The periods or menstruation are a part of every woman's life from puberty to menopause. This phenomenon, completely natural, occurs about once a month for 3 to 5 days except in case of pregnancy or specific problems. At the time of her menstrual cycle, a woman must have an irreproachable hygiene of life to avoid the proliferation of bacteria and the appearance of odors or diseases.
All you need to know about periods
Periods are characterized by a flow of blood from the uterus. The amount of blood lost by the woman is not huge and varies between 5 to 25 ml.
Why do women menstruate?
It is not without reason that women have blood loss from a certain age. The onset of menstruation at puberty is a sign that a woman is able to procreate and that her body is capable of supporting a fetus. The age of first menstruation varies from person to person, but the average age is between 12 and 14 years old.
The flow of blood comes from the lining of the uterus and means that the body will begin to renew the uterine wall to start a new hormonal cycle.
The menstrual cycle in four stages
The follicular phase
Estrogens (hormones) are produced in large quantities and cause the uterine lining to become clogged and thickened due to an increase in the number of blood vessels.
An egg is ejected from the ovaries and travels down the fallopian tube towards the uterus. There, the uterine wall, full of blood and nutrients (sugars, proteins...) is ready to receive it. When the egg has reached the uterus, the number of estrogens in the woman's body begins to decrease.
The progestational (or luteal) phase
During this stage, what is called a corpus luteum develops and secretes another hormone, progesterone. This hormone is secreted for the sole purpose of preparing the uterus for the eventual arrival of an egg. This egg will only appear if the egg is fertilized by a sperm cell.
If the egg turns out to be fertilized, the egg will find nutrients needed for its growth in the uterine lining.
The menstrual phase (or menstruation)
If the egg has not been fertilized, the progesterone level decreases and the egg is resorbed until it disappears. Then, the uterine wall will become unclogged and the excess blood and nutrients will be evacuated through the vagina: this is the menstrual period.
This cycle occurs approximately every month; the length of the cycle usually varies between 26 and 34 days. However, for some women, the menstrual cycle is longer or shorter for undefined reasons.
The menstrual cup
The fashion is to Menstrual cupsare in fashion nowadays. No more tampons and panty liners, make way for this new hygienic protection. The cup is a bowl or funnel shaped receptacle that fits into the vagina to collect a woman's menstrual flow without drying out the vagina like tampons do.
The menstrual cup became fashionable in our country only a few years ago. However, its existence goes back further as the first menstrual cup dates back to 1867. Over the years it has been modified and improved to finally arrive at the menstrual cup that we now find in our stores.
The menstrual cup, usually made of silicone, has a size that varies between 40 and 60 millimeters. The maximum wearing time of a cup has not yet been officially defined by the manufacturers, but it is still recommended not to wear it for more than eight hours at a time. Between each use, the cup should be cleaned with boiling water to disinfect it.
The advantages of the cup are multiple:
It’s better for the environment because it can be reused and kept for five to ten years.
It saves money.
It takes up little space and is easy to transport.
It reduces the risk of certain problems such as vaginal dryness, fungus and other infections.
Actions to avoid for a perfect intimate hygiene
To the toilets, do not wipe from back to front to avoid the spread of certain intestinal bacteria.
Do not wear a tampon for more than six hours as this may cause toxic shock.
Go to the bathroom after sex to avoid the risk of a urinary tract infection.
Never wash the inside of the vagina as this removes good germs.
Avoid washing your private parts with a washcloth, and prefer to do it by hand.
Change your underwear every day to avoid the accumulation of bacteria.