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Menstrual Cycle

Menstrual Cycle

Every women’s month to month.



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What’s the menstrual cycle?

The menstrual cycle is the woman's internal clock, which helps her body to settle every month for a possible pregnancy.

The menstrual cycle is marked by the presence of menstruation, and is the arrival of this that marks the first day of the period. The average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days; however, it can last from 23 to 35 days.

Thanks to the work of hormones, menstrual cycle occurs and involves a lot of organs, such as: the brain, ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, uterus, cervix, and pituitary gland.
 
The ovaries produce two major female sex hormones:

  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone

On the other hand, the pituitary gland also produces two other very important hormones in the menstrual cycle:

  • Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

 

What happens in the menstrual cycle?

In the first half of the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels increase and cause them to generate widening and lining in the uterus, a layer grows in the uterus known as “endometrium”, this is what will nourish the fetus if a pregnancy occurs.

As a result of follicle stimulating hormone, the ovule starts to mature in an ovary. Then, around day 14, on a regular cycle, typically 28 days, the effect of luteinizing hormone causes the ovule to leave the ovary. And this is what is called "ovulation" and that is why this day is the most fertile in women with regular cycles of 28 days.
For the second half of the menstrual cycle, the ovule has begun to move through the fallopian tube on its way to the uterus.

Progesterone levels rises, which helps to prepare the lining of the uterus for pregnancy.

If a sperm meets the ovule and fertilizes it, then the zygote completes his way to the uterus and attaches to the uterine wall, then the woman becomes pregnant.

If the ovule is not fertilized, it dissolves or is absorbed by the body. If no pregnancy occurs, levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease and the endometrium of the uterus breaks down and is released from the body in what we call "menstruation".

Menstruation is blood and tissue from the inside of the uterus, it flows from the uterus through the cervix into the vagina to exit the body, its normal duration is 3 to 5 days.
Menstruation continues to appear every month in the life of the woman to stop ovulating, that is, until you reach menopause, about 50 years. Sometimes the menopause can occur earlier due to disorders, surgeries or treatments that hinder the production of ovules.


How should your period be?

During the menstrual period, you release the thickened uterine lining and extra blood through the vaginal canal.

The period can be different every month, or equal or not to the one of other women.

 

Periods may be mild, moderate or heavy, and its duration also varies. While most menstrual periods last from three to five days, periods that last between two and seven days are also considered normal.

The first months and even years after having had their first menstruation, menstrual cycles can be highly irregular.

The menstrual period may also become irregular as menopause approaches.



Menstrual Problems

Women may have different types of problems or changes with their menstrual cycles, among the most common are:

  • Amenorrhea: The absence of menstrual period. This term is used to    refer to the absence of menstrual period in women younger than 16 years of age have not yet begun to menstruate, or the absence of periods in women who used to have a regular period.

    It may be caused by pregnancy, lactation, extreme weight loss, caused by serious illness, eating disorders, excessive exercise, or stress. You may also be related to hormonal problems or diseases in reproductive organs.


  • Dysmenorrhea: The term used to describe painful menstrual periods, including severe menstrual cramps. It is important to know that in young women, the pain is not due to any disease.

           The pain is caused by a hormone called prostaglandin that is released at that time and it produces a feeling of pain. Of course, also a medical condition, such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis, may be responsible for pain. Do not give less importance to pain go see a doctor when you notice that the discomfort is not usual or normal for you.


  • Abnormal bleeding: Includes cases of heavy bleeding or unusually long periods (also known as menorrhagia), periods too frequent, and inter-menstrual bleeding (between periods).

           In adolescents and women approaching menopause, hormone imbalance problems often cause discomfort. It is still important to go to the doctor, also uterine fibroids and polyps may cause abnormal bleeding.

     

When should I see a gynecologist?

Seek medical attention if any of the following conditions related to their menstrual cycle:   

  • If you are 16 years and still have not had your first period
  • If your period suddenly stops
  • If you are bleeding for more days than usual.
  • If you have excessive vaginal bleeding.
  • If you feel sick after using tampons.
  • If bleeding between periods (more than just a few drops)
  • If dysmenorrhea or pain during menstruation is very intense


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