You probably started having your period as a preteen. If you were fortunate, you had an older relative or close friend who helped you navigate the ins and outs of period care. If not, you may be like a lot of us-fully grown adults with no clue why our bodies do what they do.
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. We’ll cover some of your most pressing questions about menstruation, like how long your period lasts and why you even need one in the first place. Get ready to feel empowered by your amount of period knowledge!
Why Do We Need Periods?
The most obvious reason you have a period is due to the monthly cycle that allows your body to become pregnant. Every month you don’t get pregnant, your body sheds the unfertilized egg along with the lining of the uterus and blood. However, your period does a lot more for your body than just let you know you aren’t pregnant.
Periods Help You Monitor Your Health
Your period tells a lot about your body aside from being an accurate pregnancy test. For instance, if you begin missing periods, it can indicate an underlying issue with your weight or ovaries. Having periods that are abnormally painful or heavy can indicate potential health risks, too.
Anytime you experience a period that’s out of your own personal “normal” range isn’t cause for alarm, but if you continue to see that your periods have changed, it is best to speak to your gynecologist.
Periods Help You Have Better Intimacy
Did you know that most of us are more aroused when we’re on our periods? The first fourteen days of your cycle, your estrogen levels are lower and testosterone levels are higher, which means your ability to climax is easier and you’ll likely be more relaxed and in the mood.
It’s not textbook for every person, and you may not want to be intimate while you’re on your period. The good news is that you have a window of about fourteen days (days 1-14 of your cycle) to experience these hormonal fluctuations.
Periods Help You Exercise Better
When your estrogen levels are lower, you’re more likely to crush a workout than when they spike. Keeping a journal of how you feel during your cycle can help you determine when to plan a grueling workout and when to stick to a walk or light stretching.
Many people feel that the first day of their period is when they feel the strongest. Since hitting the gym helps you release endorphins, ease cramps, and help you feel better, it’s a great idea to make sure you’re exercising at the beginning of your cycle.
How Long Does a Period Last?
Even though our periods are a sign our bodies are healthy, sometimes...we just want to know when they’re going to be over.
The average person will have a period that lasts somewhere between five to eight days. Your period may be shorter or longer, depending on your own personal cycle. The best way to determine how long your period will last is by keeping a journal of your start and stop dates.
After three months of consecutive periods, you can take an average of the length of your periods to get a better idea of what you can expect each month.
Your period consists of four phases:
Menstruation Phase. This is the first phase of your period and is marked by the first day you start your period. This phase ends on the last day of your period. This phase generally lasts between five to eight days.
Follicular Phase. This phase sometimes overlaps with your menstruation phase, but generally occurs between days 8-14 on a 28 day cycle. During this phase, your body is preparing to release an egg.
Ovulation Phase. This phase is really made up of one single day; the actual day you ovulate. Since there’s no exact way to know what day you ovulate, a good guess is that it happens between days 15-21 on a 28 day cycle.
- Luteal Phase. During days 22-28, you experience the final phase of your monthly cycle. This phase is when you’ll likely experience premenstrual symptoms like cramps, mood changes, shifts in energy, and emotion.
Not every person’s body operates on a 28 day cycle. The only way to know how many days are in your own cycle is to track the day you start and stop your period for several months. The days in between the last day of your period for one month and the first day of your period for the following month are the days in your complete cycle.
Is This Normal?
Of all the questions we hear about periods, the most common is “is this normal?” Whether you're questioning the level of your flow or the fluctuation in your feelings, you just want to know that what your body is doing is healthy.
Period flow is different for every person and it changes each day of your cycle. This is why period care products are available in so many different sizes and absorbencies. Even if you feel like your period flow is incredibly heavy, it’s likely still within normal range.
If you find that you bleed through more than one super tampon per hour, or if you need more than one pad to help control your flow, speak to your gynecologist to make sure this is your normal range.
It’s no secret; your hormones dip and dive during your cycle. Your mood is going to fluctuate right along with them. You may experience days of overwhelming happiness and joy, followed shortly by feelings of sadness.
It’s also common to experience irritability, sensitivity, and excitement. The good news is, most of the time these moods come and go relatively quickly and are all part of a normal monthly cycle.
Yesterday you felt like you could run the world but today you’re having trouble running to the store to buy tampons. We feel you. Energy levels rise and fall during your cycle, and the higher your level of estrogen, the less energy you’ll have.
Your estrogen levels rise just before your period, which is why a lack of energy is often a sign your period is coming. The first few days of your period, your estrogen level dips, which means you may feel more energetic.
Not everyone experiences cramps before and/or during their period, but most menstruating people experience them at least from time to time. Cramps can be mild to severe, and last for a few hours to a few days.
Generally speaking, cramps are normal, even when they bring a lot of discomfort. If you’re experiencing cramps that cause you to miss work or school, there may be a deeper issue. See your gynecologist to make sure what you’re feeling is normal for your body.
Are these breakouts really normal? They can be. Hormonal acne is a real condition characterized by breakouts that occur just before or during your period, and around ovulation. When your levels of testosterone drop, your skin becomes drier, which can signal your sebaceous glands to produce more oil.
Excess oil can mix with dirt, makeup, and dead skin cells, causing clogged pores that lead to breakouts. Most of the time, these breakouts will go away on their own (if you keep your fingers away from them).
Period Care That Works
Your period is important, but not every part of it is easy. Thankfully, Rael provides holistic products that can make period care your favorite part of self care.
From day one to day seven, we’ve got the products that help keep you comfortable and protected, with no chemical ingredients that could interfere with your hormones or irritate your body. From organic cotton pads and tampons to the period panties (the latest period care innovation), you never have to worry about an embarrassing situation again.
We can’t give you a warm hug, but we can give you a heating patch, which is kind of the same thing. Our heating patches are designed to fit inside the front of your panties and gently warm to a comfortable temperature that helps alleviate cramps.
No matter what your monthly cycle brings to the surface of your skin, Rael’s all-natural acne skin treatments can help you handle it. From pimple patches to sheet masks, we have everything you need to make sure your skin stays clear and clarified all month long.
Your period helps you stay healthy. It’s an amazing way your body tells you that everything is balanced. To help battle period symptoms that make you feel less than amazing, trust Rael for holistic products that give you relief.
Getting to Know the Four Phases of Your Menstrual Cycle | Open Access Government
Menstrual Cycle: What's Normal, What's Not | Mayo Clinic
Core Symptoms That Discriminate Premenstrual Syndrome | NCBI