Human Reproduction

Menstrual Cycle

Reproduction is something that permits humans to grow in number, with the baby being held in the female’s womb for nine months. But how does a woman get ready for pregnancy? This preparation includes a series of changes termed as the menstrual cycle. In order to understand this concept, let us try to decode its various aspects in a systematic order.

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What is Menstrual Cycle?

Under the series of changes, every month the uterus expands a new lining to act ready for receiving a fertilized egg. If there is no fertilized egg to initiate a pregnancy, then the uterus discards its lining. You can call it the monthly menstrual bleeding or the menstrual cycle or the menstrual period, which women experience from early teen until menopause.

The menstrual cycle is counted from Day 1 of bleeding and ranges until Day 1 of the next bleeding phase. Even though the usual cycle is 28 days, it can be shorter or longer without any major concern. The whole duration of a menstrual cycle is segmented into four prominent phases:

  • From day 1 to 5: Menstrual phase
  • From day 1 to 13: Follicular phase
  • Day 14: Ovulation phase
  • From day 15 to 28: Luteal phase

Girls typically start experiencing menstrual periods when they are 11-14 years old. On the other hand, women usually experience fewer periods when they are in the age group 39-51 years. Interestingly, women who are in their 40s and teens can have cycles which are longer or vary a lot.

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Management of Menstrual Cycle

menstrual cycle

The menstrual cycle is primarily managed by hormones in the female body. For each cycle, the hypothalamus, as well as the pituitary gland, deliver hormone signals backwards and forward with the ovaries. It is these signals which permit the ovaries and uterus to get ready for pregnancy.

Learn more about Human Endocrine System to have a better understanding of this concept.

Furthermore, the hormones progesterone and estrogen play vital roles associated with the uterus and its changes during a particular cycle. Estrogen is responsible for building the lining of the uterus.

Also, progesterone enhances after an ovary discards an egg sometime in the middle of a particular cycle. Hence, this allows the estrogen to maintain a thick lining and stay prepared for a fertilized egg. When the progesterone drops, this causes the lining to break and the period starts.

Typical Symptoms Associated with Menstrual Cycle

According to an analysis, some women do not experience any pain or issues during the menstrual period. However, other women showcase symptoms right before and during the period cycle. Almost a week before the period starts, a number of women experience premenstrual symptoms. Females might appear angry and tense in this phase. Increase in water weight and bloating are common during this time.

Learn more about Reproduction System in Human Beings here in detail.

Further, breasts might feel tender and acne might also appear as a visible symptom. Cramps in your back, belly or legs, start one or two days before the period actually starts. However, these symptoms fade away after the first days of the menstrual period.

Question for You

Q: At which point during the menstrual cycle, a female is the most fertile?

Ans: It should be known that five days before the ovulation to two days after, a female is most fertile.  This knowledge is used by couples to increase the likelihood of conception.

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