Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
1. Question: Where does the menstrual blood come from during my menstrual period? Answer: The blood is the lining of your uterus that was growing to hold a baby, in case this had been the month for you to be a mother. Because it was not the time, the lining is shed in what we call menstruation. Strictly speaking it is not blood, but tissue that is full of blood.
2.Question: What is the white, pasty or clear, slippery stuff that I see sometimes about two weeks before I have my menstrual period? Answer: It is fertile type mucus , and is made by your cervix, which is the opening of the uterus. It means that some ova (tiny eggs) are ripening in your ovaries.
3. Question: Where is my vagina? What does it have to do with my menstrual period? Answer: The opening to your vagina can be found between the urethra (pee hole) and the anus (poop hole). It leads up to the cervix, the opening of the uterus. Each month the uterus empties the lining of the uterus, which is full of blood. This bloody flow is what we call our menstrual period. It flows from the uterus, through the cervix, and then through the vagina to the outside of our bodies.
4. Questions: Where is my uterus? Where are my ovaries? What do they have to do with my menstrual period? Answer: Place your hands flat on your abdomen with your thumbs touching and over your navel, (belly button) fingers pointing down. Your index fingers will be over your uterus. Your little fingers will be over your ovaries. Each cycle a tiny egg, called an ovum, is released from one of the thousands of follicles in your ovaries. The follicle is just a ring of cells with an ovum inside. But when it is empty it continues to make hormones to maintain the lining of your uterus. It lives about two weeks. When it dies, there is nothing left to maintain the lining of your uterus, which is shed with your menstrual period.
5. Question: How big is an ovum? Answer: An ovum really little. There are 200,000 of them in each ovary. It can, however, be seen (barely) without a microscope.
6. Question: My breasts are growing. Do I have to wear a bra? Answer: The problem with bras, or any restrictive clothing for that matter, is that they block the circulation of the lymph system.Â If you wear a bra, take it off after wearing it a few hours and look in the mirror. If your bra, camisole, or any other clothing has left a line on your body, it is blocking off the circulation of your lymph system. Remember, your health is more important than the way society thinks you should look. Throughout history women have worn clothing that is detrimental to their health. We would never return to the corset or the binding of feet. In my opinion, it is time for the bra to become history, as well.
7. Question: My breasts are tiny. Can I wear a bra that makes them bigger? Answer: Your breasts are perfect the way they are.Â Also, please read the answer to FAQ 6.
8. Question: Since becoming a teenager I get my feelings hurt sometimes around my menstrual period. Why is that? Answer: Both estrogen and progesterone (female hormones) are low during menstruation. This causes us to feel sensitive and inward. Menstruation is a traditional time for women to take rest, be inward, and nourish our intuition. Because we live in a society that does not honor the menstruation, we find ourselves having to be active and outward, which increases our sensitivity.
9. Question: Now that I am a teenager I feel self-confident and outward sometimes during my menstrual cycle and at other times like being alone. Why? Answer: Estrogen is dominant in our bodies during the fertile mucus time of the menstrual cycle. Estrogen causes us to feel confident, creative, active, and interested in romance! After ovulation, but before menstruation, progesterone is dominant in our bodies. Progesterone causes us to feel somewhat deflated compared to the estrogen time. We may feel like being alone, and quiet.
10. Question: What is a menstrual calendar? What does it have to do with my menstrual period? Answer: When we mark the days of menstruation and fertile type mucus on our calendar, we call it a menstrual calendar. Charting these events allows us to know in advance when we are going to begin our next menstrual period, and why we feel different at different times in our menstrual cycle.
11. Question: I have been getting pimples. What can I do about them? Answer: Try checking the pH of the products you use to clean your face. You can get pH paper at drug stores or pet stores. Whatever you use to wash should be pH 5.5, about the same as the pH of your skin. If the pH is higher than 5.5, it will wash off the skin?s protective coating, which is made of oil and sweat. The skin may then go wild producing more oil in an effort to replace the protective layer that was lost. The extra oil clogs the pores and causes more pimples!
12. Question: Why do I feel so tired now that I have my menstrual cycle? Answer: Of course it is possible that you are losing iron in your menstrual period. Try eating green leafy vegetables or drinking nettle tea for iron. However, studies show that teenagers need 9.5 hours of sleep a night! It is thought that young people need more sleep because the hormones that are necessary for growth and maturity are released primarily during sleep. Most young people, however, get about 7.4 hours of sleep a night. This is not enough for a teenager to feel rested and well.
13. Question: Can I use tampons during my menstrual period? Answer: Tampons absorb our menstrual flow before it leaves the vagina. Of course this is convenient for sports, etc. However, the vagina is always cleansing itself and destroying bacteria. The tampon is not a part of this natural cleansing process. As soon as the tampon is inserted, it begins to grow bacteria. Bacteria, like all living things, eat, digest, and excrete waste. The waste products from the bacteria are absorbed by the vagina. There have been cases of women becoming very very ill from the waste products of the bacteria growing on a tampon. Tampons also, according to many schools of natural healing, cause abdominal cramping during a woman?s menstrual period. This is because the natural flow of energy during menstruation is down, out, of our bodies. Tampons are thought to interrupt this natural downward flow, which causes cramping. Some women have even begun to call tampons, crampons!! In addition, many tampons contain chemicals that are harmful to our health. So, if you feel you must use a tampon, buy the organic cotton variety, remove it in less than two hours, and never sleep with it. Most of the time, use pads and enjoy the natural downward flow of your menstruation.
14. Question: Will I have my menstrual period every month for the rest of my life? Answer: Our periods stop when we reach 50 or 55 years of age. This is called menopause. And, if you become a mother someday, you will not have your menstrual period while you are pregnant.
15. Question: What is the little twinge of pain that I feel in my lower abdomen about two weeks before I get my menstrual period? Answer: It could be ovulation. Most women are able to notice when the ovum is released from the follicle.
16. Question: Why do I feel more interested in boys when I have the fertile type mucus of my menstrual cycle? Do all women feel this way or only teenagers? Answer: All women in their reproductive years have these feelings. This is one of the effects of the hormone estrogen, which is higher during the fertile mucus time, when the ova are maturing and are about to be released. Estrogen is getting us ready to have a baby, whether or not we want to have one! Keeping a menstrual calendar helps us understand our feelings and allows us to choose what we really want to do, rather than letting our hormones push us in ways we really do not want to go.
17. Question: How do teenagers get pregnant? Answer: Teenagers get pregnant the same way older women get pregnant. A male penis, which is firm and erect during sexual activity, must pass into the woman?s vagina, or at least make contact outside the vagina. Sperm, which are the male reproductive cells, have tiny tales that allow them to swim through the vagina in the woman?s fertile type mucus. From the vagina they can swim into the uterus and up into the fallopian tube, where they may meet and penetrate an ovum. This is called fertilization. The fertilized ovum travels slowly along the fallopian tube to the uterus. It burrows into the soft spongy lining of the uterus, called the endometrium. This is called implantation and is the beginning of pregnancy.
18. Question: How big are sperm? Answer: Sperm so tiny that they can only be seen with a microscope. Seminal fluid is the fluid made in the man?s prostate gland. It mixes with sperm and is then called semen.
19. What is an erection? Answer: An erection refers to the man?s penis when it is firm and erect, as it is during sexual activity.
20. Question: What is ejaculation? Answer: Ejaculation refers to the semen (seminal fluid and sperm together), forced out the head of the penis by the contractions of the prostate gland.
21.Question: How does a woman know she is pregnant? Answer: Most women know they are pregnant because they do not have their menstrual period when they expect it. The lining of the uterus is not shed with menstruation because it is needed to hold and protect a baby.
22. How is a baby born? Answer: When ready to be born, a baby is actually pushed out of the uterus, through the vagina, and out into the world, by the contractions of the mother?s uterus.
23. Question: How does the baby fit through a hole so small as the vagina? Answer: The vagina has folds and stretches to allow the baby to pass through. Also the bones in the baby?s head are soft and able to compress, making the passage easier.
24. Question: How do the mother?s breasts make milk for the baby? Answer: Each of a woman?s breasts contain fifteen to twenty milk glands, which connect to openings in the nipple. In the breasts of nursing mothers, the milk is produced by the milk glands and held in reservoirs behind the nipple. The baby?s suckling causes the milk to ?let down? toward the nipple.
25. Question: Do all women have babies? Answer: Motherhood is a great gift, giving a special kind of fulfillment to a woman. However, it is also a life-long job requiring much sacrifice. Motherhood is not for every woman. All women, however, are meant to find their individual gifts, and contribute them to Planet Earth. May you all find your gifts, and let them shine!