Women's Health Dulwich

What is normal menstruation?


The act of menstruation takes place as a result of a complex interaction between hormones called FSH and LH which are secreted by a small gland in the brain called the Pituitary Gland. At the start of the menstrual cycle, FSH stimulates one of the follicles in the ovaries to mature by day 14 of the cycle. The maturing follicle in turn produces another hormone called Oestrogen, which makes the lining of the womb thicker in preparation of receiving the fertilized egg.


Following ovulation another hormone called Progesterone is secreted from the remainder of the follicle after ovulation, which is then known as the Corpus Luteum. The Corpus Luteum also acts on the lining of the womb and makes it full of nutritional value for when implantation occurs, until the embryo is able to support itself. Now the uterus is ready to receive the fertilized egg, on about day 23rd day of the cycle. If pregnancy occurs the lining will persist and become and integral part of the pregnancy until the birth. However, most of the time pregnancy does not occur and as a result the ovary stops producing Oestrogen and Progestrone. The reduction in the level of these hormones causes the lining of the uterus to be shed, which is what causes menstruation. The cycle then starts again.


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Here are some key characteristics of normal menstruation:


·      Frequency: A typical menstrual cycle occurs approximately every 21 to 35 days, with most women having cycles around 28 days. However, variations of a few days in either direction can still be considered normal.


·      Duration: Menstrual bleeding typically lasts from 2 to 7 days, with the average being around 5 days. Again, variations in duration can be normal for different individuals.


·      Flow: The amount of blood lost during menstruation varies from person to person but is generally around 30 to 80 millilitres (about 2 to 6 tablespoons) over the course of the entire period.


·      Symptoms: Mild discomfort such as cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, mood swings, and fatigue may accompany menstruation, but severe pain or symptoms that significantly interfere with daily life may indicate an underlying issue that should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.


·      Consistency: Menstrual blood is typically bright to dark red in color and may contain small clots. It should not have a foul odor. Regularity: While variations in cycle length can be normal, consistently irregular periods or sudden changes in menstrual patterns should be discussed with a healthcare provider.



It's important to note that every individual's menstrual cycle can vary, and what is considered normal for one person may not be normal for another. However, any significant deviation from one's usual pattern, particularly if accompanied by other symptoms such as severe pain or heavy bleeding, should be discussed with a healthcare provider to rule out any underlying health concerns.




Best Private Gynaecologists in London

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