The menstrual cycle is a cycle of bodily changes normally on average consists of 25 to 28 days which starts from the first day of periods to the day before the next periods.
The menstrual cycle can be better understood by having some knowledge about female reproductive organs which basically comprises of the cervix, vagina, 2 ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. Ovaries control the development and release of eggs. Fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the womb where the implantation process takes place. Cervix is the entrance point to the womb from the vagina.
Menstruation also known as periods or menses is the flow of fluid through the uterus for 2 to 7 days. This fluid consists of blood, tissues, and cell from the lining of the uterus. Periods start at 12, 13 years of age commonly and end near the age of 50 called menopause. These ages can vary for every woman. If the periods do not start maximum at the age of 16 or 7 then the checkup should be taken into consideration that what are the underlying reasons for the delay of the first periods
During the menstrual cycle, different hormones are released which causes the release of the egg and helps the womb to prepare for the process of implantation. The egg travels down to the fallopian tube through the womb. If the egg is fertilized through the sperm then the pregnancy occurs otherwise in case of no fertilization the uterus lining which consists of nutrients and blood for the development of embryo breaks down and flows form the body in the form of a period.
The count of the menstrual cycle can be measured by considering the days between two periods. For example, your period started on 4th November and then the next month the period was on 2nd December then the days between two periods will determine the menstrual cycle. Here the cycle will be of 28 days.
Women are most fertile during their ovulation period. The ovulation period normally happens approximately 14 days before the start of the next period. But the ovulation period can vary on the duration of the menstruation cycle. If the cycle Is normal i-e of 26 to 28 days then the ovulation period will be 14 days before the next period but if the cycle is shorter or longer then it can be of 10 to 16 days.
There are four phases of the menstrual cycle.
It is the first day when your periods start. The bleeding occurs normally during the first 3 days of the menstruation and after that, the intensity of the bleeding decreases. Period pain can occur which can vary in degree from dull to severe and can even cause pain in the lower back or legs.
The menstrual cycle is controlled by various glands and hormones. The brain sends signals to the pituitary glands which further interact with ovaries to produce estrogen and progesterone. Both are sex hormones and play an active role in causing pregnancy.
Your body starts preparing for ovulation when the periods end. The estrogen level is low during the periods. During the periods another hormone called Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) starts producing in the pituitary gland and it is directly linked to ovaries and initiates maturation of the new egg. The estrogen level starts increasing during the maturation process and uterus lining thicken with blood and nutrients to nourish an embryo. This phase lasts for 13 to 14 days. decreases.
Only one follicle egg gets mature and the other die. The ovulation process releases mature eggs form ovary. Ovulation occurs before 10 to 16 days before the next periods and increases the chance of getting pregnant, in order to know the more about improving the chance of getting pregnant, carefully observe your ovulation and fertile window during the menstruation cycle.
The level of estrogen rises and the brain releases a chemical called gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Due to this chemical, Follicle Stimulating Hormone and luteinizing hormone (LH) level increases. The function of the luteinizing hormone is to stimulate the follicle egg from the ovary and the dominant egg finally released.
This phase ends with the release of a mature egg. The luteinizing hormone surge will determine when the women are fertile. This hormone can be measured in the urine. If the egg is fertilized within the 12 hours after release then the chances of pregnancies increases. If the sperm is present in the reproductive tart before the release of the egg then the fertilization process more likely will be successfully completed.
If the egg has been successfully traveled to the womb through the fallopian tubes then the progesterone hormone starts producing. This hormone is responsible for keeping the lining of the uterus which provides blood and nutrients
The egg lasts for approximately 24 hours. If no egg has been fertilized during this phase then the levels of estrogen and progesterone and the egg eventually will die. The lining will break up and it occurs at around day 22 of 28-day cycle. This process is known as menstruation and this cycle will continue during and after the next period.
The whole cycle will restart after the next period and in the same way, will continue until the women reach the age of menopause. Several difficulties can occur physically and emotionally during the phases like the cramps and pain during the menstruation and anxiety, mood swings and low energy levels due to the drop of the hormones during the luteal phase. In order to know better about your menstrual cycle keep the track of the days between your periods and in case of any complication or severe pain, consult the doctor.