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What does a womans body go through menstruation

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During your menstrual cycle, your body's reproductive system undergoes changes beyond menses itself. The cycle typically follows a day pattern with shifts in hormone levels, dysmenorrhea menstrual cramps , and breast pain. To understand and discuss these changes, it's important to remember the anatomical parts involved and their functions:. It all starts with your endocrine glands because they produce the hormones that determine when you get your period, the amount of menstrual flow, and what happens to your reproductive organs.

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The Female Body

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Menstruation is the shedding of the lining of the uterus endometrium accompanied by bleeding. It occurs in approximately monthly cycles throughout a woman's reproductive life, except during pregnancy. Menstruation starts during puberty at menarche and stops permanently at menopause. By definition, the menstrual cycle begins with the first day of bleeding, which is counted as day 1. The cycle ends just before the next menstrual period. Menstrual cycles normally range from about 25 to 36 days.

That is, they are longer or shorter than the normal range. Usually, the cycles vary the most and the intervals between periods are longest in the years immediately after menstruation starts menarche and before menopause. Menstrual bleeding lasts 3 to 7 days, averaging 5 days. A sanitary pad or tampon, depending on the type, can hold up to an ounce of blood. Menstrual blood, unlike blood resulting from an injury, usually does not clot unless the bleeding is very heavy. The menstrual cycle is regulated by hormones.

Luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, which are produced by the pituitary gland, promote ovulation and stimulate the ovaries to produce estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone stimulate the uterus and breasts to prepare for possible fertilization. The menstrual cycle is regulated by the complex interaction of hormones: luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone.

The menstrual cycle begins with menstrual bleeding menstruation , which marks the first day of the follicular phase. When the follicular phase begins, levels of estrogen and progesterone are low. As a result, the top layers of the thickened lining of the uterus endometrium break down and are shed, and menstrual bleeding occurs.

About this time, the follicle-stimulating hormone level increases slightly, stimulating the development of several follicles in the ovaries. Each follicle contains an egg. Later in this phase, as the follicle-stimulating hormone level decreases, only one follicle continues to develop. This follicle produces estrogen. The ovulatory phase begins with a surge in luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone levels.

Luteinizing hormone stimulates egg release ovulation , which usually occurs 16 to 32 hours after the surge begins. The estrogen level decreases during the surge, and the progesterone level starts to increase. During the luteal phase, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone levels decrease. The ruptured follicle closes after releasing the egg and forms a corpus luteum, which produces progesterone.

During most of this phase, the estrogen level is high. Progesterone and estrogen cause the lining of the uterus to thicken more, to prepare for possible fertilization. If the egg is not fertilized, the corpus luteum degenerates and no longer produces progesterone , the estrogen level decreases, the top layers of the lining break down and are shed, and menstrual bleeding occurs the start of a new menstrual cycle.

If the egg is fertilized, the corpus luteum continues to function during early pregnancy. It helps maintain the pregnancy. The follicular phase begins on the first day of menstrual bleeding day 1. But the main event in this phase is the development of follicles in the ovaries. At the beginning of the follicular phase, the lining of the uterus endometrium is thick with fluids and nutrients designed to nourish an embryo.

If no egg has been fertilized, estrogen and progesterone levels are low. As a result, the top layers of the endometrium are shed, and menstrual bleeding occurs. About this time, the pituitary gland slightly increases its production of follicle-stimulating hormone. This hormone then stimulates the growth of 3 to 30 follicles. Later in the phase, as the level of this hormone decreases, only one of these follicles called the dominant follicle continues to grow.

It soon begins to produce estrogen , and the other stimulated follicles begin to break down. The increasing estrogen also begins to prepare the uterus and stimulates the luteinizing hormone surge. On average, the follicular phase lasts about 13 or 14 days.

Of the three phases, this phase varies the most in length. It tends to become shorter near menopause. This phase ends when the level of luteinizing hormone increases dramatically surges.

The surge results in release of the egg ovulation and marks the beginning of the next phase. The ovulatory phase begins when the level of luteinizing hormone surges.

Luteinizing hormone stimulates the dominant follicle to bulge from the surface of the ovary and finally rupture, releasing the egg. The level of follicle-stimulating hormone increases to a lesser degree. The function of the increase in follicle-stimulating hormone is not understood.

The ovulatory phase usually lasts 16 to 32 hours. It ends when the egg is released, about 10 to 12 hours after the surge in the level of luteinizing hormone. The egg can be fertilized for only up to about 12 hours after its release. The surge in luteinizing hormone can be detected by measuring the level of this hormone in urine. This measurement can be used to determine when women are fertile. Fertilization is more likely when sperm are present in the reproductive tract before the egg is released.

Most pregnancies occur when intercourse occurs within 3 days before ovulation. Around the time of ovulation, some women feel a dull pain on one side of the lower abdomen.

This pain is known as mittelschmerz literally, middle pain. The pain may last for a few minutes to a few hours. The pain is usually felt on the same side as the ovary that released the egg, but the precise cause of the pain is unknown. The pain may precede or follow the rupture of the follicle and may not occur in all cycles. Egg release does not alternate between the two ovaries and appears to be random.

If one ovary is removed, the remaining ovary releases an egg every month. The luteal phase begins after ovulation. It lasts about 14 days unless fertilization occurs and ends just before a menstrual period. In this phase, the ruptured follicle closes after releasing the egg and forms a structure called a corpus luteum, which produces increasing quantities of progesterone.

The progesterone produced by the corpus luteum does the following:. Causes the endometrium to thicken, filling with fluids and nutrients to nourish a potential embryo. Causes the mucus in the cervix to thicken, so that sperm or bacteria are less likely to enter the uterus. Causes body temperature to increase slightly during the luteal phase and remain elevated until a menstrual period begins this increase in temperature can be used to estimate whether ovulation has occurred.

During most of the luteal phase, the estrogen level is high. Estrogen also stimulates the endometrium to thicken. The increase in estrogen and progesterone levels causes milk ducts in the breasts to widen dilate. As a result, the breasts may swell and become tender. If the egg is not fertilized or if the fertilized egg does not implant, the corpus luteum degenerates after 14 days, levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease, and a new menstrual cycle begins. If the embryo is implanted, the cells around the developing embryo begin to produce a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin.

This hormone maintains the corpus luteum, which continues to produce progesterone , until the growing fetus can produce its own hormones. Pregnancy tests are based on detecting an increase in the human chorionic gonadotropin level.

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Common Health Topics. Follicular phase. Ovulatory phase. Luteal phase. Biology of the Female Reproductive System. Test your knowledge. Typically, rape is NOT an expression of which of the following?

More Content. Click here for the Professional Version. Follicular before release of the egg. Changes During the Menstrual Cycle. Prepares the uterus in case an embryo is implanted. Was This Page Helpful? Yes No.

Stages of the Menstrual Cycle

Menstruation is also known by the terms menses, menstrual period, cycle or period. The menstrual blood—which is partly blood and partly tissue from the inside of the uterus—flows from the uterus through the cervix and out of the body through the vagina. A menstrual cycle is considered to begin on the first day of a period. The average cycle is 28 days long; however, a cycle can range in length from 21 days to about 35 days.

Click Image to Enlarge. When a young woman reaches puberty, she starts to ovulate.

If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. A period, or menstruation, is the shedding of the lining of the womb. Menstruation is also known as menses. Menses are part of normal sexual health for women during their reproductive years.

All About Periods

The menstrual cycle is the regular natural change that occurs in the female reproductive system specifically the uterus and ovaries that makes pregnancy possible. The first period usually begins between twelve and fifteen years of age, a point in time known as menarche. The typical length of time between the first day of one period and the first day of the next is 21 to 45 days in young women and 21 to 35 days in adults an average of 28 days [3] [7] [8]. Menstruation stops occurring after menopause which usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age. The menstrual cycle is governed by hormonal changes. Stimulated by gradually increasing amounts of estrogen in the follicular phase, discharges of blood menses flow stop, and the lining of the uterus thickens. Follicles in the ovary begin developing under the influence of a complex interplay of hormones, and after several days one or occasionally two become dominant non-dominant follicles shrink and die. Approximately mid-cycle, 24—36 hours after the luteinizing hormone LH surges, the dominant follicle releases an ovocyte , in an event called ovulation.

Menstrual cycle

Menstruation is the shedding of the lining of the uterus endometrium accompanied by bleeding. It occurs in approximately monthly cycles throughout a woman's reproductive life, except during pregnancy. Menstruation starts during puberty at menarche and stops permanently at menopause. By definition, the menstrual cycle begins with the first day of bleeding, which is counted as day 1.

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Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. You may want to look at their policies. Period questions come into every girls mind!

What are menstruation, periods, and PMS?

Healthy sexual and reproductive organs are vital to a woman's sexual health. Learning about the functions of each organ and how these organs work together allows you to be aware of your body and of any changes that might indicate a problem. This information can also help you choose a method of birth control or determine when is the best time to try and get pregnant.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Why do women have periods?

A period is a release of blood from a girl's uterus , out through her vagina. It is a sign that she is getting close to the end of puberty. There is a lot to learn about periods. Here are some common questions that teens have. Most girls get their first period when they're around But getting it any time between age 10 and 15 is OK.

Normal Menstruation

Every month, in the years between puberty typically age 11 to 14 and menopause typically about age 51 , your body readies itself for pregnancy. The lining of your uterus thickens and an egg grows and is released from one of your ovaries. The average woman loses about two to three tablespoons of blood during her period. The time between periods last day to first day typically averages 28 days , with bleeding typically lasting around 2 to 7 days. Every month, your body prepares for pregnancy.

Menstrual Cycle and Women's Health Issues - Learn about from the MSD Manuals - Medical Menstruation is the shedding of the lining of the uterus (endometrium) Causes body temperature to increase slightly during the luteal phase and.

Menstruation, or period, is normal vaginal bleeding that occurs as part of a woman's monthly cycle. Every month, your body prepares for pregnancy. If no pregnancy occurs, the uterus, or womb, sheds its lining. The menstrual blood is partly blood and partly tissue from inside the uterus. It passes out of the body through the vagina.

Body Changes During the Menstrual Cycle

Menstruation , also known as a period or monthly , [1] is the regular discharge of blood and mucosal tissue known as menses from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina. A lack of periods, known as amenorrhea , is when periods do not occur by age 15 or have not occurred in 90 days. The menstrual cycle occurs due to the rise and fall of hormones.

What happens during the typical 28-day menstrual cycle?

Your menstrual cycle can say a lot about your health. Understand how to start tracking your menstrual cycle and what to do about irregularities. Do you know when your last menstrual period began or how long it lasted?

This series of hormone-driven events is called the menstrual cycle.

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