What is the menstrual cycle?
The process of ovulation and menstruation. If the egg is not fertilized, the endometrium starts to break down. The unfertilized egg and the endometrium discharge.
What are some symptoms?
- Head or backache
- Appetite changes or food cravings.
The 4 Stages of the Menstrual Cycle
- Follicle Stage: FSH is secreted, then circulated to the ovary through the blood stream. When it reaches the ovary, one follicle is matured and grows in size to form an egg. The endometrium begins to thicken
- Ovulation Stage: LH is secreted by the pituitary gland. At day 14, the combination of FSH, LH and estrogen cause the mature follicle to break, then the mature egg cell releases.
- Luteal Stage: LH stimulates the mature egg cell to divide quickly. The corpus luteum secretes progesterone, which causes the endometrium to thicken and grow. This stage lasts about 14 days.
- Menstruation Stage: If fertilization doesn't occur, LH decreases. This causes the corpus luteum to break down and decreases the amount of progesterone. the endometrium starts to break down. The endometrium, unfertilized egg, and blood from the ruptured capillaries is discharged through the vagina.
- The abnormal absence of menstruation. Women who have missed 3 periods in a row have amenorrhea.
- The most common cause is pregnancy. Other causes include problems with reproductive organs.
- Symptoms are: Pelvic pain, hair loss, excess facial hair, acne (Symptoms normally caused by underlying problem.)
Premenstrual Syndrome PMS
- A group of symptoms that occur in women, typically between ovulation and a period.
- Symptoms include: mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability, and depression, nausea, abdominal and pelvic pain
- Lifestyle changes and medications may reduce symptoms.
- Severe pain during menstruation
- Normally caused by excessive levels of prostaglandins
- When the ovaries stop producing hormones
- Typically around ages 45-55
- Symptoms include: hot flashes, vaginal dryness, anxiety or depression, sleep disturbances
- There are no treatments, only symptomatic relief