What is menstruation.
Menstruation is when the egg cell and the uterus lining are expelled together with some blood. This takes place during the fourth period of the menstrual cycle.
The internal reproductive organs
From the moment we are born there are thousands of egg cells in the ovaries. The ovary is where they are stored. Once the menstruation starts during puberty an egg cell is released once every four weeks. The ovary has the same size and shape as a tonsil.
The fallopian tube is a funnel-shaped organ that is connected to the ovary. When the ovary releases an egg cell, the egg cell will travel along the fallopian tube towards the uterus.
The uterus is a triangular shaped organ. The wall of the uterus is strong and muscular. The uterus lining contains glands and blood vessels. In the uterus, the fotus will grow when a woman is pregnant.
4. The egg cell
The egg cell is what travels through the fallopian tubes to the uterus to be fertilized by the sperm cells.
The cervix connects the uterus to the vagina. During the menstrual cycle, the cervix is closed except during the menstrual period. During the period, the cervix opens to allow the uterus lining and the egg cell to be expelled.
This is a tube that connects the cervix to the vulva.
What happens to your body
First period: When you have almost finished your period an egg cell will mature in one of the ovaries. Next month the other ovary will produce the mature egg cell.
Second period: During this period hormones are released and sent to the uterus. The uterus lining swells up. After approximately two weeks ovulation takes place.
Third period: During the four days after ovulation the egg travels from the ovary to the uterus to settle in the uterus lining. The egg is ready to be fertilized. This can only happen if sperm is in the fallopian tubes after ovulation.
Fourth period: If the egg isn't fertilized, the body will send a hormone signal to the brain. This will release the hormones needed to expelled the uterus lining together with some blood. This process is what is known as the menstrual period.
Sanitary napkins (pads) are a soft, absorbent bandage. It is made of layers
of cotton wool and plastic to retain the fluids. The back of the napkin has
an adhesive strip to keep it in place. The sanitary napkins are used during
the menstrual period. There are many different types of sanitary napkins available
at the chemist or supermarket.
During your period the sanitary napkin should be changed every few hours. The used napkin can be discarded in a small plastic bag and then in the bin. Public toilets usually have special bins to discard the napkins.
A tampon is a small roll of pressed cotton wool. This is covered by a thin layer absorbent material. The tampon is inserted with the index finger and when in place it will absorb the blood. The tampon has to be changed every few hours. By pulling the string the tampon is easily removed. An advantage is that you don't feel the tampon and it is more hygienic then a sanitary napkin. You can flush the tampon through the toilet.
Tampons are available in many sizes at the chemist or supermarket.
A panty liner is a small thin sanitary napkin that can be used at different moments during the menstrual cycle, when you think that your period may be starting or during heavy bleeding as extra protection with a tampon. It is also used when someone has discharge during the cycle.