So we are going to dive deep into the normal menstrual cycle, how it is controlled, and some of the common things that can make it go a bit "wonky".
Check out our free preparing for pregnancy guide here!
The menstrual cycle generally starts in early adolescence - average age around 12, and occurs until menopause - average age of 51. It occurs every 21-35 days, lasting for 3-8 days and amounting in between 2-3 tablespoons of blood per cycle.
As you can see, there is a wide variation in what is considered normal, and that is OKAY!
The lining of the uterus builds up every month in preparation for a potential pregnancy. When your body has been signalled by hormones that it is not pregnant (a drop in progesterone) and the lining of your uterus is shed. They cycle then begins again!
The whole system is controlled by a complex combination of hormones that have peaks and valleys at different times of the cycle, resulting in what we know as the menstrual cycle. There are basically four phases, and we will keep things pretty basic in this discussion, but see this great resource for a more detailed dive into the menstrual cycle.
There are many symptoms that can be associated with the menstrual cycle. These can be very mild for some women, and can have huge impacts on women's lives in other cases. Some of these symptoms include:
So that, my friends, is the basis of your menstrual cycle! If you're wanting to read some more detailed information about menstrual cycle basics click here and if you're more into video information check this out! . If you're concerned about any of the above, book an appointment to discuss further with your health care provider and they can help you decide if you need additional investigations and treatment.
And if you're interested in some useful Apps to help track your cycle check out some of our favourites including Flo and Clue, and if you're looking for one specifically to help plan a pregnancy check out Natural Cycles !
For more information on things that affect your fertility, check out our podcast!
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