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The menstrual cycle is a natural, monthly process that occurs in the reproductive system of females. It involves a series of hormonal changes and events that prepare the body for the possibility of pregnancy. The menstrual cycle is typically divided into four phases: Menstrual, Follicular, Ovulatory, and Luteal. Here’s an overview of each phase:

This phase begins on the first day of menstruation, which is the shedding of the uterine lining (endometrium) if pregnancy did not occur in the previous cycle.

Hormonal Changes: Estrogen and progesterone levels are low.

Physical Symptoms: Menstrual bleeding, cramping, and hormonal fluctuations may cause mood swings.

This phase overlaps with the menstrual phase and extends until ovulation. It involves the development of follicles in the ovaries.

Hormonal Changes: Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles, leading to an increase in estrogen levels.

Physical Symptoms: Energy levels may rise, and mood may improve. The cervical mucus becomes more slippery, facilitating sperm movement.

Ovulation typically occurs around the middle of the menstrual cycle when a mature follicle releases an egg from the ovary.

Hormonal Changes: A surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) triggers ovulation. Estrogen levels peak just before ovulation.

Physical Symptoms: Some women may experience mild pelvic pain or ovulation spotting. This is the most fertile phase of the menstrual cycle.

This phase begins after ovulation and lasts until the start of the next menstrual period. The ruptured follicle transforms into a structure called the corpus luteum.

Hormonal Changes: The corpus luteum produces progesterone, which helps prepare the uterus for a potential pregnancy.

Physical Symptoms: Breast tenderness, bloating, and mood changes may occur. If pregnancy does not occur, progesterone levels decline, leading to the start of menstruation.

It’s important to note that the length of each phase can vary among individuals, and a typical menstrual cycle is around 28 days. Monitoring menstrual cycles can be helpful for family planning, understanding fertility, and recognizing potential irregularities. Keep in mind that factors like stress, illness, and lifestyle changes can influence the menstrual cycle. If you have concerns about your menstrual cycle or reproductive health, Dr. Martinello can provide personalized guidance based on your individual health and considerations.