menstrual cycle

Know about Basic Facts about Menstrual Cycle - Phases and Menstrual Cycle Length

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Menstrual cycle phases are classified in 2 types such as follicular and luteal phase. Menstrual cycle length are divided into normal, short, irregular or long cycle phases. Menstruation cycle calculator is used for calculating the menstrual days every month. It helps in taking right measures to keep menses on track.

You always encounter this question 'first day of your last period' whenever you visit your doctor. It may seem repetitive and unnecessary but the duration of the menstrual cycle can tell a lot about the health along with the changes body goes through every month. With the help of this, the doctor can give you a better vision of your fertility window as the female body prepares itself for the pregnancy. But the question lies what our cycle depicts about the ability of body to conceive naturally.

Menstrual Cycle or Period Cycle

When we talk about menstrual cycle then it is more than period. It is actually a chain of changes a female body goes through every month where ovary releases an egg and uterus prepares itself for the pregnancy. This cycle is bifurcated into two phases:

1- The Follicular Phase: This phase starts with the first day of period or menses i.e. the first day of your cycle. In this, brain releases the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) which is a female sex hormone for stimulating the growth of single dominant follicle which has egg. Then the follicle releases estrogen, which activates the uterine lining growth during its maturation. This phase finishes at the start of ovulation. The duration of this phase may differ.
Normal menstrual cycle

2- The Luteal Phase: This phase starts with ovulation and continues till menses onset. In this, the ovary releases progesterone, which is responsible for uterine lining maturity and prepares it for embryo implantation. The progesterone level drops and bleeding starts if pregnancy doesn't occur. This phase lasts for maximum 14 days.

Why menstrual cycle length matters?

The number of days from the first day of bleeding till the beginning of next menses is the length of the menstrual cycle. Without any form of birth control, the length of the cycle is a key indicator of hormonal imbalance and in any case ovulation is taking place regularly. Pregnancy cannot occur without ovulation.

1- Normal Menstrual Cycle: When menstrual cycle is within 21 to 35 days, it indicates the ovulation is occurring regularly as the cycles are regular. Normal length menstrual cycle indicates regular ovulation and sex hormones are balanced for supporting the natural conception.

2- Short Menstrual Cycle: It indicates menstruation in less than 21 days. It indicates ovulation hasn't occurred. The ovarian contain few eggs and menopause is approaching. Natural conception is more difficult if blood works confirms it. Woman's menstrual cycle shortens with age.

3- Long or Irregular Menstrual Cycle: When menstrual cycle is occurring after 35 days or more. It indicates either there is no ovulation or it is occurring irregularly. It indicates the difficulty in conception. The reason behind irregular menstruation is lack of regular ovulation. If follicle doesn't mature and ovulate, then progesterone is never released and uterus lining keeps building due to estrogen.
 Menstrual cycle
With time, the lining starts getting thick and become unstable and like blocks tower which in some time falls and results in bleeding. The bleeding is unpredictable and can be really hard and lasts for long period.

Anovulation: This is a situation when ovaries don't release mature eggs regularly. There are number of factors like irregularities with thyroid gland or increase in prolactin levels which prevents the brain from communicating with ovary. PCOS is a situation, which takes place due to imbalance of sex hormones and can result in failed ovulation and fertility plus increases the miscarriage risk.

Silent Anovulation: In a study it was found that one third of all-normal menstrual cycles may be egg less and known as silent anovulation. It occurs when female have regular cycles but ovaries doesn't release egg. It thwarts woman's fertility, increasing the risk of bone less, breast cancer and early heart attack. Stress is also related to silent anovulation. Researchers believe it is a response of body to stop female from getting pregnant.

What if bleeding lasts for more than 5 to 7 days?

If bleeding lasts for more than 7 days then it indicates that ovulation has not taken place. It informs doctor that ovulation isn't occurring regularly, something disrupting the uterus lining or the issue is letting formation of blood clots.

What happens when you never menstruate?

It you have rarely or never had your periods then it implies ovulation not occurring. It results in difficulty in conceiving naturally without any intervention.

Normal menstruation indicates your regular ovulation and there are many factors that why you are unable to get pregnant which needs to be evaluated by your doctor.

 

Hope this article gave you an idea on the menstrual cycle along with what are the issues related with short menstruation and irregular menstrual cycles. Follow Elawoman blog to get regular updates on fertility health and treatments.

Dr. Sunil Eshwar

About The Author

Infertility Specialist, IVF Specialist Dr. Sunil Eshwar
Bangalore

Dr. Sunil Eshwar is an Infertility specialist who is presently specializing in laparoscopic surgery, high-risk pregnancies and infertility treatments such as IVF and IUI. Dr. Sunil Eshwar completed his MBBS from Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute in 2000 and MD from Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in 2004. Later, he completed DNB from National Board of Examination in 2006. Dr. Sunil Eshwar is currently practicing at Apollo Fertility, Brookfield, Bangalore. For more information about Dr. Sunil Eshwar, visit elawoman.com

11 Comments

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Sachi Saxena

Very helpful blog. Thanks for sharing it!

June 30, 2018, 6:20 p.m. 5.0

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Jyoti

Yes, I have PCOS problem. What should I do?

March 15, 2018, 3:35 a.m. 5.0

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Dee Garza

I got off birth control in October and since then my cycles have been 49+ days long. After reading this I'm concerned that there might be something wrong with me. I also was supposed to start my period two days ago and Im not pregnant so this just raises my concerns. Any advice?

March 1, 2018, 1:21 a.m. 4.5

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Pooja

I had my last period on January 24th that lasted till 30th. Do I have a chance of getting conceived this month?

Feb. 18, 2018, 3:21 p.m. 5.0

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Dessyboo

I was supposed to get my period 5 days ago but instead I've been seeing a pink and brown discharge but still nothing happened. I am planning to go to the doctor and get a test, is it going to be accurate?

Feb. 13, 2018, 1:52 a.m. 5.0

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Alona Fields

Can you get pregnant 9 days before your period is to start?

Feb. 11, 2018, 4:40 a.m. 4.5

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Ritika

I get my periods regularly. Hope I don't get any problems in conceiving after marriage.

Feb. 9, 2018, 1:07 p.m. 4.5

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Misty

Can someone please help me? I got my period on the 25th of January, finished them on the 29 but any time I go to pee there's some blood and it's getting darker I've noticed.

Feb. 3, 2018, 6:57 a.m. 5.0

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Pavithra Noel

Silent anovulation is indeed a dangerous situation for a woman in her reproductive years.

Jan. 31, 2018, 10:17 p.m. 5.0

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Pavithra Noel

I thought menstrual cycle mainly revolves around periods only but looks like that's not the case. Many things are linked with it. Interesting!

Jan. 31, 2018, 10:15 p.m. 5.0

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Alisha Bhaldar

I do have a regular 28 days cycle, yet it is not quite stable. So can menstrual cycle change course and get longer or shorter with time?

Jan. 31, 2018, 10:13 p.m. 5.0

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