If you are trying to get pregnant, you will need to know about the female menstrual cycle. This will affect when you are ovulating and stand a chance to conceive. If you are not trying to get pregnant, you will still need to know about the normal menstrual cycle, to determine when you will have your period and what is happening to your body.
The basics of the female menstrual cycle
Women are born with the number of eggs that they will have for the rest of their life – unlike men, who are able to produce new sperm every day, through their whole life. Most women are born with between one and two million eggs; however, not all of these develop and are released. One egg will ripen during the normal menstrual cycle and will be released; this is known as the ovulation period.
If the egg is not fertilized, it will be flushed out, along with the lining that forms in your uterus. This is known as your period. However, there are times that the egg is fertilized and this will bury into the uterus and will develop into a baby.
The normal menstrual cycle
The average length of the menstrual cycle is 28 days. This is counted from the first day of a period to the day before the next one.
However, there are many cycles that can last for longer terms and those that can last for shorter cycles. The shortest one is usually around 22 days while the longest is around 36 days.
The menstrual cycle will start when a girl hits puberty, and is usually around the age of 12 or 13. At first, the cycles will be irregular and it is your body getting used to it. But the cycle will usually even out and the length is usually the same from one month to another. Of course, this differs between women and there are some who will have cycles that differ from month to month.
Women between 40 and 50 will usually find that they cycles become irregular again. This is usually due to menopause starting. It can be a difficult time for many women, due to symptoms and the feeling of reproductive days ending.
Discharge during the cycle
Something that happens during the female reproductive cycle is discharge. This will change during certain stages of the cycle. While ovulating, a milky white discharge is extremely common, while clear discharge is usually seen in the days leading up to and after your period.
However, if you do find that you are pregnant, you may find that your discharge remains milky white in color.
Change in hormones during the cycle
It is perfectly normal to experience a change in hormones during the female menstrual cycle. This often leads to mood swings and causes pre and post menstrual syndrome. This is completely normal and is just a dip in the hormones.
Estrogen and progesterone are both released regularly in the body and are common during ovulation. These are required for your body’s cycle and for other changes to the body. The two hormones will help with the growth of your baby, if you become pregnant, and have a lot to do with feeling down for no particular reason.