Menses is bleeding from the uterus. It comes about once a month from puberty to menopause at the age of fifty. How much you bleed, the number of bleeding days and the number of days between the bleeds vary from person to person.

The menses come once a month and you bleed for about three to six days. But it can vary from time to time and from person to person. 

What happens in the body?

At birth, there are about one million ovaries in the ovaries. Sometimes during puberty, the eggs begin to mature and the first ovulation occurs. Two weeks after ovulation comes the first period.

The period between the first day of menses and the first day of the next menses is called the menses cycle. The menses cycle usually lasts between 21 and 35 days. 

After menstruation, the production of the hormone in the pituitary gland increases. The hormone affects the ovaries and causes the egg to mature inside its bladder in the ovary. In the egg bladder, the estrogenic hormone is formed.

When the egg bladder ruptures, the egg is released. The egg bladder is transformed into a yellow body. The yellow body produces hormones. The most important hormone is yellow body hormone or progesterone. It causes the mucous membrane of the uterus to grow and prepare to receive the fertilized egg.

A mature egg loosens from the ovary and slides into the fallopian tube where it can be fertilized by sperm. You may then feel a little sore or feel discomfort in the lower abdomen. Some do not feel ovulation at all. In ovulation, the slit secretion is usually transparent, tough and threadlike. Sometimes a little bleeding comes. Slit secretions can also be called moving.

If no egg has been fertilized and stuck in the mucous membrane, the yellow body is no longer needed. Then it shrinks and the amount of yellow body hormone drops. It is the signal that causes the mucous membrane to shrink and be ejected as bleeding, a menstrual cycle.

This goes on every month for about forty years. As long as you have menstruation every month, it is possible to get pregnant and have children.


There are different types of menses protection, in different sizes so you can customize them according to how much you bleed and which protection suits you best. The most common menses protections are panty, tie, tampon and menses cup.

Panties, ties and tampons are available in most grocery stores, kiosks and service stores. They are also available in pharmacies and vending machines at, for example, restaurants, bars and train stations. People are available for purchase at pharmacies, online and in some grocery stores.

Menstrual disorders

When you have menstruation you can also get menstrual problems such as copious bleeding or menstrual pain. Many of the hassles you can treat yourself, if needed. The hassles you can have when you have menstruation can vary from one time to another, both the hassles you get and how difficult they are. If you have such severe pain that you cannot live your ordinary life, it can be endometriosis.

Sometimes you may need to do a gynecological examination to find out why you are having trouble with your period. The gynecologist then examines your uterus and your ovaries with ultrasound.

You may also need to leave some samples for a doctor to assess if you have an infection, such as chlamydia, or a hormonal imbalance. If you have ample menstruation, your blood count is also checked to see if you have anemia.


Some also feel that the breasts and stomach swell and that the mood is negatively affected two weeks before menstruation. It’s called PMS or premenstrual tension.

Irregular menstruation

Irregular menstruation means that the time between menstrual bleeding is shorter than 21 days or longer than 35 days.

It is common to have slightly different lengths on their menses cycle. A delayed period does not have to mean that something is wrong. Some always have more or less irregular periods.

It can be good to keep track of your time by writing down the dates in a calendar or mobile. There are also apps for mobile that you can use. Then you can see if the period is regular and notice if it is late for a month or fails completely.

Causes of irregular menses

A too long or short menses cycle can have different causes:


Hormone contraceptives remove the ovulation. You may experience irregular bleeding when taking birth control pills containing hormones. This is called breakthrough bleeding and does not consist of menses blood. Contraceptives that can affect the ovulation are mini pills or pills,  hormone coil, P-Rod, p-syringe, and p-ring.

Testosterone levels in the body

An increased amount of testosterone in the body can make you get far between menstruation. Then you may have something called a polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS.

Diseases, stress and weight changes

Some illnesses, stress and weight changes can affect the hormones in the body so that menstruation comes too often, too rarely or not at all.


After the age of 40, it is common for menstruation to start coming irregularly. This is because the hormone balance in the body changes before menopause. You can read more about menopausal disorders here.

When and where should I seek care for irregular menses?

Contact a health center or gynecologic clinic if any of the following is true of you:

  • You have had irregular periods for a long time and are bothered by it.
  • You have had to bleed similar to menstruation even though you have been in menopause and have not had menstruation for at least a year.
  • You want to get pregnant and have irregular periods.

It is often not in a hurry. If it is a weekend, you can wait until it is every day.

You can contact most receptions by logging in.

You who attend elementary school or high school can contact student health. You can also contact a youth reception. You can go there if you are 12 or 13 years until you are between 20 and 25 years, it is different on different receptions.

Treatment of irregular menses

Hormone contraceptives give you more regular menses, or they disappear completely. For example, you may receive birth control pills, birth control pills, birth control patches or other medicines containing hormones.

If you want to get pregnant, there are different treatments depending on what causes you not to become pregnant.

Missed period

That the period becomes late or fails completely may be due to one or more of the following:

  • You are stressed and worried.
  • You have gained or lost weight.
  • You have been involved in some type of environmental change, for example, that you are on a trip or have just changed jobs or school.

Sometimes the missed period can be because you are pregnant. You can buy a  pregnancy test at a pharmacy. Pregnancy tests provide a very safe answer. You can also contact a maternity clinic or a youth clinic and test yourself there. It is free.

When and where should I seek care for late menses or missing menses?

Contact a health center or gynecologic clinic if any of the following is true of you:

  • Your period has been gone for more than six months, and you know that you are not pregnant or have entered the menopause.
  • You are about 50 and have had a break of one year before the current bleeding.

You can contact most receptions by logging in.

You who attend elementary school or high school can contact student health. You can also contact a youth reception. From there you can go from being 12 or 13 years until you are between 20 and 25 years, it is different on different receptions.

Treatment of late or missing menses

You do not need treatment for the missing menses if it is because you are stressed, worried or changed the environment. Then the people usually come back when it is quieter around you. However, you may need to talk to someone to feel less stressed and anxious.

The cause of missing menses may need to be investigated if it is due to weight gain or that you have lost weight. You may need support and help to adjust the weightWeight change can be a symptom of a disease that needs to be treated.

Increased gender dysphoria in menses

Some experience a mental discomfort from having menstruation. It can sometimes be because you do not feel that your body matches your gender identity and that menstruation reinforces that feeling. To feel that one’s body does not match one’s gender identity is called gender dysphoria.

When and where should I seek treatment for gender dysphoria in menses?

Contact a health center, general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, student health or a youth clinic if you experience gender dysphoria in connection with menstruation.

You can read more about how you can get help in the text Gender Dysphoria.

How much blood does it get when I have menstruation?

How much blood will differ from person to person? In a while, there is hardly a deciliter at most. But because the blood is mixed with mucous membranes from the uterus, it is often experienced as more.

Can I postpone my period?

Yes, you can move on the menses. You can do it in different ways.

If you use combined oral contraceptives or have had an oral ring or patch for a while, you can use these to postpone menstruation. To postpone menstruation in this way is harmless. Contact a midwife, gynecologist or doctor at the health center for more information.

You can also take tablets with yellow body hormone to push the menses. Talk to a midwife, gynecologist or doctor about how to do it. They can print tablets that you can use.

Can I swim when I have menses?

When you have menstruation you can bathe and shower just as usual, but it is good to remember to be careful about hygiene. If you use a tampon or a human cup it can sit in when you bathe, but you should change the tampon when you have finished bathing.

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