Usual length of a menstrual cycle

A woman’s body generally goes through a series of changes in preparation for pregnancy; this is called the menstrual cycle.

The inner most lining of uterus grows in anticipation of fertilized egg and sheds if the egg is not fertilized by a sperm.

This shedding of endometrial lining is the menstrual bleeding or menstrual period that occurs monthly in women from early teenage years until about age fifty when they reach menopause. The usual length of a menstrual cycle is 28days.

menstrual chart

The menstrual cycle starts on Day One of the bleeding to Day One of the next. On average, the cycle last for twenty-eight days, but it’s normal to have longer or shorter cycles. Girls normally start menstruating between ages eleven and fourteen.

Women tend to have fewer periods after the age of forty. The cycles are irregular during the two extremes of reproductive life; teen years and forties.

It is always best to consult a doctor when big changes are noticeable in the usual length of a menstrual cycle.

You should definitely talk to your doctor if your menstrual periods are occurring three or more times a month, the bleeding is very heavy, or lasting for longer than seven days.

It would also be a good idea to check with your doctor for any bleeding in between periods or pain in the pelvic that is not caused by your period.

Lower abdominal pain is one of the common symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle, but you could experience others before or after or maybe none at all.

Here are some of the things which control a menstrual cycle:

A menstrual cycle is controlled by hormones. During each cycle, the pituitary and hypothalamus gland in the brain sends hormone signals to your ovaries. The signals will get the uterus and ovaries ready for pregnancy.

Estrogen and progesterone hormones play the major roles in the way how your uterus will change in every cycle. The estrogen will build up the uterus lining and progesterone will increase after an egg is released from the ovary during the middle of your cycle to assist the estrogen in keeping the uterine lining thick and well- ready for the fertilized egg.

The lining will break down if the progesterone level drops along with the estrogen. This would take place when your menstrual period starts.

Any change in the hormone levels can have an effect on your fertility or cycle. Teenagers and women in their forties might have heavier menstrual bleeding and a change in length of their cycles.

Some other things that can change the usual length of a menstrual cycle include low body fat, birth control pills, excess weight loss, too much weight, stress, and strenuous exercise.

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