The Phases Of Your Menstrual Cycle
Menstrual cycles are a natural part of life, and there are many benefits to knowing what to expect during each phase. For example, if you know when your PMS symptoms will start then you can prepare yourself; if you know when ovulation will occur then you can plan for pregnancy or avoid it; and if you understand how a hormonal contraceptive works then you'll feel less confused if there are unexpected changes to your body. Read on to learn all the information you need about every phase of your menstrual cycle -- from start to finish.
The Menstrual Phase
The beginning of your menstrual cycle is called the menstrual phase. It is the time when you bleed from your uterus through your vagina, i.e, you get your period. The first day of your cycle is the day your period starts, so this phase begins right then. It lasts for three to five days, until the next phase occurs.
The first day of your period is the first day of one cycle and the last day of the previous one. A normal menstrual cycle is 28 days long, but it can vary between 22 and 35 days. The average time is 28 days. Usually, there should be three to five days of bleeding every month.
The Follicular Phase
Follicular phase is the time from when your period ends till when your ovulation starts. In the follicular phase, oestrogen increases while progesterone stays steady. This prepares the body for ovulation, which occurs at the end of this phase.=
During these phases a woman will experience changes in her mood, energy levels, and libido as well as physical changes like acne and vaginal discharge.
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The Ovulation Phase
Ovulation is the time when a woman is fertile (menstrual hygiene and fertility) and able to become pregnant. When an egg is released from the ovaries, it travels to the uterus through the fallopian tubes. If pregnancy does not occur, the egg will die and the lining of the uterus will be shed during menstruation. The ovulation phase is typically marked by a spike in luteinizing hormone (LH) from the anterior pituitary gland, which causes the ovary to release an egg.
This process usually takes place around day twelve of a woman's cycle, although it can vary slightly from woman to woman. There are several signs that may indicate you're entering your ovulation phase; like slight cramping, increased vaginal secretions and bloody discharge, increased sexual desire and arousal.
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The Luteal Phase
The last phase of the menstrual cycle is the luteal phase and it lasts from ovulation until your period starts again. During this phase, the egg that was previously maturing in one of your ovaries has been released (ovulated) and is now travelling down the fallopian tube toward your uterus.
If this egg gets fertilised by a sperm cell then it will implant itself into the lining of your uterus and turn into a baby. If not, then the unfertilised egg will be absorbed by your body and you'll get your period again in a few days. In the luteal phase, there is no increase in any of the hormones and the egg remains viable until your next period begins.