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in & around Menstrual Problems

Regular menstruation (also called eumenorrhea) lasts for a few days, usually 3 to 5 days, but anywhere from 2 to 8 days is considered normal. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long from the first day of one menstrual period to the first day of the next. A normal menstrual cycle is typically between 21 and 35 days between menstrual periods. The average blood loss during a monthly menstrual period is 35 milliliters (or 4 to 6 tablespoons of menstrual fluid) with 10-80 milliliters considered typical, although the impact of the loss on the patient's lifestyle and quality of life is of perhaps greater relevance; Menstrual fluid is the correct name for the menstrual flow, although many people refer to it as menstrual blood. Menstrual fluid in fact contains some blood, as well as cervical mucus, vaginal secretions, and endometrial tissue. Menstrual fluid is reddish-brown, a slightly darker colour than blood. Many women also notice shedding of the uterus's endometrium lining during menstruation. The shed endometrium lining appears as small pieces of tissue mixed with the blood. These pieces of tissue are often called menstrual clots (although they are pieces of the endometrium, and are not true blood clots) and are common; they more frequently occur in women who experience a heavier-than-average menstrual flow. Sometimes this is incorrectly thought to indicate an early-term miscarriage of an embryo. An enzyme called plasmin, contained in the endometrium, tends to inhibit the blood from clotting. Because of this blood loss, premenopausal women have higher dietary requirements for iron to prevent iron deficiency. It should be noted that there is a wide spectrum of differences between how women may experience menstruation. What may indicate a more serious physical problem for one woman, may be quite normal for another. There are several ways that a woman's menstrual cycle can differ from the norm, any of which should be discussed with a doctor to identify the underlying cause.

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