‘At her first bleeding, a woman meets her power. During her bleeding years, she practices it. At menopause, she practices it.’ Lucy H. Pearce, Moon Time: Harness the Ever Changing Energy of Your Menstrual Cycle.
The woman’s body was fearfully and wonderfully created by God. Many processes take place in a woman’s body, one of them being menstruation. This is a process where a woman bleeds regularly, mostly monthly after reaching puberty at the age of 12 to 16 years.
The female menstrual cycle is divided into three phases. Phase one starts during the first day of menstrual bleeding. This phase goes for three to five days. Here, the woman experiences few days of infertility and can hardly conceive. She is infertile though this time of infertility varies depending on the woman’s menstrual cycle.
During the second phase, an egg (ovum) is released from the ovary through the fallopian tube to the uterus. This is called ovulation. If a woman is very normal and healthy, this phase lasts for about 8-12 days. Here, fertility levels are very high and a woman can easily conceive. Those trying to conceive often keep track on their cycle to rightly predict on their ovulation day.
The third phase is post-ovulation period. This phase is characterized by infertility. A woman can hardly conceive.
During the second phase, estrogen levels rises which leads to different changes in the woman’s body. A lining in the uterus (endometrium) develops so that incase pregnancy occurs, the conceived baby will have a lining to attach itself to. When no pregnancy occurs, estrogen levels lowers and the thick uterine wall sheds off and comes out in form of thick clots and blood. This is what is called menstrual bleeding.
This is a very exciting topic which brings women closer to themselves and to others as they try to navigate their bodies and understand what happens to them. It also strengthens the bonds between couples if they are vulnerable enough to understand what happens with their bodies together. Understanding the phases enables them to know when they can be pregnant and when they cannot.
1. Know About Menarche
It is very interesting that most of us do not know what this is. When did you get your first period? Can you remember how old you were? I remember I was thirteen years old when I had my first period. I was in grade seven and I felt heavenly because I could see my peers have their periods but mine wasn’t coming. I was concerned and it made me anticipate for my periods each day. Finally, it did come at that age (13).
This first menstrual bleeding is the one I am calling MENARCHE. It is the first menstrual bleeding in a woman’s menstruation timeline (fertility period). Menarche occurs between the age of 12 years to the age of 16 years in a normal and healthy woman’s body. This is not always the case. We have rare cases where some girls have their periods as early as eight (8) years.
It is a sign of fertility and that you have reached your puberty and can procreate; that is you can now get pregnant.
I remember the lessons my mum gave me when my first period came and the main one was to stay away from men. ‘’Take care of yourself, you can now get pregnant.’’ She told me. I didn’t want to be a mum at a tender age, so I had to head to my mom’s instructions and advice.
2. Menarche is Influenced by Several Factors
It is exciting and blessed to reach puberty at a normal age without any problems. However, menarche is affected by factors like the biology or composition of your body, the environment you are in, your nutrition, geographical location and your genes. These factors will determine when your menstrual cycle will start and how. So, it is good to take care of our young girls especially on nutrition factor. Uncontrollable factors like the genes and biological composition can be clinically intervened. So, you don’t have to worry.
3. What Happens Before Menarche?
Menarche is not an instant occurrence. It is a process that takes long before happening. These processes are as a result of coordination between your brain and your reproductive health. Physiological and anatomic processes in your body coordinate so that you can reach your puberty.
Fats must be formed to sufficient levels in your body. 17% fats are the healthy levels required for your reproductive health to develop well at puberty. This helps in accumulation of body mass. As a result, you increase in body size and weight, body parts starts enlarging; for example your breasts, your pelvis widens and your ass too.
Two to three years before your first menstrual bleeding, your reproductive parts start to strengthen. The growth of uterus occurs in this period. It is stimulated by a hormone called estrogen. This hormone also leads to the growth of uterus lining (endometrium).
All 50 Tips available here: 50 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR MENSTRAL CYCLE The Period book Jane Muthoni
About the Author
I am Jane Muthoni, a Kenyan and a woman. I underwent training on natural family planning and I found the topic on female physiology very interesting. It helped me understand my body as a woman, and more importantly about menstruation cycle. I swore to do more research and gain an understanding on this important occurrence in our bodies as women. I am therefore sharing out these ideas as I learnt them to you all to help us appreciate God’s creation.
I am currently on facebook as Jane Muthoni and on instagram as janecathy30. Link up with me and I will be happy to be your buddy. I hope you will be happy too.
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