Adolescent Sexuality: Teenagers Sexuality Guide
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Posted by: webmaster on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 10:33 _PRINTPrinter friendly page  _EMAILFRIENDSend this story to a friend
Sexual Health
Why is menstruation such an important aspect of women sexuality?

Menstruation is not o­nly the monthly elimination of blood and uterine tissue, but it is actually a crucial aspect acting upon women’s life and health since its beginning, around twelve years old (even at the age of eight), until it ceases at around forty years old or later. Menstruation is also a very personal issue for each woman. Every woman has a particular cycle, of which the number of days, the bleeding days, the blood flow, the mood swings, among many others aspects, may vary, resulting in a very individual setting.

Every stage of menstruation is managed by specific hormones, which also have a crucial influence in women’s sexuality, not to mention in women’s life. The primary hormones acting inside the woman body are Progesterone, Estrogen, Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Lutenising Hormone.

  • Progesterone is responsible for body development during adolescence (breast increase, pubic hair emergence, body shaping) and has a strong feature in menstruation, preparing the uterine lining for a possible pregnancy, and in pregnancy itself. Progesterone also acts as a light anti-depressive and decreases the regular fall of calcium rates within the organism, stimulating the milk production. Then, an overrun for a long period may increase the risk of breast cancer.
  • The Estrogen has much the same features as Progesterone, controlling ovulation and menstruation and the secondary sexual characteristic development. It also plays a role moderating the fluid balance within the body. The same way as Progesterone does, it may cause breast cancer if o­n high levels and in a long period.
  • The function of both Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Lutenising Hormone is to stimulate the follicles to maturate the eggs to be fecundated. They also stimulate the production of other hormones.
In late years, science produced synthetic replacements, in order to treat conditions that results in hormone deficiencies, in women. Although designed to enhance women’s health, some researchers support the theory that these hormones may cause illness as well. It is noticed that synthetic progesterone, for instance, may cause uterine and breast cancer and some side effects such as fluid retention and salt accumulation within the body. Synthetic estrogen may result in fluid retention either, but triggers substantial side effects such as headaches, body fat increase, thyroid problems and even depression and reduction of libido. Let us remember that any hormonal treatment, besides its proven efficacy, requires intense medical assessment.

Besides all this chemical properties, the hormones act upon women’s sexuality and several psychological and emotional features, inducing mood changes and some cases leading the woman to a state of extreme discomfort. This is the ordinarily called Pre-Menstrual Tension syndrome (PMT).

The PMT usually starts around two weeks before the beginning of the period itself and ceases when menstruation starts. During this period, the woman are likely to feel bloated, tired, suffering from headaches, abdominal pain (some cases followed by cramps), breast over sensibility, not to mention the mood changes, irritability, anxiety, depression and aggression. Evidently, these symptoms don’t occur at the same time, but combined and changing from period to period likewise from woman to woman.

Such hormonal rampage takes place as consequence of such sexual hormones acting upon the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for functions, such as mood swings, sleep, pain, thermoregulation, appetite and memory. Some nutrients such as calcium and magnesium may exacerbate the symptoms in specific levels too, although such fact isn’t scientifically proved. It’s evident that a balanced diet, plenty of supplements can help any woman to get through this period easily.

There’s no specific treatment to PMT itself, since such isn’t a disease, but a psychological instability caused by hormones. It’s possible to treat its symptoms trying to follow healthy habits. Along with a balance diet, regular physical exercises, may help soothing the o­nset of PMT. Exercises induce the production of serotonin within the brain, which helps to minimize the upshots from hormone changes. Avoiding stress, body and mental fatigue and pressure is due, as well as using warm compresses in case of abdominal pain and/or cramps. There are medicines, which deflect cramps, and discomfort from feeling bloated, but such are not supposed to be taken without medical assessment.

Women who suffer from PMT are better off keeping track of their symptoms and its co- relation with the cycle. Such may be a way to supervise, and devise a specific treatment for each necessity.
Despite all the nomenclature of chemicals, symptoms and hormones, PMT and menstruation are issues faced by any woman o­n a daily basis, with rather casual approach. There isn’t better manner to deal with it and go through such period without further difficulties.

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