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What is Menstruation?
Menstruation is a natural process that starts towards the end of puberty in girls and continues throughout a woman’s fertility years until they reach menopause It is the shedding of lining of the uterus in the form of blood through vagina roughly once a month. During the process blood and tissues leave the body through the vagina.
To an adolescent girl, menarche (onset of menstruation) is more than just a physiological process. It is a symbol of sexual maturity i.e. becoming a woman. Though menarche means that the adolescent girl has developed the biological capacity to give birth to a baby, but it does not indicate that she has the physical, emotional or mental maturity required to be a responsible mother.
How does menstruation occur?
In the early phase of the cycle, a hormone (FSH) is released. It acts on the ovaries. The female eggs are formed in the two ovaries. But under the effect of this hormone, only one follicle matures and also releases estradiol (another hormone) and this acts on the uterus. This leads to the growth and thickening of the inner membrane of the uterus (the endometrium) and it gets ready for any fertilized egg. In the meantime the mature follicle ruptures, and releases the ovum (egg). This process is called ovulation. After the release of egg, if it does not get fertilized then it is shed away along with the uterine lining through vagina – this is menstruation. Women ovulate and menstruate over a regular cycle. However, it is not uncommon for ovulation to be irregular in the beginning and this also makes menstruation irregular.
For more clear understanding on how reproduction works watch this video by HealthiNation.
For more information on Ovulation and The Menstrual Cycle watch this video.
Here is a video by High School students on Health Education about menstrual cycle.