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Categorized | Periods

Vaginal Bleeding


Vaginal Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding, more commonly known as a “period,” is a normal monthly process for women of childbearing age. The onset of a period can frighten young girls if their mother, another female guardian, or a special person in their life does not adequately prepare them beforehand. Vaginal bleeding typically comes after the onset of puberty around the age of 11, although some develop a year or so before and up to ten years later.

Vaginal bleeding is the result of the woman’s egg not being fertilized, symbolic of the beginning of one cycle and the end of the previous cycle. If the egg, which is released by an ovary, is not fertilized, then the corpus leuteum starts to weaken and eventually it dies. The corpus leuteum is a collection of blood vessels inside the uterus that will become the placenta during pregnancy if the egg is fertilized. Once the corpus leuteum has completely disintegrated, vaginal bleeding normally begins.

The Menstrual Cycle—The Follicular Phase

In order to better understand vaginal bleeding, or menstruation, it is best to start at the beginning of the menstrual cycle and explain things a bit further. The beginning of the cycle begins on the first day of a woman’s period, often referred to as “CD 1,” or “cycle day 1”. Vaginal bleeding typically lasts 4 to 7 days, however this is not an exact number for every woman but rather an approximation based on the average number of days that a woman has her monthly cycle.

After the vaginal bleeding has stopped, the body starts preparing for ovulation, and this is the halfway point in the menstrual cycle. Ovulation occurs when eggs inside the ovaries reach maturity and are released into the fallopian tubes. The egg that is released is typically the largest egg in the ovary at a given time, and the smaller ones are not released until they have reached their full size and maturity. The phase leading up to ovulation is known as the follicular phase, but can also be called the proliferative phase.

Premenstrual Phase

The next phase is called the luteal phase, or the premenstrual phase. The luteal phase is typically 14 days. Women can actually tell when their next period is going to start if they know exactly what day they ovulated by simply adding 14 days to the date of ovulation. During the luteal phase, the corpus leuteum develops and prepares for the implantation of a fertilized egg and the resulting pregnancy. However, if this does not happen, the menstrual cycle begins all over again.


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