Thursday, 17 November 2011

Managing Your Periods

AppId is over the quota
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One of the biggest changes that occur in a girl during puberty is menstruation or getting periods. Periods usually start between the age of 9 to 13 years. Every girl has a different experience with her periods. For some, the flow lasts for 3 days, while for others it can last for 7 days. Typically periods appear every 28 days, though most doctors consider anywhere from 21 to 35 days as a normal cycle. Regular periods are one of the important indicators of a woman's general and reproductive health.

Given that women have periods for nearly 30 to 40 years of their lives, how do they manage? Periods are associated with a certain degree of discomfort and inconvenience. In earlier days, women would not step out of the house during periods, because of superstition and lack of proper sanitary protection. Today most women carry on with their regular routine, thanks to the various forms of sanitary protection available. These include sanitary pads, tampons and menstrual cups.

Sanitary protection ensures proper hygiene and less risk of infection. To stay comfortable during periods, women should change their pad or tampon regularly. This keeps away any odor and also avoids embarrassing incidents of leakages and staining. Women with active lifestyles and sportswomen generally prefer more robust forms of protection like tampons and menstrual cups, both of which are worn internally.

Apart from taking care of the flow, women also need to deal with mild to extreme discomfort and pain during this time. Stomach cramps, feeling bloated, leg pain, headaches, backaches, acne and fatigue are common menstrual problems. Doctors advice women to stay well hydrated, avoid caffeine based drinks and sugar, and indulge in some form of mild exercise. For painful cramps, external remedies like hot water bottles and heated packs are often used. However, if the pain is extreme or the flow is too heavy, immediate medical consultation is required.

Despite the irritation, it is better than women get their periods every month! Irregular periods mean that there is something wrong with the reproductive system/health of the woman. Drastic changes in body weight, extreme dieting and exercise, stress, illnesses and eating disorders, all affect the regularity of periods. And need medical attention.

Irregular periods can result in Amenorrhea, defined as the absence of menstrual periods. This condition is usually associated with extreme exercise, hormonal imbalance and poor dietary habits. This is also a symptom of eating disorders like anorexia.

The opposite of Amenorrhea is excessive bleeding and prolonged periods. This could be caused by imbalance in the two female hormones estrogen and progesterone, both of which affect the uterus lining. It can also be due to inflammation or infection in the cervix, fibroids or endometriosis.

Dysmenorrhea which is painful and severe periods is another common menstrual problem. It mostly affects teenagers and can interfere with the ability to go about normal activities.

In all of the above cases, it is better to seek professional advice, so as detect serious conditions if any and treat them immediately.

Numerous articles has been written by author Perry Bryan. The article here about periods, menstrual blood stem cells is also one of the best article written by him.

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