A menstrual cycle or period is the shedding of endometrium or uterine lining. This is also known as menstruation. All women and also some female mammals have regular periods during the reproductive age. Menstrual cycle includes bleeding from the vagina, which is mainly found in humans and similar mammals like primates. Menstrual blood flows through the uterus from the small opening in the cervix and passes from the body through vagina. Usually, a menstrual cycle lasts for 3 to 5 days each month.
A brief overview on a woman’s menstrual cycle:
If period comes regularly, then this is known as the menstrual cycle. Regular menstruation is important and it is a sign of indication that your body is working properly. This cycle will provide important chemicals to your body known as hormones in order to keep your body healthy. Also it prepares a woman’s body for pregnancy every month. One cycle is counted from the first day of the period to first day of second or next period. Usually it is 28 days long. Menstrual cycles may also range from 21 to 35 days in the adults and in young teens it could be from 21 to 45 days. Lower and higher levels of body hormones can be controlled with the menstrual cycle. In each cycle, increase of estrogen can cause the ovary to produce egg and release the ovulation. Womb lining can also start thickening.
After ovulation, progesterone hormone helps womb lining to grow thicker, and make it ready for pregnancy. The egg flows through the fallopian tubes. In case pregnancy doesn’t occur then the egg can be absorbed into body. Progesterone and estrogen levels will come to normal levels, and then womb lining comes to its original stage and prepares your body for your next period. Egg can be released in 10-16 days of period.
In case the egg doesn’t generate or doesn’t implant successfully, then it starts to disintegrate and corpus luteum starts shrinking. Progesterone and estrogen levels may drop and the uterus lining stop producing prostaglandins.
As you get older, and getting near to menopause, you will find that length of the menstrual cycle may change. As you are getting older, this cycle length may get shorter; sometimes you may also get lengthy periods.
If your age is less than 40 and has long period gaps, or your menstruation stopped completely, then it is recommended to consult your doctor to get blood tests. Some contraception methods, like intrauterine device and hormone injection may cause the irregular bleeding.