Phases of the Menstrual Cycle
Every woman menstruates and this is a normal and natural part of being female. And while most people think of a normal period as being a 28-day cycle, it is important to remember that every woman’s body is different. What’s normal for one woman, may not be normal for another. While the majority of health care professionals will teach that menstruation lasts a total of seven days, some women only have five-day periods while others may only menstruate for three. When a teenage girl begins her period, the cycles will normally be more irregular. The same theory applies to a woman who is older and about to go through menopause.
There are several phases of the menstrual cycle. The very first stage is called the follicular phase. In general, this phase begins on the day that you begin your period. It is characterized by the shedding of the uterine lining. Your body gets rid of this shed lining by contractions, which are often referred to as cramps. When you feel a cramp during your period, it is actually your body getting rid of the uterine lining. Some women may experience longer periods due to a lack of contractions. A lack of uterine contractions may have something to do with a vitamin deficiency.
During the first phase, your body also regrows the uterine lining and thickens it. This is in preparation for conception, if it should occur. After your period ends, the ovulation phase begins. During this particular stage, an egg will be released in response to your body’s development of luteinising hormone. This egg can only be fertilized for about 48 hours, which is why many doctors advise women to be aware of when their ovulation occurs if they are trying to get pregnant.
The final phase of the menstrual cycle is called the luteal stage. This begins on your last day of ovulation and lasts up until your next period begins. If you should become pregnant during ovulation, the egg will implant itself during this phase. If you do not become pregnant, your body will ready itself for the next month’s menstrual cycle.
As stated before, every woman is different and giving time frames is not necessarily correct for each individual. If you are suffering from irregular periods, there could be several causes for this. Many believe that hormonal imbalances may be to blame. Taking a high quality multivitamin may help to stabilize your hormones enough to get you on a more routine cycle. There are also other gynecological conditions that may be the cause to your problem. Visiting a doctor will help you to rule out anything major.
Some women believe that taking birth control pills will help to regulate their cycles, though this is normally only done synthetically. Those who come off the pill may go back to having irregular periods again. It is best to get to the root of the problem before taking action and to realize that an irregular period to some may be regular for you.