The sequence of events occurring during the typical menstrual cycle is summarized.
What is a Menstruation?
Menstruation is the monthly separation of a woman’s uterus (also called uterus). Menstruation is also known in terms of menstrual period, cycle or duration. The menstrual blood, partly and partly in the uterus, flows from the uterus through the vagina.
What is the normal menstrual cycle?
The menstrual cycle is a term used to describe the sequence of events that occur in a woman’s body while preparing for the possibility of pregnancy each month. It is considered that a menstrual cycle begins on the first day of a period. The average cycle lasts 28 days; However, the duration of a cycle can vary from 21 days to approximately 35 days.
The stages of the menstrual cycle are caused by the increase and fall of chemicals in the body called hormones. The pituitary gland in the brain and ovaries in the female reproductive tract produce and release certain hormones at certain times of the menstrual cycle, resulting in a reaction of the reproductive organs in some way.
The specific events that occur during the menstrual cycle can be described as follows:
The menstrual phase: this phase, which usually lasts from day 1 to day 5, corresponds to the moment when the lining of the uterus is evacuated through the vagina if a pregnancy has not occurred. Most women bleed for 3 to 5 days, but a period of only 2 to 7 days is still considered normal.
The follicular phase: This phase is usually carried out from day 6 to 14. Meanwhile, the level of the estrogen hormone increases, causing the growth and thickening of the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium). In addition, another hormone, the hormone that stimulates the follicles, causes the follicles to grow in the ovaries. On days 10 to 14, one of the developing follicles will form a fully mature egg (ovule).
Ovulation: This phase occurs approximately on day 14 of the 28-day menstrual cycle. A sudden increase in another hormone, luteinizing hormone, causes the ovary to release the egg. This event is called ovulation.
The luteal phase: This phase lasts from the fifteenth to the twenty-eighth day. Once the ovum leaves the ovary, it begins to cross the fallopian tubes and goes to the uterus. The level of the hormone progesterone increases to help prepare the uterine lining for pregnancy. If the egg is fertilized by a sperm and attaches to the uterine wall, the woman becomes pregnant. In the absence of pregnancy, the levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease and the thickened lining of the uterus disappears during the menstrual period.
At what age does menstruation begin?
Girls start menstruating at the average age of 12 years old. However, girls can start menstruating from age 8 or up to 16 years old. Women stop menstruating during menopause, which occurs around the age of 51. At menopause, a woman stops producing eggs (stops ovulating). Menopause is defined as a year without menstruation and after this period, a woman can no longer get pregnant.
What are some of the symptoms of normal menstruation?
Cramps in the lower abdomen and in the back
Tenderness in the breasts.
What symptoms may indicate the need to contact my doctor about my period?
Contact your doctor or health care provider if:
• You did not start your period at 16 years old. • Your period stops suddenly • You bleed more days than usual • you are bleeding more than normal • you have severe pain during your periods • you bleed between the rules • You suddenly feel sick after using tampons • you think you are pregnant: for example, you have had sex and your periods are at least five days late • Your period has not returned within two months after stopping birth control pills and you know you are not pregnant. • Do you have questions or concerns about your period or possible pregnancy?