AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CYCLE, the pituitary gland releases follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which promotes the maturation of the ovarian follicles. The maturation of ovarian follicles then increases the production of oestradiol (female hormone), which thickens the lining of the uterus.
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CYCLE, the amount of luteinising hormone is suddenly increased in the body, and this triggers ovulation. At ovulation, the ovarian follicle tears and releases an egg.
AT THE END OF THE CYCLE, the luteinising hormone continues to affect the body. Now, its task is to support the operation of the corpus luteum, which has replaced the ovarian follicle, and stimulate the production of progesterone. Progesterone then thickens the lining of the uterus and prepares it for a possible pregnancy.
If the egg has not been fertilised at ovulation, the corpus luteum breaks down and the thickened endometrium (lining of the uterus) is shed as menstrual flow at the beginning of the next menstrual cycle.
The normal length of the menstrual cycles is approximately 23–35 days, and the cycle lasts from the first day of the period to the beginning of the next period. It is common that the length of the menstrual cycle varies, and the cycles can be very irregular particularly during the first years of menstruation. It is not at all uncommon for young girls that their cycle lasts for over 40 days or even a few months.
Usually, menstruation begins between the ages of 10 and 16 and ends between the ages of 43 and 57. On average, the first period occurs between the ages of 12 and 13 and the last period occurs at the age of 51. The points in time when menstruation begins and ends are affected by genetics, personal medical history, and lifestyle.
Periods usually last for 2–8 days, but the average duration is 5 days. The flow often starts and ends with spotting, and the first two days are usually the heaviest flow days. During the period, the total amount of menstrual flow varies between 20 and 80 millilitres (0.2–0.8 dl), and, particularly in the case of heavier flow, small blood clots are completely normal.
Almost all women suffer from menstrual pain from time to time, but approximately 5–15% of women suffer from strong menstrual pain. The pain may begin already in connection with the first period or increase over the years due to various reasons.
Usually, menstrual pain occurs during the first flow days. The pain manifests itself as lower abdominal cramps that may also radiate to the back and thighs. Vomiting, diarrhoea, flatulence, dizziness, and headache may also occur in connection with menstrual pain. Despite its unpleasantness, normal menstrual pain is harmless.
A good way to treat the pain is to take pain medication, such as ibuprofen, as soon as the first symptoms of menstruation appear. Take the medicine regularly, e.g., three times a day. Also remember to check the package of the medicine to ensure that the medicine is suitable for you and that you are not allergic to any of its ingredients. If the pain medication does not help, consult your gynaecologist.
You should also be able to live a normal life when you are having your period. Most menstrual products do not, however, support this, as the disposable pads and tampons must be changed often and are not completely reliable in all situations. The menstrual cup is a secure feminine hygiene product that is comfortable to use, and it allows you to live your life to the fullest every day of the month.
By keeping a record of your period, you can learn how your body functions in each phase of the menstrual cycle. Moreover, you can also learn to predict the beginning of the next period more accurately.
A menstrual cup especially for young women or those with a light menstrual flow. The capacity of the red Nomai S is 23 ml.
A menstrual cup especially for a normal menstrual flow. The capacity of the colourless Nomai M is 32 ml.
A menstrual cup especially for a heavy menstrual flow. The capacity of the black Nomai L is 41 ml.