Women in their reproductive years experience periodic vaginal discharge of blood, otherwise known as menstrual bleeding. Also termed menstruation, menses or period, this physiologic bleeding is caused by the shedding of the lining of the uterus brought about by hormonal changes. At times, women observe a gooey tissue mixing with the blood discharges during menstruation. The fleshy substance that accompanies menstrual bleeding is actually the endometrial or uterine lining that has been cast off.
The volume of menstruation differs among women but , normally, the amount of blood loss would range from 2 to 5 tablespoons or 30 to 75 milliliters. Existing lifestyle, level of physical activity and exercise may also affect the quantity of menstrual bleeding. The blood discharges during the first two days of menstruation is usually dark red and slowly becomes brown towards the end of the duration. Slow or light bleeding produces blood that is also brownish in color. The menstrual cycle ranges from 21 to 35 days, averaging 28 days and begins on the first day of the menstruation. Duration of the period, which starts with a heavier blood flow that gradually decreases on the succeeding days, lasts within a week from about three to seven days.
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