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What is menstruation?

Menstruation is a flow of blood that happens every 23 to 35 days once puberty starts.

Why do we menstruate?

At puberty, your body gets ready to make babies and you start releasing an ovum (egg) every month. The endometrium, a cellular tissue that covers the inside wall of your uterus, fills with blood to receive the ovum. If the ovum isn’t fertilized, the endometrium breaks down and blood flows out of your vagina. You’re menstruating – you’ve got your period.

What happens if I get pregnant?

If you have unprotected sex, your ovum can be fertilized. When that happens, it attaches to the endometrium, which feeds it and helps it develop and become a baby. You’re pregnant, and your periods stop.

When do we menstruate?

Menstruation starts sometime between age 9 and age 18. It happens every month and lasts for about 3 to 7 days. It may be lighter or heavier depending on the person. At around age 40 or 50, you stop menstruating permanently: that’s menopause.

What does menstrual blood look like?

At the start of your period, the blood may be brownish. Then it varies from bright red to dark red. The blood may contain stickier lumps; those are called clots and they’re normal.

Will it change my life?

In the old days, people thought that women had to avoid doing certain activities when they had their period. Wrong! You can do all your usual sports and other activities when you wear a tampon, sanitary napkin, or menstrual cup.

If you have severe pain during your period or very heavy periods that make it hard for you to do stuff, see a counsellor or health care professional. There are a various solutions to help you.