Menstrual Cycle

By: Destiny Church

What is a Menstrual Cycle?

Once every 28 days a mature egg develops in the ovary. Before releasing the mature egg, the uterus makes the endometrium thicker (to house a fetus). After the release of the egg it must be fertilized. If the egg is not, the thick endometrium lining begins to breaks down. The lining, egg, and the built up blood go through the female reproductive tract and out.


The breaking down of the endometrium causes pain in the abdomen, bleeding from the vagina, food cravings, etc.

4 Stages of the Menstrual Cycle?

Stage 1: Follicle Stage


  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is secreted on day five of the menstrual cycle. FSH goes through the bloodstream to the ovary. When it reaches the ovary is stimulates several follicles, (only one will mature). As the follicle matures it will turn into an egg. As it grows it becomes filled with a hormone called estrogen. Estrogen will then send signals to the endometrium telling it to thicken and fill with blood. The follicle stage lasts about 10 days.

Stage 2: Ovulation Stage


  • The concentration of estrogen has to be very high for the ovulation stage to commence. FSH will stop secreting. As that happens a luteinizing hormone (LH) is secreted. FSH, estrogen, and LH will all combine together. Around day 14 the combination ruptures the egg from it's resting place in the ovary. The egg will then be released.


Stage 3: Corpus Luteum Stage


  • After the ovulation stage, LH makes the cells of the egg divide quickly. The mass of reddish-yellow cells is called the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum will give off yet another hormone called progesterone. Progesterone will help continue the endometrium to thicken and fill with blood. It also prevents the formation of new ovarian follicles to mature. This stage lasts about 14 days.


Stage 4: Menstruation Stage


  • This stage occurs when no fertilization happens. All LH secretion stops. With the LH secretion stopped the corpus luteum breaks down. The break down of the corpus luteum causes a halt of progesterone. With the progesterone gone the endometrium begins to break down. Layers of the endometrium, the egg, and the extra blood that was stored there peel away from the uterus. All of that exits out through the vagina. This stage lasts at least four days.

Disorders?

Amenorrhea

What is it?

The absence of menstruation. If women have missed three periods in a row. Or if a girl has not begun having a menstrual period by the age of 15. The biggest cause for amenorrhea is pregnancy.

Symptoms?

Depending on the cause of your amenorrhea you may have: hair loss, headache, excess facial hair, etc.

Why does it happen?

There are some natural causes like pregnancy, breast-feeding, and menopause. Some other causes are special medications, lifestyles factors, hormonal imbalances, and structural problems.

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Dysmenorrhea

What is it?

It is also called menstrual cramps. It is pain in the lower abdominal, pelvic region. The pain is caused by the menstrual cycle.

Symptoms?

Dull constant, or stabbing pain in the pelvic region. Pain can radiate to lower back and thighs. Headache, nausea, and dizziness are also some symptoms.

Why does it happen?

Menstrual cramps can happen because of a imbalance of the hormone prostaglandins. Which trigger muscle contractions within the uterus. Other things can cause menstrual cramps like uterine fibroids, PID, etc.

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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

What is it?

It happens a week or two before your menstrual period. It is a bunch of of symptoms and signs that are directly linked to the menstrual cycle.

Symptoms?

Anxiety, depressed mood, crying, mood swings, food cravings, etc.

Why does it happen?

Hormone changes due to the stages in the menstrual cycle. Chemical changes in the brain and even depression. Depression can cause harder symptoms to occur during PMS.

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