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How To Calculate Menstrual Cycle: Know Your Period & PMS Facts

Update Date: May 12, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

Mensuration is a process by which women's body shed the lining of the uterus, called as womb. Menstrual blood flows through the opening in the cervix and pass out of the body via vagina. A woman's body is considered healthy if the menstrual cycle is regular.

Average length of menstrual cycle in a woman is 28 days and length of periods is from 3 to 5 days. Menstrual cycle prepares the body for pregnancy and the chemical changes due to hormones during the cycle keep the body healthy. The menstrual cycle is calculated from the first day of the period till the first day of the next period.

Menstrual cycle however may vary from one person to another; it could be anywhere from 21 to 35 days in adults and from 21 to 45 days in young teens, according to Women's Health. Many women experience Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) a week or two before the onset of periods.

"The causes of PMS are not clear, but several factors may be involved. Changes in hormones during the menstrual cycle seem to be an important cause. These changing hormone levels may affect some women more than others. Chemical changes in the brain may also be involved. Stress and emotional problems, such as depression, do not seem to cause PMS, but they may make it worse," noted Women's Health.

Lifestyle has quite some role to play in PMS; habits like drinking coffee and alcohol may influence the symptoms to some extent. Taking in a lot of salty food may result in retaining lot of fluids in the body and vitamins and minerals deficiency could pave way for PMS in some women.

"Fluctuations of serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that is thought to play a crucial role in mood states, could trigger PMS symptoms. Insufficient amounts of serotonin may contribute to premenstrual depression, as well as to fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems," reported Mayo Clinic.

The symptoms of PMS include acne, trouble sleeping, joint or muscle pain, tension, mood swings, irritability, crying spells, headache or backache, tiredness, anxiety or depression, trouble with concentration or memory, swollen or tender breasts, appetite changes or food cravings upset stomach, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. The symptoms vary from one woman to another.

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