By: Gaby Abrego
- The process of ovulation and menstruation in women and other female primates.
The 4 stages of the Menstrual Cycle
- Follicle Stage-The follicular phase is the phase of the estrous cycle, during which follicules in the ovary mature. It ends with ovulation. The main hormone controlling this stage is estradiol.
- Ovulation Stage- the moment that the most mature egg bursts out of its sac and away from the ovary. The egg is immediately caught up by the ends of the fallopian tube. Normally your cervix, the neck of your uterus, produces thick, opaque mucus that sperm can't penetrate.
- Luteal Phase- is named for the corpus luteum, which is what's left of the follicle that was housing the egg that got released at ovulation. The corpus luteum produces progesterone, which your body needs to ripen the endometrium.
- Menstruation stage- Then, hormone levels drop, and the thickened lining of the uterus is shed during the menstrual period. Day 1 starts with the first day of your period. This occurs after hormone levels drop at the end of the previous cycle, signaling blood and tissues lining the uterus (womb) to break down and shed from the body.
- An abnormal absence of the menstrual cycle.
- It most often occurs as a natural part of life, such as during pregnancy or breastfeeding, but it could also signal a more serious condition.
- Symptoms- breast size changes, weight gain or weigh loss, discharge from the breast, acne, vaginal dryness, and voice changes.
- Painful menstruation, typically involving abdominal cramps.
- Menstrual cramps are usually caused by contractions in the uterus, which is a muscle.
- Symptoms- aching pain in the abdomen, feeling of pressure in the abdomen, pain in the hips, lower back, and inner thighs.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- A group of symptoms that occur in women, typically between and ovulation and a period.
- There is no real reason why PMS occurs but researches believe that a change in hormone levels at the beginning of the menstrual cycle are to blame.
- Symptoms include mood swings, tender breast, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression.
- A natural decline in reproductive hormones when a women reaches her 40's or 50's.
- It usually happens when the ovaries no longer release an egg every month and menstruation stops. It can also happen because of surgery or chemotherapy.
- Some symptoms include hot flashes and vaginal dryness. There may also be sleep disturbances. The combination of the symptoms can cause anxiety or depression.