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Why do Women Have Periods?

Why do Women Have Periods

Menstruation, often shrouded in secrecy and taboo, is a natural process unique to women. As we delve into the intricacies of this bodily function, we will discover the remarkable intricacies of the female reproductive system and gain a deeper understanding of the essential role menstruation plays in a woman's life. Join us as we embark on this captivating exploration, breaking down the barriers of silence to shed light on the captivating world of menstruation and its significance for women everywhere. Get ready to be amazed!

Why Does a Period Happen?

When it comes to understanding why a period happens, let's think of it as a special event that takes place in a woman's body every month. You see, a woman's body is incredible and has the ability to create new life. To prepare for the possibility of pregnancy, the body builds a cozy place called the uterus, where a baby can grow.

If pregnancy doesn't happen, the body has a clever plan. It needs to get rid of the special lining it created in the uterus, which was meant to support a growing baby. This is where the period comes in!

During a period, the body says, "Alright, no baby this time, let's start fresh!" So, it gently removes that special lining from the uterus and lets it pass through a tiny opening called the cervix and out of the body.

The body knows that this process needs to happen regularly to keep everything in balance. So, approximately once a month, the uterus gets ready with a new lining, just in case a baby is on the way. And if pregnancy doesn't occur, the body repeats the process with another period.

So, you can think of a period as a regular cleaning session for the uterus. It's the body's way of making sure everything is fresh and ready for the possibility of creating new life in the future.

What’s the Average Age to get your First Period?

The average age for a girl to get her first period, also known as menarche, is typically around 12 to 14 years old. However, it's important to remember that every girl is unique and may experience their first period at slightly different ages. Some girls may start as early as 9 or 10, while others may begin later, around 15 or 16. It's all part of the natural process of development, and it's essential to embrace this milestone as a normal part of growing up.

How Long is a Typical Menstrual Cycle?

A typical menstrual cycle, which is the time between the first day of one period to the first day of the next, usually lasts around 28 to 32 days. However, it's important to note that menstrual cycles can vary from person to person. Some individuals may have shorter cycles that last around 21 days, while others may have longer cycles that span up to 35 days. In addition to the length of the menstrual cycle, the duration of periods can vary as well. On average, a period typically lasts for about 3 to 7 days.

What Happens to your Body on your Period?

Shedding of the uterine lining: 

The inner lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, breaks down and sheds. This results in the release of blood and tissue through the vagina.

Hormonal changes: 

Hormone levels fluctuate during your menstrual cycle. As your period begins, the levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease, which triggers the shedding of the uterine lining.

Menstrual bleeding: 

The shedding of the uterine lining leads to menstrual bleeding. This blood contains the tissues from the uterus and is discharged from the body.

Cramps and discomfort: 

Some women experience cramps or discomfort during their period. These can range from mild to severe and are caused by the contractions of the uterus as it expels the lining.

Hormonal and mood shifts: 

Hormonal changes during your period can also affect your mood and emotions. Some women may experience mood swings, irritability, or fatigue.

Changes in cervical mucus: 

Throughout your menstrual cycle, the consistency and amount of cervical mucus can vary. During your period, cervical mucus is usually thicker and less abundant.


While not directly related to your period, ovulation typically occurs around the middle of your menstrual cycle. During ovulation, an egg is released from the ovary, preparing for the possibility of fertilization.

Do Periods Ever End?

Yes, periods do eventually come to an end. The natural cessation of menstrual cycles is known as menopause. Menopause typically occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55, but it can vary from person to person. During menopause, the ovaries gradually produce fewer hormones, leading to the cessation of menstrual periods. This marks the end of a woman's reproductive years.

Take Away

Unveiling the captivating secret of women's periods, we discovered that they are nature's preparation for potential pregnancy and a refreshing cleanse for the uterus. From the age of onset to the variations in cycle length, each woman dances to her own unique rhythm. Let's embrace this natural cycle, break taboos, and celebrate the incredible power of the female body.


Q: How many days is a normal period supposed to last?

A: A normal period typically lasts for about 3 to 7 days.

Q: Why is menstruation important for a female?

A: Menstruation is important because it is a sign of a healthy reproductive system in females. It prepares the uterus for potential pregnancy and allows for the shedding of the uterine lining if pregnancy doesn't occur.

Q: Is it unhealthy to not get your period?

A: It depends on the individual circumstances. If a woman is not getting her period and is not pregnant, it could indicate an underlying health issue and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.


Why Do Women Have Periods?, By Scott Frothingham, on February 4, 2021

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