Whether or not you want to have children, menstruation will be part of everyday life for the vast majority of women. So, knowing your menstrual cycle is an important act of self-knowledge - and one that can help you both get pregnant and avoid pregnancy. Let’s read more about it
What is menstrual cycle
The menstrual cycle, also called the uterine cycle, refers to the changes that affect the endometrium during each month. These are hormonal and structural changes that mark a woman's fertility. On average, the first menstrual cycle (menarche) occurs at age 12, and the last occurs after age 45, at the menopausal stage.
How to count the menstrual cycle
This is really simple to do! Just write down the first day your period came down every month. Thus, you consider the time interval between the first day of menstruation and the day before the next menstruation.
This period ranges from 21 to 35 days. If your cycle lasts longer or shorter than that, it could be a sign of a gynecological problem. In that case, notify your doctor so that he can investigate the possible cause for this change.
Phases of the menstrual cycle
Between the beginning and the end, the menstrual cycle goes through several phases. Understand each one of them:
This is the first phase of the menstrual cycle, and it begins as soon as menstruation begins. The follicular phase is marked by an increase in estrogen production and a decrease in progesterone in order to stimulate the development of follicles – structures that contain eggs – in the ovaries.
This period lasts about 14 days, and presents symptoms such as weakness, period cramps, headache, discharge, frequent urination and, in some cases, migraine.
These symptoms can be a real problem for some women, since they can feel an awful menstrual pain, some women feel more than others, and to reduce this period pain there are some methods you can do to feel better, like heating bottle, teas, and the best choice is the ovatune period pain machine, which relieves your cramps instantly.
When the follicle stimulated in the previous phase ruptures and releases the egg, the ovulatory phase begins. This egg travels through the uterine tubes until it reaches the uterus - and it is precisely this journey that characterizes ovulation.
Normally, this phase starts from the 14th day of the menstrual cycle, and causes increased libido, improved mood and abdominal pain. The fertile period happens during this stage, and lasts longer than the useful life of the egg – which is, on average, 24 hours. That's because sperm can survive for days in a woman's body.
So, if she had sex a few days before ovulating, there is a high chance of getting pregnant. If the egg is not fertilized, it is naturally eliminated by the body.
With the end of the ovulatory phase, the luteal phase arrives. During this period, the formation of a tissue called the corpus luteum occurs, which increases estrogen and progesterone levels. This causes changes in the endometrium so that the body is able to receive a possible pregnancy until the placenta develops.
If this pregnancy does not take place, the corpus luteum regresses and stops hormone production. The endometrium, in turn, begins to desquamate, starting a new period.
And it is at the end of the luteal phase that the famous period of premenstrual tension, PMS, happens, when the woman usually feels pain or swelling in the belly and breasts, fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, changes in sleep and appetite, etc.
How many days does the fertile period last?
The fertile period usually lasts approximately 6 days, starting between the 10th and 14th day after the first day of menstruation. It is during this period that the woman is most likely to become pregnant, as it is when the ovary releases an egg that, if unprotected sexual intercourse occurs during this period, can be fertilized by a spermatozoon.