of girls and adult women do not experience during the critical days of discomfort. For the rest painful menstruation is a usual (though not very good) part of life. Doctors have even invented a special term for this state — “algomenorrhea”. Often menstrual pain and bother young girls and nulliparous women.

Why the chest volume increases so much?

As explained by the expert, in the premenstrual period, under the influence of progesterone the fluid retained in the body and in the mammary gland including. Stroma of the gland swells and there is the possibility mastodynia — painful breast engorgement.

Why today many women starts menstruating at a younger age than before?

Many diseases younger, modern the body of a teenager is changing. Often menarche (first menstruation) begins in girls in the same age as my mom, but under the influence of medications used during pregnancy, ECO, environmental factors, lifestyle, hormonal teenagers, the system can change.

Is it possible to have sex during menstruation?

In fact, menstruation is subject to all rules of hygiene and contraception is not a hindrance sexual life. On the contrary. During the critical days the blood flow to the genitals increases, the vagina becomes more sensitive, and the woman may experience an incredibly powerful in its strength orgasm. The positive aspects also include: reduction in the duration of menstruation, analgesic effect, a sense of calm and peace.

What kind of questions on this topic bother you?

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