This fertility rite of passage can be surprising, annoying, and sometimes painful. Since Judy Blume hasn’t written a book about it (yet), we’ve gone to the experts for the full details.

By Melanie Mannarino
January 18, 2017

For many of us, our fertility ends as it began, with irregular periods. You might find yourself getting up from a chair in, say, your office conference room, and feel that familiar teenage horror and total certainty that you just bled right through your clothes. Afterward, once you’ve beelined to the nearest restroom to clean up as best you can, you’ll have one thought: “Why didn’t anyone warn me about this?”

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