Men­strual ABC

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Wide­spread endometrio­sis in the uterus.

Agnus Cas­tus
Is a med¬≠i¬≠c¬≠i¬≠nal plant that is taken for the nat¬≠ural treat¬≠ment of irreg¬≠u¬≠lar, too fre¬≠quent or too rare men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion. The extract of the ripe, dried fruits influ¬≠ences the hor¬≠monal bal¬≠ance and is med¬≠ically approved.

Absence or lack of menstruation.

Absence or lack of ovulation.

Anovu­la­tory cycle
No egg is released dur­ing the men­strual cycle.

Anti-Mueller hor­mone (AMH)
The AMH level indi¬≠cates how many egg cells are still in the body and whether ovu¬≠la¬≠tion has occurred. It is an impor¬≠tant indi¬≠ca¬≠tor in repro¬≠duc¬≠tive health 

Basal body tem­per­a­ture
Body tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture mea¬≠sured in the morn¬≠ing imme¬≠di¬≠ately after wak¬≠ing up and before get¬≠ting up. The basal body tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture changes dur¬≠ing the men¬≠strual cycle. Shortly after ovu¬≠la¬≠tion, it rises by a few tenths of a degree for at least three days in a row. This way ovu¬≠la¬≠tion and fer¬≠tile days can be deter¬≠mined ret¬≠ro¬≠spec¬≠tively. In this way, the fol¬≠low¬≠ing infer¬≠tile days can be deter¬≠mined as well. Mea¬≠sur¬≠ing the basal body tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture is part of the tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture method for nat¬≠ural contraception.

Billings method
A method of nat­ural con­tra­cep­tion that observes the change in the com­po­si­tion of cer­vi­cal mucus dur­ing the men­strual cycle. Shortly before and around ovu­la­tion the con­sis­tency of the mucus changes, which allows the fer­tile days of the cycle to be determined.

Binary gen­der sys­tem
Assump­tion that there are only two sexes (male or female).

Cer­vi­cal mucus
The milky-white to trans¬≠par¬≠ent secre¬≠tion con¬≠sists of rejected cells and water and flows out of the vagina. The daily dis¬≠charge is part of the nat¬≠ural process of a healthy men¬≠strual cycle and is pro¬≠duced by glands in the cervix. Dur¬≠ing the men¬≠strual cycle, both colour and con¬≠sis¬≠tency of the cer¬≠vi¬≠cal mucus change. It pro¬≠tects the uterus from germs. 

Cer­vi­cal smear
The cer­vi­cal smear is taken in the lower part of the cer­vi­cal canal, often dur­ing the annual check-up with the gynae­col­o­gist. Among other things, the smear is used for the early detec­tion of cer­vi­cal cancer.

The cervix is the con¬≠nec¬≠tion between the uterus and the vagina. The nar¬≠row sec¬≠tion makes up the lower third of the uterus and projects as the open¬≠ing of the cervix into the upper part of the vagina. The nar¬≠row open¬≠ing, sur¬≠rounded by mucous mem¬≠brane, pro¬≠tects the uterus from germs.

Cervix open­ing
Open­ing of the uterus. The uter­ine canal opens into the vagina.

Cis-women or Cis-man
Peo¬≠ple who iden¬≠tify with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.

Years of hor¬≠monal changes, before and after the menopause. It is the tran¬≠si¬≠tion from the fer¬≠tile to the post¬≠menopausal phase in the life of a men¬≠stru¬≠at¬≠ing per¬≠son. Due to the decreas¬≠ing estro¬≠gen level, menopause often brings about fluc¬≠tu¬≠a¬≠tions in the men¬≠strual cycle. 

Sex­ual organ, the small part of which is vis­i­ble on the out­side at the upper end of the labia. It con­sists of two thighs which con­nect to the front of the body and lie inside the body. The cli­toris straight­ens up dur­ing sex­ual arousal due to the erec­tile tissue.

Cloth pad
Reusable pads are worn dur¬≠ing men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion to absorb the men¬≠strual blood out¬≠side the body. They con¬≠sist of dif¬≠fer¬≠ent lay¬≠ers of absorbent mate¬≠r¬≠ial and are often made of cot¬≠ton or hemp. They are washed after use and can be reused. Fab¬≠ric pads are the sus¬≠tain¬≠able ver¬≠sion of dis¬≠pos¬≠able pads because they can be used for many years. 

Cloth panty lin­ers
Reusable panty lin¬≠ers are worn dur¬≠ing light bleed¬≠ing to absorb the men¬≠strual fluid out¬≠side the body. They are thin¬≠ner and lighter than cloth pads and are also made of cot¬≠ton. Fab¬≠ric panty lin¬≠ers are the sus¬≠tain¬≠able ver¬≠sion of dis¬≠pos¬≠able panty lin¬≠ers because they can be used for many years. 

Cloth tam­pons
The slightly dif¬≠fer¬≠ent and less known tam¬≠pon ver¬≠sion. Like other tam¬≠pons, cloth tam¬≠pons are inserted into the vagina where they absorb the men¬≠strual blood directly. They are then washed and can be used again.

Cycle apps
Cycle apps help you to observe and bet¬≠ter under¬≠stand your own cycle. Based on the data entered, the app cal¬≠cu¬≠lates the next period or the period for sev¬≠eral months in advance. The first and last day of your men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion are marked in the apps. In the course of the men¬≠strual cycle, other char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠is¬≠tics such as mood, symp¬≠toms or tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture can also be noted.

Cycle aware­ness
Per¬≠ceiv¬≠ing the body as a cycli¬≠cal being and learn¬≠ing what influ¬≠ence the cycle-related hor¬≠mones have on needs and mood. To bet¬≠ter under¬≠stand the dif¬≠fer¬≠ent phases of the cycle and the asso¬≠ci¬≠ated qual¬≠i¬≠ties and to con¬≠sciously inte¬≠grate them into every¬≠day life.

Cycle com­puter
Mea¬≠sur¬≠ing devices with which men¬≠stru¬≠at¬≠ing peo¬≠ple can deter¬≠mine the fer¬≠tile and infer¬≠tile days. They dig¬≠i¬≠tally sup¬≠port the meth¬≠ods of hor¬≠mone-free con¬≠tra¬≠cep¬≠tion. For this pur¬≠pose, var¬≠i¬≠ous body char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠is¬≠tics, such as basal body tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture, hor¬≠mones in the morn¬≠ing urine and the con¬≠sis¬≠tency of the cer¬≠vi¬≠cal mucus are recorded and analysed. Reg¬≠u¬≠lar and con¬≠sci¬≠en¬≠tious use must be ensured so that the cycle com¬≠puter can inter¬≠pret the mea¬≠sured val¬≠ues correctly. 

Cycle dis­or­der
Changes in the nat¬≠ural men¬≠strual cycle that devi¬≠ate from the norm. This includes the dura¬≠tion, strength or rhythm of menstruation. 

Cycle length
Time from the first day of men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion to the day before the men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion starts again. Usu¬≠ally it lasts between 25 and 34 days.

Cycle phases
The men¬≠strual cycle is divided into two phases: The first half of the cycle is called the fol¬≠lic¬≠u¬≠lar phase. It takes place between the begin¬≠ning of men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion and the next ovu¬≠la¬≠tion. The sec¬≠ond half of the cycle is called the luteal phase. It takes place between ovu¬≠la¬≠tion and the next menstruation. 

Cycle track­ing
Con¬≠scious obser¬≠va¬≠tion of the men¬≠strual cycle. In addi¬≠tion to the begin¬≠ning and end of men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion, other char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠is¬≠tics such as mood, symp¬≠toms or tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture are also reg¬≠is¬≠tered. Cycle track¬≠ing can be done either ana¬≠log in a men¬≠strual cal¬≠en¬≠dar or dig¬≠i¬≠tally in cycle apps. The aim of cycle track¬≠ing is to gain a bet¬≠ter under¬≠stand¬≠ing of your own body and the changes caused by your cycle. 

Painful or dif­fi­cult men­stru­a­tion with symp­toms such as cramps and pain in the abdomen.

Sex cell con¬≠tain¬≠ing all the genetic mate¬≠r¬≠ial of a men¬≠stru¬≠at¬≠ing per¬≠son that is passed on to the chil¬≠dren. With the begin¬≠ning of puberty, an egg cell matures in the ovaries dur¬≠ing each men¬≠strual cycle. Eggs are fer¬≠til¬≠is¬≠able for a max¬≠i¬≠mum of 24 hours.

A chronic, very painful dis¬≠ease of peo¬≠ple with a uterus. Out¬≠side the uter¬≠ine cav¬≠ity, uncon¬≠trolled growths of the uter¬≠ine lin¬≠ing form. The causes for the devel¬≠op¬≠ment of the dis¬≠ease are still unknown. 

Impor¬≠tant sex hor¬≠mones that are mainly pro¬≠duced in the ovaries. Estro¬≠gen pro¬≠mote the mat¬≠u¬≠ra¬≠tion of the egg capa¬≠ble of fer¬≠til¬≠i¬≠sa¬≠tion and ensure that the uter¬≠ine lin¬≠ing is well cir¬≠cu¬≠lated with blood. The con¬≠cen¬≠tra¬≠tion of estro¬≠gen in the body changes sig¬≠nif¬≠i¬≠cantly dur¬≠ing the men¬≠strual cycle. 

Fal­lop­ian tubes
Paired part of the sex¬≠ual organs, which start from the uterus on both sides and end near the respec¬≠tive ovary. The fal¬≠lop¬≠ian tubes are lined with mucous membrane. 

Abil¬≠ity to get preg¬≠nant per men¬≠strual cycle and give birth to an offspring. 

The moment in which the sperm and egg merge together. Fer¬≠til¬≠iza¬≠tion takes place in the fal¬≠lop¬≠ian tube

First period
The first men¬≠strual bleed¬≠ing is also called menar¬≠che. The begin¬≠ning of men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion takes place dur¬≠ing puberty. 

Fol­lic­u­lar phase
The first phase of the men¬≠strual cycle in which the body pre¬≠pares for fer¬≠til¬≠i¬≠sa¬≠tion of the mature egg. The fol¬≠li¬≠cle-stim¬≠u¬≠lat¬≠ing hor¬≠mone (FSH) increases dur¬≠ing this phase, which even¬≠tu¬≠ally enables ovulation. 

Free bleed­ing
Dur¬≠ing men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion, period prod¬≠ucts such as tam¬≠pons, pads or men¬≠strual cups are vol¬≠un¬≠tar¬≠ily not used. The blood is there¬≠fore not col¬≠lected by a for¬≠eign object either inside or out¬≠side the body. It is pos¬≠si¬≠ble to feel when blood is com¬≠ing by con¬≠sciously per¬≠ceiv¬≠ing one's own body. When free bleed¬≠ing, the men¬≠strual blood is finally dis¬≠charged directly on the toi¬≠let by relax¬≠ing the pelvic floor.

Gen­der star (*)
The spelling with the gen­der star (*) is an attempt to include the diver­sity of gen­der iden­ti­ties in the Ger­man language.

Spe­cial­ist in gynae­col­ogy and obstetrics.

Hor­monal con­tra­cep­tion
Hor¬≠monal con¬≠tra¬≠cep¬≠tive meth¬≠ods influ¬≠ence the hor¬≠mone lev¬≠els and usu¬≠ally sup¬≠press ovu¬≠la¬≠tion. The var¬≠i¬≠ous con¬≠tra¬≠cep¬≠tives are pre¬≠scrip¬≠tion-only. Even if they are used dif¬≠fer¬≠ently, they often have very sim¬≠i¬≠lar results and can have side effects. Hor¬≠monal con¬≠tra¬≠cep¬≠tive meth¬≠ods include the pill, the vagi¬≠nal ring, IUD or the con¬≠tra¬≠cep¬≠tive patch. When used cor¬≠rectly, hor¬≠monal con¬≠tra¬≠cep¬≠tives pro¬≠tect against unwanted preg¬≠nancy, but not against sex¬≠u¬≠ally trans¬≠mit¬≠ted diseases. 

Hor­mone test­ing
Test strips are used to mea­sure hor­mones in the morn­ing urine. This is often done to deter­mine ovulation.

The body's own bio¬≠chem¬≠i¬≠cal mes¬≠sen¬≠gers, which are pro¬≠duced by glands and trans¬≠ported by blood. Hor¬≠mones reg¬≠u¬≠late var¬≠i¬≠ous processes in the body. 

Men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion that is too heavy. It is a form of men¬≠strual dis¬≠or¬≠der char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠ized by increased blood loss dur¬≠ing men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion. This is the case when the blood loss per men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion is more than 80ml. 

Men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion that is too light. It is a form of men¬≠strual dis¬≠or¬≠der char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠ized by a weak and short men¬≠strual bleed¬≠ing. This is the case when the blood loss per men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion is less than 25ml. Light bleed¬≠ing is often spotting.

Sur­gi­cal removal of the uterus.

Inca¬≠pac¬≠ity to pro¬≠cre¬≠ate or con¬≠ceive. In human med¬≠i¬≠cine, infer¬≠til¬≠ity occurs when a cou¬≠ple does not con¬≠ceive despite the desire to have chil¬≠dren and have had at least one year of reg¬≠u¬≠lar unpro¬≠tected sex¬≠ual intercourse.

Inter­me­di­ate bleed­ing
Bleed¬≠ing from the uterus out¬≠side the actual menstruation. 

Inter­men­strual pain
Pain that may occur at the time of ovu¬≠la¬≠tion (mid¬≠dle of the men¬≠strual cycle). Usu¬≠ally the pain is localised on one side of the lower abdomen. 

Irreg­u­lar cycle
Men¬≠strual cycles that last less than 24 or more than 35 days. This also includes men¬≠strual cycles that vary by more than eight days from cycle to cycle. 

Part of the exter¬≠nal gen¬≠i¬≠tals. The term cov¬≠ers both the outer and inner labia.

Luteal phase
Sec¬≠ond phase of the men¬≠strual cycle, which starts after ovu¬≠la¬≠tion and ends when men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion begins. It is an infer¬≠tile men¬≠strual phase. 

Men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion stops per¬≠ma¬≠nently, which also ends fer¬≠til¬≠ity and the pos¬≠si¬≠bil¬≠ity of pregnancy. 

A men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion that is too long, which can last up to 14 days.

Men­strual Blood
Strictly speak¬≠ing, men¬≠strual blood is not just blood, but rather a mix¬≠ture of blood, rejected uter¬≠ine lin¬≠ing, the unfer¬≠til¬≠ized egg and vagi¬≠nal mucus. Other dead cells are also found in the tis¬≠sue mix. Only about half of the fluid con¬≠sists of blood. 

Men­strual cup
Small reusable con¬≠tain¬≠ers that directly col¬≠lect the men¬≠strual blood inside the body. They mostly have a cup-like shape, are made of med¬≠ical sil¬≠i¬≠cone and are inserted into the vagina. 

Men­strual cycle
The men¬≠strual cycle begins with the first day of men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion and ends with the day before the next period. It usu¬≠ally lasts between 25 and 34 days. It is a reg¬≠u¬≠larly occur¬≠ring process in the body of a men¬≠stru¬≠at¬≠ing per¬≠son, which is repeated about 400 times from puberty to menopause. The men¬≠strual cycle is char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠ized by hor¬≠monal changes. 

Men­strual irreg­u­lar­i­ties
Irreg¬≠u¬≠lar¬≠i¬≠ties of the bleed¬≠ing rhythm in the men¬≠strual cycle. A dis¬≠tinc¬≠tion is made between too fre¬≠quent and too infre¬≠quent men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion. / Irreg¬≠u¬≠lar¬≠i¬≠ties of the bleed¬≠ing pat¬≠tern in the men¬≠strual cycle. A dis¬≠tinc¬≠tion is made between too heavy and too light menstruation. 

Men­strual prob­lems
Var¬≠i¬≠ous symp¬≠toms that can occur before and dur¬≠ing men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion. These include, for exam¬≠ple, cramps, nau¬≠sea, headaches, a feel¬≠ing of ten¬≠sion in the breasts, gen¬≠eral malaise.

Men­strual sponges
Pure nat¬≠ural prod¬≠uct for men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion that can be reused. Basi¬≠cally, the appli¬≠ca¬≠tion is sim¬≠i¬≠lar to that of tam¬≠pons, because they are inserted into the vagina where they directly col¬≠lect the men¬≠strual blood. 

Men­stru­at­ing peo­ple
Term for all peo¬≠ple who expe¬≠ri¬≠ence men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion. Because not all women men¬≠stru¬≠ate and not all men¬≠stru¬≠at¬≠ing peo¬≠ple iden¬≠tify them¬≠selves as women.

Dur¬≠ing men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion, the lin¬≠ing of the uterus is shed each month and the men¬≠strual blood is dis¬≠charged through the vagina. It is a nat¬≠ural, reg¬≠u¬≠lar and bio¬≠log¬≠i¬≠cal process that sym¬≠bol¬≠izes the health and fer¬≠til¬≠ity of a men¬≠stru¬≠at¬≠ing per¬≠son. The men¬≠strual period lasts on aver¬≠age about 5 days. Men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion is also called period or bleeding.

Mons pubis
Slight hilly ele¬≠va¬≠tion just above the labia, caused by an accu¬≠mu¬≠la¬≠tion of fatty tis¬≠sue. From puberty onwards, hair grows on here.

Mood swings
Dur¬≠ing the men¬≠strual cycle, var¬≠i¬≠ous hor¬≠mones are involved to vary¬≠ing degrees, result¬≠ing in nat¬≠ural mood swings. Depend¬≠ing on the phase of the cycle a per¬≠son is in, the emo¬≠tional sit¬≠u¬≠a¬≠tion also changes. 

Nat­ural fam­ily plan­ning (NFP)
Includes all con¬≠tra¬≠cep¬≠tive meth¬≠ods that do not affect hor¬≠mones or the body in gen¬≠eral. There are there¬≠fore no side effects. Nat¬≠ural con¬≠tra¬≠cep¬≠tive meth¬≠ods are based on the men¬≠strual cycle and deter¬≠mine both the fer¬≠tile and infer¬≠tile days of a men¬≠stru¬≠at¬≠ing per¬≠son. Fer¬≠til¬≠i¬≠sa¬≠tion of the egg is pre¬≠vented with¬≠out the help of arti¬≠fi¬≠cial hor¬≠mones. Exam¬≠ples of hor¬≠mone-free con¬≠tra¬≠cep¬≠tion include the symp¬≠to¬≠her¬≠mal method, tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture method, cycle com¬≠puter or bar¬≠rier methods.

Peo¬≠ple whose gen¬≠der iden¬≠tity lies out¬≠side the binary gen¬≠der sys¬≠tem and who iden¬≠tify nei¬≠ther as a man nor as a woman (e.g. queer)

Men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion occurs too infre¬≠quent. It is a form of men¬≠strual dis¬≠or¬≠der char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠ized by a men¬≠strual cycle that is too long. This is the case when the total cycle is more than 35 days (max¬≠i¬≠mum 90). Due to changes in hor¬≠monal bal¬≠ance, oligomen¬≠or¬≠rhoea occurs mainly after the menar¬≠che or before menopause and is nor¬≠mal dur¬≠ing this period. 

Ovar­ian cyst
A sack-like cav¬≠ity formed in or on the ovaries and filled with fluid, which is usu¬≠ally harm¬≠less The ovar¬≠ian cyst can have a diam¬≠e¬≠ter of a few mil¬≠lime¬≠tres to over 15 cm. 

Part of the pri¬≠mary sex¬≠ual char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠is¬≠tics where eggs and sex hor¬≠mone are produced. 

The moment in which the unfer¬≠tilised egg is ejected from the ovary and then received by the fal¬≠lop¬≠ian tube. In a healthy and nat¬≠ural men¬≠strual cycle, ovu¬≠la¬≠tion takes place peri¬≠od¬≠i¬≠cally and is often in the mid¬≠dle of the cycle. Around ovu¬≠la¬≠tion are the fer¬≠tile days.

Ovu­la­tion bleed­ing
Inter¬≠me¬≠di¬≠ate bleed¬≠ing that can occur at the time of ovu¬≠la¬≠tion (mid¬≠dle of the men¬≠strual cycle). 

Inserts made of absorbent mate¬≠r¬≠ial to absorb men¬≠strual fluid out¬≠side the vagina. Pads are worn in the under¬≠wear There are both dis¬≠pos¬≠able pads and wash¬≠able cloth pads.

Panty lin­ers
Inserts made of absorbent mate¬≠r¬≠ial to absorb men¬≠strual fluid out¬≠side the vagina. It is a smaller and nar¬≠rower ver¬≠sion of pads and are there¬≠fore not as absorbent. Panty lin¬≠ers are worn in the under¬≠pants. There are both dis¬≠pos¬≠able panty lin¬≠ers and wash¬≠able cloth panty liners.

Pelvic floor
Tis­sue-mus­cu­lar floor of the pelvic cav­ity in humans.

Time between pre- and post¬≠menopause, which is a sign of phys¬≠i¬≠o¬≠log¬≠i¬≠cal aging. It lasts one to two years before and after the actual menopause. 

see men­stru­a­tion

Period cal­en­dar
A men¬≠strual cal¬≠en¬≠dar helps you to observe and bet¬≠ter under¬≠stand your own cycle. It can also be used to cal¬≠cu¬≠late the next period or your period for a few months in advance. The first and last day of your period are recored in the period cal¬≠en¬≠dar. Dur¬≠ing the men¬≠strual cycle, other char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠is¬≠tics such as mood swings or tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture can also be registered.

Period pain
Pain that occurs dur¬≠ing men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion. They are a form of cycle irregularities. 

Period poverty
Period poverty exists when men­stru­at­ing peo­ple can­not afford men­strual prod­ucts for finan­cial rea­sons. The lack of afford­able prod­ucts leads to peo­ple resort­ing to other alter­na­tives such as (dirty) pieces of fab­ric or grass. This can have health consequences.

Period under­wear
Men¬≠strual under¬≠wear has sev¬≠eral lay¬≠ers of fab¬≠ric in the crotch area and there¬≠fore has addi¬≠tional func¬≠tions. It is, so to speak, a pair of under¬≠wear with a wash¬≠able pad sewn into it. The dif¬≠fer¬≠ent fab¬≠rics ensure that the inti¬≠mate area remains dry and the men¬≠strual blood is absorbed. The men¬≠strual under¬≠wear is wash¬≠able like nor¬≠mal under¬≠wear and there¬≠fore reusable.

Peti¬≠tion "The period is not a lux¬≠ury - lower the tam¬≠pon tax"
Nanna-Josephine Roloff and Yasemin Kotra together launched the peti­tion and found over 190,000 sup­port­ers on the plat­form. The peti­tion demands that men­strual prod­ucts be con­sid­ered basic needs in Ger­many and be taxed at the sim­pli­fied VAT rate of seven per­cent. This is because the increased tax rate of 19 per­cent dis­crim­i­nates against all men­stru­at­ing peo­ple. The peti­tion and the tire­less efforts of the two men­strual activists were suc­cess­ful and from Jan­u­ary 2020, men­strual prod­ucts will be taxed at only the seven per­cent rate in Germany.

Hor­monal con­tra­cep­tive which use is wide­spread. There are dif­fer­ent types of pills that must be taken orally at the same time every day (except for the week-long pill breaks). The hor­mones in the pill sup­presses the mat­u­ra­tion of the egg and thus also ovulation.

Poly­cys­tic Ovar­ian Syn­drome (PCOS)
Hor¬≠monal meta¬≠bolic dis¬≠or¬≠der caused by a com¬≠plex hor¬≠monal imbal¬≠ance. The PCO syn¬≠drome can be the cause of infer¬≠til¬≠ity due to the cycle alterations. 

A too fre¬≠quent men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion. It is a form of men¬≠strual dis¬≠or¬≠der char¬≠ac¬≠ter¬≠ized by a men¬≠strual cycle that is too short. This is the case when the total of the men¬≠strual cycle is less than 24 days.

Dura­tion of about twelve months after the last menstruation.

Post­men­strual bleed­ing
Spot¬≠ting after men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion is a men¬≠strual disorder. 

Period of time dur¬≠ing which a fer¬≠tilised egg cell in the body matures into a child. The preg¬≠nancy cal¬≠cu¬≠lated from the first day of the last men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion lasts an aver¬≠age of 40 weeks. Tra¬≠di¬≠tion¬≠ally, the dura¬≠tion of a preg¬≠nancy is given as nine months. How¬≠ever, the fluc¬≠tu¬≠a¬≠tion range cov¬≠ers sev¬≠eral weeks.

First irreg­u­lar­i­ties in the men­strual cycle and occa­sional absence of men­stru­a­tion. These changes in the men­strual cycle are trig­gered by the decline in prog­es­terone levels.

Pre­men­strual bleed­ing
The spot¬≠ting before men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion is a men¬≠strual disorder. 

Pre­men­strual Syn­drome (PMS)
Pain and dis¬≠com¬≠fort a few days before the start of men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion. These can be very dif¬≠fer¬≠ent com¬≠plaints, such as stom¬≠ach or headaches, as well as mood swings.

Is a cor¬≠pus luteum hor¬≠mone and belongs to the group of sex hor¬≠mones. Prog¬≠es¬≠terone is mainly pro¬≠duced in the sec¬≠ond phase of the cycle. It pro¬≠motes the growth of the uter¬≠ine lin¬≠ing so that a fer¬≠tilised egg can suc¬≠cess¬≠fully nest there. The con¬≠cen¬≠tra¬≠tion of prog¬≠es¬≠terone in the body changes greatly dur¬≠ing the men¬≠strual cycle. 

Part of ado¬≠les¬≠cence, where the body changes and grad¬≠ual devel¬≠op¬≠ment takes place. Dur¬≠ing this time the increased pro¬≠duc¬≠tion of sex hor¬≠mones begins. They cause the repro¬≠duc¬≠tive organs to become functional. 

Seed cycling
It is a nat¬≠ural form of nutri¬≠tional sup¬≠ple¬≠men¬≠ta¬≠tion. The intake of cer¬≠tain seeds is intended to gen¬≠tly sup¬≠port the hor¬≠mone bal¬≠ance in case of imbal¬≠ance. The aim is to bring the nat¬≠ural men¬≠strual cycle into a healthy bal¬≠ance and to relieve men¬≠strual prob¬≠lems. The four dif¬≠fer¬≠ent seeds (pump¬≠kin seeds, flax seed, sesame, sun¬≠flower seeds) are taken in the dif¬≠fer¬≠ent phases of the cycle. The oils, vit¬≠a¬≠mins and nutri¬≠ents con¬≠tained in the seeds sup¬≠port the body's own pro¬≠duc¬≠tion of estro¬≠gen or progesterone. 

Soft cup
Mod¬≠i¬≠fi¬≠ca¬≠tion of the men¬≠strual cup, which is also used to col¬≠lect the men¬≠strual blood inside the vagina. It is a plas¬≠tic ring cov¬≠ered by a flex¬≠i¬≠ble foil. Due to the flex¬≠i¬≠bil¬≠ity and mate¬≠r¬≠ial of the soft cup it takes up less space than a men¬≠strual cup and can also be worn dur¬≠ing sex. Many designs have to be thrown away after only wear¬≠ing them once. The reusable alter¬≠na¬≠tive is made of med¬≠ical sil¬≠i¬≠cone and can be used for up to two years. 

Light bleed¬≠ing, which can occur between two peri¬≠ods. It is often an unex¬≠pected brown¬≠ish dis¬≠charge that lasts one to three days. Regard¬≠less of the actual men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion, spot¬≠ting can start at any time. The cause is usu¬≠ally a hor¬≠monal shift in the body.

Symp­tother­mal method
Hor¬≠mone-free con¬≠tra¬≠cep¬≠tive method, which is part of nat¬≠ural fam¬≠ily plan¬≠ning. This method is based on deter¬≠min¬≠ing the fer¬≠tile days in the nat¬≠ural men¬≠strual cycle. For this pur¬≠pose, both the changes in basal body tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture and the cer¬≠vi¬≠cal mucus are analysed together. It is a com¬≠bi¬≠na¬≠tion of the tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture method with the Billings method. The analy¬≠sis and doc¬≠u¬≠men¬≠ta¬≠tion can be sup¬≠ported by a con¬≠tra¬≠cep¬≠tion com¬≠puter or software. 

Tam­pon tax
Men¬≠strual prod¬≠ucts were taxed in Ger¬≠many until the end of 2020 with the increased tax rate, also known as the lux¬≠ury tax, of 19 per¬≠cent. After much lob¬≠by¬≠ing and a peti¬≠tion, two men¬≠strual activists from Ham¬≠burg man¬≠aged to change the tax rate for men¬≠strual prod¬≠ucts. As of Jan¬≠u¬≠ary 2020, all men¬≠strual prod¬≠ucts (except panty lin¬≠ers, as they are con¬≠sid¬≠ered every¬≠day items) in Ger¬≠many will be sub¬≠ject to the lower tax rate of only seven per¬≠cent, which counts for basic necessities.

Tam­pons are used dur­ing men­stru­a­tion and usu­ally con­sist of com­pressed cot­ton wool. They are inserted into the vagina to directly absorb the men­strual blood inside the body. They are used once and thrown away afterwards.

Tem­per­a­ture method
Hor­mone-free con­tra­cep­tive method, which is part of nat­ural fam­ily plan­ning. This method is based on deter­min­ing the fer­tile days in the nat­ural men­strual cycle. For this pur­pose the basal body tem­per­a­ture is mea­sured every morn­ing. Based on the cycli­cal fluc­tu­a­tions of the basal body tem­per­a­ture, the time of ovu­la­tion and thus also the fer­tile and infer­tile days can be determined.

Toxic Shock Syn­drome (TSS)
Severe cir¬≠cu¬≠la¬≠tory and organ fail¬≠ure caused by bac¬≠te¬≠r¬≠ial tox¬≠ins. More com¬≠monly the Toxic Shock Syn¬≠drome is also known as 'tam¬≠pon disease'. 

Peo¬≠ple who do not iden¬≠tify with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.

Uter­ine lin­ing
The thin, pink-coloured mucous mem¬≠brane forms the inner wall of the uterus to pro¬≠tect it and enable the implan¬≠ta¬≠tion of a fer¬≠tilised egg. Dur¬≠ing the men¬≠strual cycle, hor¬≠mones influ¬≠ence the con¬≠sis¬≠tency and quan¬≠tity of the mucous mem¬≠brane. Dur¬≠ing men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion, the upper layer of the uter¬≠ine lin¬≠ing is bro¬≠ken down and dis¬≠charged. Dur¬≠ing preg¬≠nancy, the lin¬≠ing of the uterus is called decidua.

Part of the gen¬≠i¬≠tal organs that extends from the outer cervix to the open¬≠ing of the fal¬≠lop¬≠ian tubes. The uterus is sim¬≠i¬≠lar in shape to an upside-down pear and is a hol¬≠low organ in which the egg nests and devel¬≠ops after fer¬≠til¬≠i¬≠sa¬≠tion. The uterus is also involved in the birth of the child due to its pro¬≠nounced mus¬≠cle layer.

Pri¬≠mary sex¬≠ual organ, which has a tubu¬≠lar shape and con¬≠nects the outer cervix with the vagi¬≠nal vestibule. The vagina opens into the vagi¬≠nal vestibule of the vulva and is between eight and twelve cen¬≠time¬≠tres long. It pro¬≠tects the sex¬≠ual organs that lie deeper in the body. As part of the birth canal, it is flex¬≠i¬≠ble. In every¬≠day lan¬≠guage the term vagina is often used incor¬≠rectly to refer to the vulva as a whole. 

Vagi­nal flora
Nat¬≠u¬≠rally exist¬≠ing micro¬≠bial col¬≠o¬≠niza¬≠tion of the vagina, which con¬≠sists mainly of dif¬≠fer¬≠ent types of lac¬≠tic acid bac¬≠te¬≠ria. It is respon¬≠si¬≠ble for ensur¬≠ing that harm¬≠ful germs can¬≠not mul¬≠ti¬≠ply dis¬≠pro¬≠por¬≠tion¬≠ately. The nat¬≠ural pH value of the vagi¬≠nal flora pre¬≠vents germs from multiplying. 

Vagi­nal vestibule
Part of the vulva that lies between the labias. Around the vagi¬≠nal vestibule there are glands that are respon¬≠si¬≠ble for moist¬≠en¬≠ing the vagina. 

Sex¬≠ual dys¬≠func¬≠tion or pain dis¬≠or¬≠der, which can be both organic and psy¬≠cho¬≠log¬≠i¬≠cal. It is a per¬≠sis¬≠tent or recur¬≠rent invol¬≠un¬≠tary cramp¬≠ing or ten¬≠sion of the pelvic floor and the outer third of the vagi¬≠nal mus¬≠cles, mak¬≠ing the vagi¬≠nal entrance appear very nar¬≠row or as if closed. The tight mus¬≠cle con¬≠trac¬≠tion makes vagi¬≠nal inter¬≠course or a gynae¬≠co¬≠log¬≠i¬≠cal exam¬≠i¬≠na¬≠tion painful or even impossible. 

The entirety of the exter¬≠nal pri¬≠mary sex¬≠ual organs. The vulva con¬≠sists of the mons pubis, the labia, the open¬≠ing of the ure¬≠thra, the vagi¬≠nal vestibule and the cli¬≠toris. A large part of the vulva is cov¬≠ered by hair start¬≠ing at the begin¬≠ning of puberty. In every¬≠day lan¬≠guage, the vulva is often incor¬≠rectly called the vagina. 

Tantric term for the entirety of the vulva, vagina and uterus. The word also has other mean¬≠ings, such as source or ori¬≠gin. Yoni is under¬≠stood as a spir¬≠i¬≠tual cen¬≠tre that con¬≠nects the outer world with the inner darkness. 

Yoni steam­ing
Steam bath for the vulva. Also called vulva steaming.

Zero waste men­stru­a­tion
Use of reusable prod¬≠ucts dur¬≠ing men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion in order to avoid waste. The men¬≠strual period is designed to be plas¬≠tic-free and with¬≠out dis¬≠pos¬≠able products. 

Your glos­sary all about menstruation

In our Men¬≠strual ABC you will find short and easy expla¬≠na¬≠tions of col¬≠lo¬≠quial expres¬≠sions and med¬≠ical terms relat¬≠ing to men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion, hor¬≠mone-free con¬≠tra¬≠cep¬≠tion and the anatomy of the gen¬≠i¬≠tals. Here you will find men¬≠strual knowl¬≠edge from A for ade¬≠no¬≠myosis to Z for zero waste men¬≠stru¬≠a¬≠tion.
Are you still miss¬≠ing impor¬≠tant terms in our glos¬≠sary or have we explained some¬≠thing not quite under¬≠stand¬≠able? Then send us a mes¬≠sage with your ideas and feed¬≠back so that we can make the Men¬≠strual ABC even more com¬≠pre¬≠hen¬≠sive and com¬≠plete together.

If you would like to read more about a spe¬≠cific topic, you will find an overview of all our pub¬≠lished arti¬≠cles in the archive, sorted by key¬≠words. In our Peri¬≠od¬≠ico you will find all arti¬≠cles in chrono¬≠log¬≠i¬≠cal order.

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