It’s a constant reminder of your body’s awesome baby-making skills, but it also comes with its share of weirdness and confusion. Haven’t you ever wondered why your period sometimes makes your poop a bit odd, or why period blood smells? We’ve all had questions about Aunt Flo that are just too embarrassing to talk about. So we save you from that awkwardness and answer every question you’ve ever had about your period. Prepare to get to know your monthly friend-foe like never before!
1. How Much Blood Do I Really Lose?
On those super unpleasant days where your menstrual flow is at its peak, you’ve probably wondered how you’re still alive when your body is leaking THAT much blood. Admit it, you have! Well, in actuality, the average woman loses about 8 to 14 teaspoons in total during those few days. It seems like so much more, I know! It could vary from person to person since some girls experience much heavier/ lighter periods than others. But don’t worry about losing blood, your body makes up for it!
It’s super common to have to go more frequently during that time of the month or even get constipated. You can blame your freaky bathroom habits to prostaglandins - hormone-like substances that increase in your system when you get your period. They cause your uterine muscles to contract, causing those hellish cramps. This contracting effect of prostaglandins can also influence your bowels. An excess of them will make you go more frequently and can even cause diarrhea, while fewer prostaglandins can make you constipated. Wow, our body is a wonderland and all that, but it sure is complicated!
2. Why Does It Make My Poop Weird?
Also read: “WHY Is This Happening?!” 9 Period Problems Every Girl Faces!
3. Why Does It Make Me So, Umm...Horny?!
There are some women whose libido decreases during their period while there are others whose go into overdrive. If you can’t get keep your hands off your man during this time it’s because of, you guessed it – hormones! Estradiol, the primary female sex hormone, and progesterone peak at the beginning of menstruation. Plus, when you’re on your period, oestrogen decreases while testosterone levels, which are closely linked to your sex drive, start rising. Now you know why period sex can be so good!
4. Does Sex Really Help Cramps?
Yes!! Orgasms produce oxytocin, one of those happy hormones that are also natural pain relievers. Isn’t that a much better option than popping a pill? It’s also commonly called the “cuddling hormone” because it helps you feel more connected to your partner and elicits those lovey-dovey feelings. Now, that can definitely help us during that time of the month!
5. Why Does Period Blood Smell A Little?
Sometimes our period can have a bit of an odour and sometimes it doesn’t smell at all. Period blood can also be mixed with vaginal mucus, bacteria and tissue, which can intensify the smell. Plus, blood has an odour of its own. Depending on how long the blood has been in the uterus before being expelled can also influence the intensity of the smell. Don’t worry, it’s all normal and the chances are that no one can smell it except for you. Just change remember to change your pad/ tampon every few hours and wash yourself down there in the shower with water only.
6. How Do I Calculate When My Period Is Due?
It’s actually pretty simple. Just keep in mind that the first day of your period is Day 1 of your menstrual cycle and the last day is the day before your next period. Your cycle can last anywhere between 28 to 30 days give or take a couple days. So typically by day 28, you should prepare yourself for the crimson tide to come to town. Keep track of the pattern over a few months to know how long your cycle lasts to be more accurate about when to expect it. Also keep in mind that ovulation (the time of peak fertility) occurs around day 14 or bang in the middle of your cycle.
Also read: 8 Ways To Make Sure Your Period Comes On Time… Every Time!
Vaginal discharge is completely normal and can be due to the rise and fall of hormones during ovulation. White discharge that is odourless is healthy and normal. Yellow or green discharge that can be accompanied with a smell and itchiness can be a sign of a yeast infection more commonly and even an STD in extreme cases.
7. Is Discharge Before My Period Normal?
Realistically, TSS is pretty rare, but it is still a real concern as it can be fatal. Always, always change your pads and tampons at least twice or thrice a day. If you’re using a tampon, you cannot leave it in for hours and hours and forget about it - always change it just before sleeping and when you wake up in the morning. As long as you’re proactive about regular changes, you don’t need to worry.
GIFs: Tumblr, Giphy
8. Do I Really Need To Worry About Toxic Shock Syndrome?
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Published on Aug 17, 2016