Normal Monthly Periods
The first day of the monthly periods is the first day of menstruation, where female steroid hormones like estrogen and progesterone are low.
- A normal monthly period for adolescents is characterized by time of 21-38 days between menstrual bleeding and a period of menstrual bleeding lasting 2-7 days, with an expected blood loss of around 20-80 ml.
- First menses typically occurs within 2 to 3 years after breast development.
- In girls with early start of breast development, the interval to first menses is longer (3 years or more) than in girls with later start. It is found that by 15 years of age, 98% of females will have had first menses.
- The normal monthly periods in young females includes:
- First menses (average age): 12.43 years
- Average cycle interval: 32.2 days in first reproductive year
- Monthly periods interval: Typically 21–45 days
- Menstrual flow duration: 7 days
- Menstrual product use: 3–6 pads per day
- According to WHO, the average length of the first cycle after menarche is 34 days, with 38% of cycle lengths exceeding 40 days.
Abnormal Monthly Periods
A number of medical conditions can cause irregular or missed menses in some young females.
- Irregular menses may be linked with many conditions, including pregnancy, hormone disorders and acquired medical conditions, because all of these conditions are related with improper secretion of female sex hormones.
- Commonly, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) causes a long time intervals between menstrual periods, especially in patients with signs of hormone disorder in women of reproductive age.
Types of Abnormal Menses
- Amenorrhea: Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation - one or more missed menstrual periods.
- Oligomenorrhea: Oligomenorrhea is a condition in which you have infrequent menstrual periods.
- Polymenorrhea: Polymenorrhea is a term used to describe a menstrual cycle that is shorter than 21 days.
- Dysmenorrhea: Dysmenorrhea, also known as painful periods or menstrual cramps, is pain during menstruation.