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So what
are periods?

#periods

Periods are a really positive sign that your body is working correctly and that you’re growing into a young woman.

However, it’s also a really confusing time for some, so we’re here to help you understand what’s happening to you and provide you with some helpful tips and advice.

How the Monthly cycle works

#periods

When you reach puberty, your body is preparing itself for when you have children, even though this might be a long way off!
Every month your ovaries release a miniscule egg which, if fertilised by a male’s sperm, would make a baby. At the same time, your body also produces blood and nutrients to cushion your womb in case the egg has been fertilised. If the egg isn’t fertilised, the egg and womb lining is no longer needed so the body releases them. This is what is commonly known as a ‘period’.

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Did you
know?

#periods

For most, no more than two and a half tablespoons or an egg cup full of blood is released every month.

It’s called ‘a period’ because it’s a period of time in your life when something else happens that would not normally do so.

Menstrual blood isn’t the same as the blood you’ve seen if you’ve cut yourself. Menstrual fluid lines the walls of your womb and is called endometrium. It is a mixture of blood, tissue cells and natural secretions from the vagina and cervix and is not harmful in any way.

Menstrual fluid is not always red in colour. It can vary from very light brown to dark (almost black) red and this is perfectly normal. Some girls notice this lighter colour throughout their period, whilst others experience this lighter colour only on the last couple of days.