The menstrual cycle is something beyond your period—it’s the cadenced changes of the female reproductive system. The progressions all through the menstrual cycle are controlled by hormones, like estrogen, progesterone, follicle stimulating hormones, testosterone and others. They trigger the development of follicles in the ovaries, the arrival of an egg which is ovulation, and the development and shedding of the uterine lining also known as the menstrual period.

The menstrual cycle is a way by which a woman prepares her body for possible pregnancy. A menstrual cycle may last for 28 days but the cycle may be shorter or longer in some women. Every month, the female body will release an egg from the ovaries to the fallopian tubes and into the uterus. This process is known as ovulation. When the egg is not fertilized by sperm, It will lead to the withdrawal of hormones that cause the lining of the uterus to shed, a process known as menstruation.

In the event that ovulation happens and the egg isn’t fertilized, the lining of the uterus sheds through the vagina. This is a menstrual period. The menstrual cycle, which is counted from the first day of one period to the first day of the following, isn’t the same for each woman. Menstrual flow may happen each 21 to 35 days and usually last two to seven days.

A menstrual period can have the following types:

  • Heavy period is when a woman loses more than 60 ml of blood in each menstrual period
  • Painful period is when a woman has cramps during her menstrual period
  • Irregular period happens when women have a cycle shorter than 28 days or longer than this.
  • Missed period is when your period didn’t arrive for one cycle or for more cycles

A woman of reproductive age should undergo the following tests during her annual gynecologic exam to make sure she has no problems with her menstrual cycle:

  • Blood pressure checks
  • Height and weight measurements
  • Urine screening
  • Cholesterol screening every three to five years
  • Complete blood count
  • Thyroid screening
  • Screening for blood in stool
  • Pelvic exam
  • Breast exam
  • Pap smear
  • HPV screening














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