How does my body work : Periods

Men keep on producing sperms for the better part of their life. Women, on the other hand, are born with all the eggs that they will ever have during their lifetime. At the time of birth, the number of eggs is almost 2 million. However, with age, these start to disintegrate and at the age of 10 to 14, when the body is ripe for the onset of menstruation this number will have decreased to 300,000.

During every period cycle, at least one egg gets matured and is hence released out of the ovary. It is passed down through the Fallopian tubes and then onto the uterus where it will likely get fertilized by a sperm in the case of an intercourse. If the egg gets fertilized, it will develop into a blastocyst and attach itself to the uterus where it will gradually grow into a fetus. If not fertilized, it gets flushed out of the body along with uterus walls and menstrual blood. It has been roughly estimated that an average woman releases almost 400 eggs through their menstruation process in her lifetime.

The menstrual cycle

Different women have different menstrual cycles. Although the average length is 28 days, some experience shorter cycles of 22 days while for others, it can go upto 36 days. There is no common standard that is regarded as normal as the period cycle varies with every woman and even may not remain the same from one cycle to the next for the same woman. This phase is characterized by two phases. The first phase is known as the luteal phase leading up to ovulation. During this phase, the eggs get mature and released for fertilization. The second phase, where the body starts to prepare for the discharging of disintegrated, unfertilized egg. However, if there is fertilization, the body will instead start preparing itself for pregnancy.

Abnormal periods

In between menstrual cycles, women also tend to experience milky white discharges. This is due to the hormonal imbalance during different stages of the menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle also gets irregular as women approach menopause. The cycle, as counted from the first day of the period to the last day before the next, either gets shortened by just two or three weeks or gets lengthened to many months. Young women should however not experience such cases. In the case of abnormal period cycles, it is best to immediately visit the doctor as it could be indicative of more serious ailments in the body. It is also advisable to see a doctor if the menstruation is very heavy and continues for several days each tie, there is vaginal bleeding after every sex or the menstruation suddenly stops.


For unwanted pregnancies, women can resort to birth control pills, barrier contraception, Norplant implants or vaginal rigs. It is again more advisable to consult a doctor before opting for any one of them. These methods work either by forming physical barriers to keep the sperm from entering the vagina or by controlling the levels of different hormones in the body.

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