Menstruation is also called menses (periods). It is part of the menstrual cycle. Menstrual cycle is the body’s way of preparing you (woman) for pregnancy.

When you, as a girl, get your first menstrual period, known as menarche, then it will be one of the many physical signs that you are turning into a woman.

Having periods regularly indicates that your body is functioning properly. Normally, menarche occurs after two to three years when your breasts begin to develop. Remember, menarche doesn’t occur until all parts of your reproductive system get matured and work together.

Generally, your body and mind get changes during teenage years. Thus, for the most part, menstruation starts between the ages of twelve and thirteen but a first period may occur as early as age nine.

Changes in hormones that usually occur every month stimulate your body to release an ovum (egg). The production of this ovum in different stages refers to a menstrual cycle.

The menstrual cycle is a twenty-eight day long process that each and every female come across regularly until they reach menopause stage. This menstrual cycle, usually, lasts around twenty-eight days but, in rare cases, it can be as long as 40 days.

The menstrual cycle, typically, involves the brain, pituitary gland and all parts of the women’s reproductive system: the uterus, cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes and vagina.

Each and every month, the reproductive system prepares your body for the fertilization of ovum and the development of a fetus.

For this, the pituitary gland (located at the base of the brain) starts discharging chemicals called hormones, which stimulate the ovaries to produce the estrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone to help the ovum in the ovaries to mature.

The menstrual cycle starts from the first day of bleeding. Moreover, it occurs only when you are not pregnant. Each menstrual cycle has four phases: the menstrual phase, the pre-ovulation phase, the ovulation phase, and the post-ovulation phase.

In the first phase, every month, the uterus gets ready itself for an embryo by thickening the lining with blood and tissues. But, when an ovum is released with out being fertilized then the uterus will shed this lining and the blood passes out of the body through the vagina.

The second phase occurs when your period completes. In this phase, the ovaries again start producing ovum so as to release into the fallopian tubes.

The third phase occurs when the egg is released from the ovary into the fallopian tubes. When the ovum gets fertilized, then it will fix itself to the uterine wall and a fetus will start to develop. This phase usually occurs about 14 days before the next period starts.

The final phase occurs only when the ovum does not get fertilized. In this phase, the thickened lining of the uterus will shed and a new cycle commences.

Normally at around age 50, you will reach your menopause stage where you no longer produce eggs and cannot become pregnant. Even menopause varies from woman to woman. For some, menopause doesn’t occur until they reach sixties. Women who are experiencing discomfort during menopause should consider a menopause remedy to alleviate symptoms.