Hey ladies, guess what? Your period is pretty fascinating. You’ve lived with it every month for years, but there are some amazing facts about menstruation you probably had no idea about.
For example, did you know your period blood contains stem cells that can be used to regenerate heart and brain tissue? Or that menstruating women give off a scent that can change the behavior of other women? Wild, right?
Get ready to learn some mind-blowing truths about your period that will give you a whole new appreciation for this uniquely feminine experience.
Worth Knowing Menstruation Facts
Your monthly visitor may sometimes feel like a hassle, but your period is actually an indicator of an intricate and powerful process happening within your body. There’s a lot more to understand about your menstrual cycle beyond just cramps, bloating, and mood swings.
Grab your cup of coffee and dive into another world of periods!
Menstruation Fact #1: Menstruation Helps Maintain the Thickness of the Uterine Lining
Have you ever wondered why your period comes like clockwork each month? Turns out, menstruation serves an important purpose. Here are a few amazing facts about your monthly cycle you never knew:
Menstruation Helps Maintain the Thickness of the Uterine Lining
Each month, the lining of your uterus thickens in preparation for a potential pregnancy. If pregnancy doesn’t happen, your period comes and the uterine lining is shed, allowing a fresh lining to develop. This cyclical thickening and shedding – known as the menstrual cycle – keeps the uterine lining at an optimal thickness.
Periods Promote Vaginal Health
Your monthly flow contains fluids, mucus, and cells from the vagina and cervix, helping to flush out bacteria and maintain a healthy pH balance. This natural cleanse promotes good vaginal health and helps prevent infection.
Menstrual Blood is Not ‘Impure’
Many cultures view menstruation as unclean, but menstrual blood is simply the unused remains of the uterine lining. It contains the same components as normal blood, including red blood cells, plasma, and endometrial tissue. Menstrual blood is in no way dirty or impure.
Who knew your monthly visitor could be so fascinating? Understanding how menstruation works and why it’s important for your health can help overcome stigma and allow you to better appreciate this natural biological process.
Menstruation Fact #2: Menstruation Has an Evolutionary Advantage
Believe it or not, having your period each month isn’t just an annoying biological function – it actually served an important purpose in our evolution. Scientists theorize that menstruation evolved as a way for the female body to flush out the uterus if conception didn’t occur.
- By shedding the uterine lining, the body is able to conserve energy and resources that would otherwise be spent maintaining the lining. This helped our ancestors survive times when food was scarce
- Menstruation also helps ensure only the fittest sperm is able to fertilize an egg. The flush of blood and fluids makes the uterus an “unfriendly” environment, so only the strongest sperm survive the journey to the fallopian tubes. This natural selection helped produce offspring with the best chance of survival
While menstruation may seem like more of an inconvenience today, for our distant ancestors it provided some key benefits. Of course, thanks to modern medicine, we now have ways to manage, lighten, and even eliminate our periods if we choose. But it’s still fascinating to understand the evolutionary reasons why this biological process developed in the first place.
The next time you’re dealing with cramps and wishing your period away, remember that menstruation had an important purpose that helped ensure the survival of our species. Our monthly cycle is a small glimpse into the biological mechanisms that made human evolution possible. Pretty amazing what our bodies are capable of, isn’t it?
Menstruation Fact #3: Menstrual Pain Is Caused by Prostaglandins
Have you ever wondered what exactly causes those pesky cramps during your period?
The culprit is prostaglandins, hormone-like substances produced by your uterus. When the lining breaks down during your period, prostaglandins trigger your uterus to contract. These contractions, meant to help shed the uterine lining, also squeeze nearby blood vessels, cutting off oxygen to the uterus. This lack of oxygen is what leads to pain and discomfort.
Prostaglandins are useful for triggering menstruation, but they often overstay their welcome. Their levels remain elevated for the first couple of days of your period, causing cramping to continue.
While prostaglandins are a necessary part of the menstrual process, keeping them in check can go a long way toward relieving discomfort and making your period more bearable. The good news is there are many natural remedies and medical options for quieting their effects and easing pain. Don’t suffer in silence—talk to your doctor to explore the solutions that are right for you.
Menstruation Fact #4: Menstrual Cramps Can Be Reduced by Exercise
Move your body, and ease the pain! Exercise is a natural way to relieve menstrual cramps. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins that act as natural painkillers and improve your mood. Even light activities like walking, yoga, or swimming can help.
Walking: Go for a 30-minute walk. Walking improves circulation, releases endorphins, and helps relax your muscles.
Yoga: Gentle yoga poses, especially hip openers, help relieve cramps. Try cat/cow poses, seated twists, or bridge poses.
Swimming: Swimming or water aerobics provide relief from cramps. The water supports your body and encourages circulation.
An added bonus is that regular exercise can help make your periods more regular and may even reduce PMS symptoms over time.
Menstruation Fact #5: Menstruation Helps Maintain Iron Levels
During your period, you lose blood and along with it, iron! This may seem like a bad thing, but menstruation actually helps ensure your iron levels stay in check. Iron is an important mineral for producing new red blood cells, but too much of it can be harmful.
Menstruation acts as a natural bloodletting to prevent your body from accumulating excess iron, especially in women of reproductive age. The average woman loses around 2 to 3 tablespoons of blood during each menstrual cycle, amounting to the loss of 15 to 60 milligrams of iron. This blood loss helps bring your iron levels back to normal if they become too high.
- Without menstruation, women could develop a condition called hemochromatosis which causes too much iron to build up in the body
- Excess iron in the blood can damage organs like the liver, heart, and pancreas if left untreated
- Menstruation provides a mechanism for the body to clear itself of extra iron that may accumulate from a diet high in iron-rich foods or iron supplements
Some signs of high iron levels include fatigue, joint pain, and abdominal pain. If you experience these symptoms, talk to your doctor about testing your iron levels. They may recommend blood donation, medication, or other treatments to help lower excess iron and prevent complications.
NOTE: While menstruation reduces iron levels, it’s still important for menstruating women to consume adequate amounts of iron-rich foods or take supplements to make up for blood loss and prevent anemia or low iron. The recommended daily intake of iron for most women of childbearing age is 18 milligrams. Meat, poultry, seafood, beans, dark leafy greens, and fortified cereals are all excellent sources of dietary iron.
All in all, menstruation plays an important role in maintaining a healthy iron balance and preventing the harmful effects of excess iron accumulation in the body. Losing blood during your period might not seem ideal, but your body has an amazing way of keeping everything in balance. Understanding how menstruation benefits your health can help you better appreciate this natural bodily process.
Now you know some pretty remarkable facts about your period that you probably never heard about before. Who knew menstruation could be so fascinating? The human body truly is an incredible thing.
So, embrace your inner badass menstruating self, be proud of all the cool things your body can do, and keep learning new things—there’s a whole world of menstrual mysteries left to uncover!