Woman's Health

Basics of Monthly Menstrual Cycle

The menstrual cycle is considered a normal part of a woman’s life. It’s a reproductive process that occurs every month but the length varies from one woman to another. This is the time when your body is preparing itself for pregnancy. On average, the mean time between the ovulation and period is 28 days but can range from 21-35 days. There are many things that girls should know about the menstrual cycle. If you have not yet made your daughter aware of the facts regarding menstrual or period cycle, get her to read this article.

What is the menstrual cycle?

Menstruation refers to the release of blood and tissue from the inner lining of a woman’s uterus through the vagina. In medical, it is also termed menses, menstrual cycle, or menstrual period.

Broadly, the menstrual cycle can be defined as the occurrence of all the monthly transformation that happens when your body is getting ready for pregnancy possibility.

How does it happen?

The female reproductive organ causes vaginal bleeding after she attains puberty. The bleeding comprises the tissue as well as blood that is shed from the uterus to the cervix and vagina.

One of the ovaries in girls releases an egg. This process is known as ovulation. When ovulation occurs but the egg remains unfertilized, females face vaginal bleeding. All these processes take place due to the hormones released by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus.

Phases of Menstrual Cycle

Your period cycle consists of the following four phases:

Menses Phase

Menses phases range from the first to the fifth day of menstruation. This is the time when the inner lining of the uterus falls off through the vagina when pregnancy doesn’t happen. It will last for 2-7 days accompanied by mood swings, period food cravings, breast tenderness, and so on.

Follicular Phase

It begins on the first day of your period or aligns with the menses phase. This phase ends as the ovulation completes. Initially, the hypothalamus triggers the pituitary gland to produce follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). As a result, the ovaries get the signal to release follicles that contains an immature egg. Except for one, the rest of the eggs gets absorbed in your body. The maturing follicle increases estrogen secretion and converts the uterus lining thicker. It continues for 16 days and then the ovulation phase starts.

Ovulation

The increasing level of estrogen in your body stimulates pituitary glands to produce luteinizing hormone. This process results in ovulation. Women having a 28-period cycle will experience this around the 14th day.

Luteal Phase

The luteal phase ranges from the 15th to the 28th day of your menstrual cycle. In this phase, the progesterone hormone prepares your uterus for pregnancy. If you don’t get pregnant, the body will release human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). It keeps the corpus luteum uterus lining thicker but the same wipes off and reabsorbed to your body when pregnancy not occurs.

When should you contact the doctor?

Are you struggling to get your period on time? Is there a heavy bleeding issue? If your answer is yes, it’s time to see your doctor. Following are some of the signs when your menstrual cycle is not normal:

  • The period is coming late
  • Bleeding is heavy
  • Intolerable pain during period
  • No periods even after three months of consuming birth pills

Final Thoughts

The menstrual cycle is what allows the female body to prepare itself for pregnancy. However, the menstrual cycle can become disrupted if the levels of certain hormones in your body become imbalanced. You have to keep a regular check on your period and report to the doctor if there is any slight delay in the period cycle.

Fathiyya Al Shaikh

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Fathiyya Al Shaikh

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