What is a Menstrual cycle?
The menstrual cycle is a duration between women’s first day of the period to the day before her next period. The Menstrual cycle is a natural phenomenon occurs in the female reproductive system due to which pregnancy becomes possible. It is the monthly series of bleeding in women. Every month when women menstruate, her body releases the lining of the uterus. The blood flows from the uterus through the cervix and comes out from the vagina. Mostly, the menstrual period lasts for 3 to 5 days.
The Menstrual cycle is necessary as it ensures a good reproductive health. It provides essential hormones and also prepares the body for pregnancy each month. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long. It can range anywhere from 21 to 35 days in adults and from 21 to 45 days in young teens.
How does menstrual cycle occur in a female?
During the first half of the menstrual cycle, the level of estrogen raises in a woman’s body. It is a female hormone which helps to keep the female body healthy and keep bones strong. It also makes the lining of the womb grow and thicken. This part of the womb nourishes the embryo during pregnancy. This part grows an egg also called an ovum in one of the ovaries starts to mature and after about 28 days the egg leaves the ovary. This process is known as ovulation.
The chances to become pregnant is high during the 3 days before or on the day of ovulation when the egg left the ovary and passes through the uterus.
A woman becomes pregnant when the egg is fertilized by a man’s sperm cell and attaches to the uterine wall. If the egg is not fertilized, it will break apart, hormone levels drop, and the thickened lining of the uterus is shed during the menstrual period.
What are the stages in the menstrual cycle?
According to the study, the normal menstrual cycle is 28 days, it will vary only with the age factor and the hormonal disorder in the women body if any. The count of the menstrual cycle starts when the blood comes out from the vagina and to the next day of the period.
The entire duration of a Menstrual cycle can be divided into four main phases:
- Menstrual phase (From day 1 to 5)
- Follicular phase (From day 1 to 13)
- Ovulation phase (Day 14)
- Luteal phase (From day 15 to 28)
Menstrual phase (day 1-5)
Menstrual phase initiates on the first day of menstruation and lasts till the 5th day of the menstrual cycle. The events happen during this phase are as follows:
- The inner wall of the uterus sheds. This wall is made up of soft tissue and blood vessels which come out in the form of a blood through the vagina.
- The Blood loss of 10 ml to 80 ml is taken as normal during the menstrual period.
- A woman can also face abdominal cramps which happen due to shrinkage of the uterine and the abdominal muscles.
Follicular phase (day 1-13)
This phase begins on the first day of menstruation to the 13th day of the menstrual cycle. The events occur during this stage are:
- The pituitary gland hides a hormone that excites the egg cells to grow in the ovaries.
- Out of these egg cells, one begins to mature in a sac-like-structure called follicle and it takes 13 days to reach the maturity.
- While the egg cell matures, its follicle secretes a hormone that stimulates the uterus to develop an endometrium.
Ovulation phase (day 14)
On the 14th day of the cycle, the egg cell release from the ovary and swept into the fallopian tube through the cilia of the fimbriae.
Luteal phase (day 15-28)
This phase begins on the 15th day and lasts util the end of the cycle. During this phase:
- The egg cell discharged and stays in the fallopian tube for 24 hours.
- If a sperm cell does not infuse the egg cell within that time, the egg cell disintegrates.
- The hormone that is the origin of the uterus to preserve its endometrium gets used up by the end of the menstrual cycle.