Phases of Menstrual Cycle – A Comprehensive Guide

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Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Phases of Menstrual cycle

In This Article

What is a Menstrual Cycle?

The menstrual cycle is the duration between a women’s first day of the period to the day before her next period. The Menstrual cycle is a natural phenomenon that 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. Blood flows from the uterus through the cervix and comes out from the vagina. Mostly, the menstrual period lasts for 3 to 5 days.

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The Menstrual cycle is necessary as it ensures 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?

How Does Menstrual Cycle Occur

During the first half of the menstrual cycle, the level of estrogen rises 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 and starts to mature and after about 28 days the egg leaves the ovary. This process is known as ovulation.

The chances of becoming pregnant are 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.

[Read : Understanding more about the female menstrual cycle]

What Are the Different Phases of Menstrual Cycle?

phases of 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’s 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:

1. Menstrual Phase (From Day 1 to 5)

The menstrual phase initiates on the first day of menstruation and lasts till the 5th day of the menstrual cycle. The events that 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 blood through the vagina.
  • 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.

2. Follicular Phase (From Day 1 to 13)

This phase begins on the first day of menstruation to the 13th day of the menstrual cycle. The events that 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 a follicle and it takes 13 days to reach maturity.
  • While the egg cell matures, its follicle secretes a hormone that stimulates the uterus to develop an endometrium.

3. Ovulation Phase (Day 14)

On the 14th day of the cycle, the egg cells are released from the ovary and swept into the fallopian tube through the cilia of the fimbriae.

[Read : Important Facts About Ovulation]

4. Luteal Phase (From Day 15 to 28)

The luteal phase begins on the 15th day and lasts until the end of the cycle. During this phase:

  • The egg cell is 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.

A proper understanding and charting of the menstrual cycle and the phases of the menstrual cycle becomes extremely vital when you are planning for a pregnancy or are planning to stay away from pregnancy. Understanding ovulation and the possibility of fertilization also can be possible when you keep a track of your cycle,

Read Also: What to Do When My Periods Are Late?

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Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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