To all of you young girls reading this, whether or not you have seen our previous articles or not, we want you to understand that this journey to puberty is not a straight path. Experiences are different for each individual, which is why we are here to help you manage your expectations by providing information that could better equip you to start taking charge of your own body.
You may have learned about the reproductive system and your menstrual cycle in school. While these concepts may seem too scientific, the idea worth remembering here is that the menstrual process is a universal cycle. It may vary depending on the person, but one thing is for sure, the process keeps on repeating itself so it’s quite important to know how it works.
The menstrual cycle is like an internal compass. It tells us something about our body’s natural patterns. So instead of feeling confused and worried about the sudden physical and emotional changes, the best advice we can give is listen to your body and understand what it is trying to say.
During the first week of your cycle, which starts on Day 1 of your period, you mayfeel tired and and stressed. You may also get cramps because of uterinecontractions. You can manage this experience by getting more energy and thebest way to do that is to exercise. When you exercise, a chemical calledendorphin is released in your system. This chemical reduces the feeling of painand gives you that positive outlook on life.
The second week of your cycle is the part that gets closer to ovulation. The bodyis getting ready for reproduction. Your estrogen level is increasing and so is yourenergy. You may also notice that your skin is glowing. During this time, yourtestosterone level is also up. This is the perfect moment to go out there and takeon the challenges.
Ovulation occurs around the third week of your cycle. The ovary releases an eggand if not fertilized will pass through as menstruation. During this time, suddenhormone changes like the drop in estrogen level and surge of testosterone andprogesterone levels will make you feel emotional and tired. Your skin will alsostart to get oily and pimples will appear. Instead of being overwhelmed by theflow of emotions, you can use this opportunity to reflect and give your body thespecial care it deserves. You can do this by having some rest and focusing onyour personal hygiene.
With your progesterone level reaching its peak on the fourth week of your cycle,you may start feeling bloated and heavy. Now is the best time to eat healthy. Cutdown your sugar intake and stay hydrated. You may also experience moodswings and decrease in energy. This is called PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome.You can conquer this phase by boosting your energy through exercise. This canalso help in reducing soreness of your breast.
Hormones play a key role in puberty so understanding the basic cause and effectof these hormonal changes could provide you with an awareness of how thesubstances in your body affect its overall function.
We hope that by sharing these information, you will feel more empowered andready to conquer your #PeriodFeels by mentally and emotionally preparing youfor your much awaited “visitor”.
“How menstruation works.” TEDEd Original, Emma Bryce,