Different Stages Of Menstruation

Every month a woman’s body undergoes uterine changes to prepare the body for a possible pregnancy. Those hormone-driven events combined are called the menstrual cycle. Ovaries release an egg in every menstrual cycle when the uterine wall builds up. If the pregnancy doesn’t occur, the uterine lining sheds and thus begins the menstrual cycle.

The Four Stages In Menstrual Cycle

Every phase has a different impact on a woman’s body that can cause mood swings, irritation, or even a glowing skin! Read further to know about the phases in detail. Before we begin, let’s understand that length of each phase is different for every woman and can change anytime. Different Stages Of Menstruation

Listed below are the different stages of menstruation-

  • Menstrual phase
  • Follicular phase
  • Ovulation phase
  • Luteal phase

Menstrual Phase

This is the first stage of the menstrual cycle which remarks the onset of menstruation.

It initiates when the bleeding starts and ends when all the tissues from the vagina are shed. A combination of mucus, blood, and tissues are released from the vagina during this period. Typically, it should last for ten days and, on average, just for 5 / 6 days. The time is variable for every woman depending on factors like lifestyle and diet.

Symptoms one can face in menstrual phase are-

  • Cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Weakness

Follicular Phase

This phase begins with the first day of period. It overlaps with the menstrual phase and ends during ovulation.  In this phase, the brain signals the ovary to prepare the egg to be released. The pituitary gland releases follicle-stimulating hormone that prepares the egg. Ovaries produce 5 to 20 follicles containing an immature egg.

The healthiest egg will mature early while the body will reabsorb the rest of the follicles. Sometimes women can also have two mature eggs.

The mature follicle is meant to be released at ovulation. The dominant follicle produces estrogen, which thickens the lining of the uterus. Generally, the follicular phase lasts from 10 to 20 days.

You can face symptoms like-

  • Highly energetic
  • Glowing skin

Ovulation Phase

Higher levels of estrogen in the follicular phase can make the pituitary gland release luteinizing hormone. This marks the onset of the ovulation process.

In the ovulation phase, the ovary releases a mature egg. Then the egg goes down the fallopian tube headed to the uterus. Now the egg is ready to fertilize with sperm. This is the only stage in the menstrual cycle when a woman can get pregnant.

The symptoms of this phase can be seen as-

  • Thick white discharge like egg whites
  • Rise in basal body temperature

The dominant follicle can be as big as 3 cm in diameter right before ovulation. High levels of estrogen signals the brain to release a luteinizing hormone which initiates ovulation.

Commonly ovulation occurs on the 14th day if a woman has a 28-day cycle. It’s in the middle of a menstrual cycle and stays for 24 hours. Just after that, the egg dies and dissolves if not fertilized.

To remember- the egg lives for one day, but sperm can live for five days. So, a woman can still become pregnant if she had intercourse five days before ovulation as the sperm will still be alive.

Luteal Phase

This phase begins from the end of ovulation till the next period- generally lasts for 14 days.

The egg-containing sac produces progesterone and estrogen in this phase.

After the release of the egg in ovulation, it turns into Corpus luteum releasing estrogen and progesterone. A high level of these hormones maintains the thickness of the uterine wall keeping it ready for egg fertilization.

One can experience such symptoms at the luteal phase-

  • Mood swings
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bloating
  • Headache

In case the pregnancy occurs, the corpus luteum keeps maintaining the thickness of the uterus wall. But in case of no fertilization, Corpus luteum shrinks and gets reabsorbed. It reduces the levels of progesterone and estrogen, causing the onset of the period.

Conclusion

The intensity and timing of the menstrual cycle are different for every woman, and it’s normal. You can learn to be familiar with your cycle by noting down the frequency of events and the habits that lead up to them. Remembering when the period begins and how long it lasts can help you have a healthy menstruation Phases.

References:

  1. https://helloclue.com/articles/cycle-a-z/the-menstrual-cycle-more-than-just-the-period
  2. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/menstrual-cycle
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/stages-of-menstrual-cycle#follicular

Yaamini Radhakrishnan
Yaamini Radhakrishnan:I am a clinic research professional, graduate in biotechnology and post graduate in biochemistry. Have also pursued freelance writing since the past 5 years I am married and have a daughter. I am a native and reside at Bangalore.

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