Menstrual cycle :
The menstrual cycle is the cycle of natural changes that occurs in the uterus and ovary as an essential part of making sexual reproduction possible.The menstrual cycle is essential for the production of eggs, and for the preparation of the uterus for pregnancy.The cycle occurs only in fertile female humans and other female primates. In human females, the menstrual cycle occurs repeatedly between the age of menarche, when cycling begins, until menopause, when it ends.
Periods and fertility in the menstrual cycle :
The length of the menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman, but the average is to have periods every 28 days. Regular cycles that are longer or shorter than this, from 24 to 35 days, are normal. “Girls can start their periods anywhere from age 10 upwards, but the average is around 12 years,”
“The average age for the menopause (when periods stop) in this country is 50-55.”
Between the ages of 12 and 52, a woman will have around 480 periods, or fewer if she has any pregnancies.
What happens during the menstrual cycle?
Two ovaries (where eggs are stored, develop and are released)
The womb (uterus) – where a fertilised egg implants and a pregnancy grow.
The fallopian tubes – two thin tubes that connect the ovaries to the womb.
The cervix – the lower part of the womb that connects to the vagina
The vagina – a tube of muscle connecting the cervix to the outside of the body.
The menstrual cycle is controlled by hormones. In each cycle, rising levels of oestrogen cause the ovary to develop an egg and release it (ovulation).After ovulation, the hormone progesterone helps the womb lining grow thicker, ready for pregnancy. The time from the release of an egg to the start of a period is around 10-16 days.
What are periods?
A period is made up of blood and the womb lining. The first day of a woman's period is day one of the menstrual cycle."Periods last around three to seven days, and women lose about three to five tablespoons of blood in a period".
What happens during ovulation?
Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovaries. A woman is born with all her eggs. Once she starts her periods, one egg (occasionally two) develops and is released during each menstrual cycle.
After ovulation, the egg lives for 24 hours. "If you release more than one egg in a month, you will produce that second egg within 24 hours of the first". Pregnancy happens if a man's sperm meet and fertilise the egg.
Sperm can survive in the fallopian tubes for up to seven days after sex.
A woman can't get pregnant if ovulation doesn't occur. Some hormonal methods of contraception – such as the combined pill, the contraceptive patch and the contraceptive injection – work by stopping ovulation.
When is the fertile time?
“Theoretically, there's only a short time when women can get pregnant, and that is the time around ovulation”. It's difficult to pinpoint exactly when ovulation happens unless you're practising fertility awareness. In most women, ovulation happens around 10-16 days before the next period.
Fertility awareness can be used to plan or avoid pregnancy, but has to be taught by a trained fertility awareness instructor. It involves monitoring your vaginal secretions, taking your temperature every day, and keeping a calendar of your cycle to help pinpoint when ovulation is likely to be happening.
“It’s not accurate to say that women are fertile on day 14 of the menstrual cycle”. This might be true for women who have a regular, 28-day cycle, but it won’t apply to women whose cycles are shorter or longer.
Normal vaginal secretions
Vaginal secretions (sometimes called vaginal discharge) change during the menstrual cycle. Around the time of ovulation, they become thinner and stretchy, a bit like raw egg white.
The cause of irregular menstrual cycle
Irregular periods is quite common to most women, it is a common menstrul complaint of a women. Irregular menstrual periods is not much to worry about but sometimes it can signal women health complication. Irregular menstrual cycle can make your stomach pain and headache. Stress is a common cause of Irregular menstrual periods. when women started to worry, or fatigued, anxious or even feel very sad when someone whom she love is gone in this world or a break up with his lovers.
When women who is going to experience the end of her menstrual cycle is another cause of irregular periods. The causes of irregular menstrual cycle may due to extreme exercises which can havoc your body, Weight loss programe can affect women hormones and cause irregular periods. Women with anorexia or bulimia often have no period or irregular periods.