From being taught in school to witnessing it on a close friend or relative to experiencing it firsthand – you might think you already know everything about the menstrual cycle. But knowing the basics and having a glimpse of the strangeness of this circumstance is not all there is to know.
Like a female’s mood swings during this time, there are various interesting facts about the menstrual cycle. Here are some facts that might help you understand your cycle better and even help you the next time you face this regular struggle.
Pregnancy is possible during menstruation
It is common to think that getting pregnant once you bleed is impossible because you are several days away from your ovulation. However, you should note that sperm cells can live up to five to six days after ejaculation. Once it enters your uterus at the end of your period, if you have a relatively short cycle and you ovulate soon after your period, there is a chance that the sperm can get fertilized.
Another thing is the possibility of bleeding during ovulation, which you might mistake as menstruation. When this happens, it is still the time when you are most fertile, so there is a higher chance of getting pregnant. To prevent unplanned pregnancy, you should track your menstrual cycle by using a free period tracker.
Worse period during cold weather
When the weather starts getting cold, you might notice a difference in your menstrual cycle regarding the flow, duration, and pain levels. It is because the blood vessels tend to compress when it is cold, leading to interference in the blood flow and increased pain.
As the days are shorter, you might have lesser exposure to sunlight, which causes a lack of enough Vitamin D that can affect hormonal imbalance. Due to this, periods can get more painful. Sunlight also aids dopamine production, so a lack of enough sunshine can cause lower dopamine levels. It might lead to less motivation and poor mood.
Nightlight can regulate the cycle
Sleeping with a nightlight on during the last two weeks of your cycle can help with your body’s secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin. This hormone controls the release of the reproductive hormones that regulate the start and end of your cycle. Light exposure helps adjust your cycle to become more regular. However, you should only sleep at your preferred time since it might make your periods irregular.
Water can slow down your flow
Have you noticed that when you swim, you don’t produce a red wave in the pool? That is because being in the water prevents the blood from going out of your vagina due to the pressure it poses on your body. This pressure is called buoyancy, an upward force that causes the blood flow to slow down.
Since it only slows down your flow, you cannot guarantee that some blood will not leak out. To prevent such circumstances, you can use a tampon or menstrual cup.
Different voice and smell
Your voice might sound a bit off during your period. As there are sex hormone receptors in your vocal folds, fluctuations in hormone levels can lead to a difference in your voice production. The same hormones can also cause a distinction in your natural smell, which is a subtle difference but can also lead to changes in body odor because of excessive sweating during this time. If you’re experiencing these changes and wondering how to treat menopause body odor, there are strategies and remedies you can explore to address this issue effectively.
Starting age changed throughout the years
In the last century, the starting age of the menstrual cycle starts at an average of 16 years old, but now, it is already down to 10 to 15 years old. It can be the effect of environmental changes such as lifestyle and stress. Early onset of period is also attributed to lack of physical activity and higher BMI, both common in today’s generation.
Less loss of blood than you think
Continuously bleeding for around a week can get you thinking that you might have lost a bucket of blood or more, especially if you have a heavy flow. But the truth is, you only lose around 1 to 3 tablespoons of blood, spread out within a week, for the whole duration of your menstruation. Despite the feeling of losing so much blood, you only just lose a small amount.
But if you notice that you are producing more than the normal range, you might need to see a medical professional, as too much blood loss can cause anemia.
You bleed for 7 to 10 years
If you count the number of days from when you start your period up until your last one – if ever you are in or after your menopausal stage, you will find out that you have spent around 7 to 10 years of your life bleeding. It is because the average amount of menstrual cycles can be as little as 150 to as many as 450 cycles for the whole lifetime.
Several factors can affect your number of cycles, such as pregnancy, health conditions, lifestyle, and other physical and environmental influences.
The menstrual cycle is almost like a lifelong companion to most women. Knowing your body’s responses during this period and the unusual facts you might not have learned through experience is essential. These might seem like just some interesting facts, but these might help you know what is expected and what you can do to understand your cycle better.