By Dr. Nanda Kumar, Gynaecology
An average woman spends around a total of 3,500 days or 10 years of their lives on their period. During that time, the amount of blood loss varies from person to person. But periods are not all about bleeding out. There are many other things that happen when a woman’s body is menstruating. Here are some interesting, lesser-known facts related to periods.
Change in age
Usually most girls start having their periods from the age of 12. But in the 1800s most girls got their period at a much more advanced age. In 1860 it was found that the average age for a girl to start her cycle was as high as 16.6 years. In 1901 it was seen that the age had dropped to 14 years. The primary reason behind this is nutrition. Since girls today have a different diet from those during the 1800s, the average age has dropped. Apart from nutrition the increase in stress level also plays a role.
Period and pregnancy
It is a common misconception that having sex while someone is menstruating nullifies all chances of pregnancy. Sperms can stay alive in uterus after migration for 3-4 days. By the time ovulation begins again the sperms might be still alive. This could easily lead to an unplanned pregnancy.
Apart from the risk of pregnancy, the symptoms exhibited before periods can mimic pregnancy. The mood swings, cramps and nausea are seen as signs of pregnancy but they could very well be signs that you are about to have your period again.
Change in temperament
During one’s period, the estrogen levels in the body drop. This results in small but varied changes. There are changes in the voice and behavior of women during their periods due to the drop in the estrogen levels in the body.