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Understanding your Menstrual cycle



Do you know what happens during the menstrual cycle, what is ovulation, why do you bleed?

If you want to know more read on


The menstrual cycle is a natural process that occurs in the female reproductive system, typically lasting about 28 days on average, although everybody is different and it can range from 21-35 days. The menstrual cycle involves a series of hormonal changes and physiological events aimed at preparing the body for a potential pregnancy.


Here's a breakdown of the menstrual cycle:

1.     Menstrual Phase (Days 1-5): The cycle begins on the first full day of a bleed. This is where the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium) sheds along with blood and tissue through the vagina. This phase usually lasts around 3 to 7 days.


2.     Follicular Phase (Days 1-13): During this phase, the ovaries are stimulated to produce several immature eggs. One dominant follicle (egg) will continue to develop, while the others are reabsorbed.  At this stage Estrogen levels rise, causing the uterus lining to thicken in preparation for a potential pregnancy.


3.     Ovulation (Day 14): Around the middle of the cycle, typically on day 14 in a 28-day cycle, a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) triggers the release of a mature egg from the ovary. This is known as ovulation. The egg then travels down the fallopian tube where it may be fertilized by sperm.


4.     Luteal Phase (Days 15-28): After ovulation, the empty follicle transforms into a structure called the corpus luteum, which secretes progesterone. Progesterone helps to maintain the thickened endometrium, making it suitable for implantation of a fertilized egg. If fertilization doesn't occur, hormone levels decline, leading to the shedding of the uterine lining and the start of a new menstrual cycle.


Throughout the cycle, hormonal fluctuations can influence mood, energy levels, and physical symptoms like breast tenderness or bloating. If fertilization occurs, the fertilized egg implants into the thickened uterine lining, and pregnancy begins. If not, the menstrual cycle continues its regular pattern.

 

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