Your menstrual cycle is the time between the first day of your period through to the first day of your next period. Your period is the part of your menstrual cycle when you bleed; it is also called menstruation or menses.
When you first get your period it is a sign that your body is mature enough to have children. It may be irregular at first but then, in most women, it will happen once a month and last for between three and seven days.
All women get periods but the age you are when you get your first period (called menarche) and when the last one stops (called menopause) varies. Your first period can arrive at any time between the ages of nine and fifteen. Before your period starts you are likely to have had other signs of puberty. Your breasts may have started to develop and you may have started to get underarm hair and pubic hair (around your vulva and vagina). Most women are in their late forties or early fifties when they have their last period.
Your period marks the beginning of your menstrual cycle, which is the time between one period and the next. Every month there is a complex interaction between the pituitary gland in the brain, the ovaries and the uterus, preparing your body for pregnancy.Learn more
Most women will have no problems with their periods. Others may worry that their periods are not ‘normal’. When your periods begin it can be hard to decide what is normal and what's not.Learn more
It is common for women to experience physical changes as well as changes in their mood a week or so before their period starts each month.Learn more
Bleeding after menopause
Menopause is the time after your periods have stopped for the last time. As your final periods can be irregular, menopause is defined as the 12 months after your last period. Bleeding or spotting after this point is called postmenopausal bleeding (PMB).Learn more
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