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What exactly is a period…and when will my periods start?

Once puberty has started, your first period is not far behind. It’s going to be okay—it’s just one part of your monthly cycle. But periods get most of the attention because it’s the time when you bleed. There are four stages of the menstrual cycle (don’t worry, there won’t be a test later):

Stage 1

Your cycle starts each month when your womb creates a fresh layer of blood-rich membrane. This is your body preparing to accommodate the egg just in case it gets fertilized.

Stage 2

The next stage is ovulation, when an egg is released from one of your ovaries and travels to your womb.

Stage 3

If the egg meets a sperm cell on its way to your womb and fertilization takes place, you can become pregnant. If it doesn't, your body will remove the unused blood-rich membrane lining your womb. This is your period.

Stage 4

Your period starts and you bleed for 3-7 days. But don’t worry, you’ll lose less than 20-60ml, easier stats: 4-12 teaspoons!

All these stages form a repetitive cycle every month unless you become pregnant or until you begin menopause. This phase normally occurs after a woman reaches her forties and can vary from person to person, and it marks the end of her reproductive cycle.

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