Menarche the first menstrual period marks the beginning of womanhood. Sometimes ovulation does not occur until several years after menarche but this should not be considered adequate protection for sexually active adolescents. Some young women view menarche as a positive experience some find it upsetting, and still others find it somewhere in between.
There is no absolute age for a girl to start menstruating. The cycle usually starts between ages 10 and 15. In North America improved nutritional status and general good health lowered the average age of menarche to about 12 1/2 years. Some girls may feel self-conscious about menstruating later or even sooner than their friends. It is important to emphasize to them that each person is unique and that each matures and develops at her own rate.
The menstrual period is part of the menstrual cycle. Most periods occur about every 28 days and a normal period can last anywhere from 2 to 7 days.
Ovulation occurs about mid-cycle. The egg can only be fertilized before it reaches or while it’s in the fallopian tube. Conception cannot occur once the egg has left the tube. Ovulation is hard to predict and therefore cannot easily be used as a birth control technique.
It is also noteworthy that menstrual cycles can be anovulatory for the first few years after menarche.
is usually associated with contractions of the uterus as it expels the menstrual fluid.