When girls enter puberty, several physical and emotional changes start taking place. After the end of this developmental process, menstrual cycle starts, which is the body’s preparation for pregnancy. Menstruation or a period mostly begins at the age of 12, but it can vary between 8 to 16 years. During every monthly period, tissue and blood are discharged from the vagina, which lasts for three to five days.
Menstrual cycle is controlled by the hormones and is counted from the first day of the period to the next start of period. The cycle takes approximately 28 days. Every month, a matured egg from the ovaries will be released, which travels through the fallopian tube. The lining in the uterus starts thickening and awaits fertilization. If the uterus does not receive a fertilized egg, it begins to shed, causing menstrual flow.
Menstruation is accompanied by many symptoms apart from bleeding. Most women experience cramps, a few days before the onset of their period. Other symptoms such as backache, decreased energy levels, acne, sore breasts and fatigue may occur. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a condition which occurs one or two weeks ahead of menstrual period. During this time, women may experience mood swings, aggression, stress and increased emotional sensitivity. However, some of these symptoms can be relieved with the help of moderate exercises.