Understanding the Phases of the Menstrual Cycle

Date Added: July 19, 2012 11:08:12 PM
Author: Libra
Category: Health: Women's Health

Every woman knows what it is to have a period. However, many women don’t really know the intricate details of what goes into making the female menstrual cycle tick. Although menstruation may seem simple, it’s actually the result of an entire chain of hormonal events that repeats on a monthly basis in order to prepare the body for the possibility of pregnancy.

 

The Organs and Structures Involved in Hormone Production

Every woman understands that the female menstrual cycle involves the uterus, the Fallopian tubes, and the ovaries. What she may not know is that there are actually many other structures and organs involved in the maintenance of her menstrual cycle as well. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus also are responsible for producing key hormones that facilitate the progress of the cycle. The uterus itself does not produce any of the hormones responsible. Instead, it is a target for hormones produced by the other organs involved.

 

The Phases of the Menstrual Cycle

The average menstrual cycle length for a normal, healthy woman is approximately 28 days long. However, the cycle as a whole can further be separated into two distinct sub-cycles.

  • The Follicular Phase: The follicular phase of the cycle spans Day 1 to Day 13 or 14. This is the phase that proceeds actual ovulation and finds the body prepping for the possibility of pregnancy. The uterus is busy building up its nutrient-rich lining and the ovaries are busy causing an ovum to first ripen and then travel from the Fallopian tube into the uterus to await the possibility of fertilization.
  • The Luteal Phase: The luteal phase spans Day 14 to Day 28 of the menstrual cycle. This is the phase following ovulation during which one of two things will happen. Either fertilizing intercourse will occur and the egg will successfully implant itself into the waiting lining of the uterus or fertilization will not occur. If it doesn’t occur, the egg will break down and be shed along with the now unnecessary lining so that the cycle can begin again.

 

Irregularities in the Menstrual Cycle

While most women do have menstrual cycles that last 28 days, it’s important to note that not every woman is the same. Some women have much shorter cycles than this while others have longer cycles. Still other women are completely irregular, having periods of different lengths at any given time, making it hard to predict ovulation.

If you have irregular periods, it’s advisable to discuss the situation with your doctor. He or she can screen you for possible treatable conditions such as hormone imbalances to help your body establish a proper equilibrium. Hormonal birth control can work wonders when it comes to regulating your periods, as can dietary or lifestyle changes. Ask your doctor what would be best for your unique body set-up.

Libra is the go-to brand for all things period. For all you need to know about your period and products, visit our website at www.lovelibra.co.nz

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