Menstruation Cycle Chart: Phases of the Menstrual Cycle

menstruation cycle

Every single month in the years between puberty of girls and the menopause of a woman, there are some significant changes that a woman’s body goes through. During these changes, the body of the woman gets ready to have a possible pregnancy. Here, we will talk about the menstruation cycle of a woman and the phases it goes through.

There are a series of different hormone-driven occurrences that take place, and it is what we call the menstrual cycle. During the menstruation cycle, the egg, which is released from the ovaries of the women, goes through the stages of development. There is a lining in the uterus, which also builds up. In case the egg is not fertilized, and the pregnancy doesn’t take place, the uterine lining would shed. This is an event that happens during the menstrual period. After the ending of this period, the cycle would start from new.

Here we are going to discuss this menstrual cycle that happens in women. It is crucial to have the menstruation cycle explained. There are four different stages of the menstruation cycle in women. These four stages are called:

  • The menstrual phase
  • The follicular phase
  • The ovulation phase
  • The luteal phase

The given length of every single stage of the menstruation cycle is different from one woman to another. So, there is a difference that happens, and we are going to discuss it right here.

The Menstrual Phase

The very first stage that takes place in the menstrual cycle of the women is known as the menstrual phase. This is the phase when they get their period. The starting of this phase happens when the egg, which is released in the previous cycle, is not fertilized, and there is not a chance of having the pregnancy. Since the pregnancy didn’t happen, there is an inevitable drop in the levels of progesterone and estrogen. These are the prime hormones that are in control of the female body.

We have already talked about the fact that the uterus has a pretty thick lining which would be able to support the pregnancy. Since there is no need for that to happen, the lining is not needed any longer. Hence the uterus would shed the lining through the vagina of the female. This is a time when the female body would release a particular combination of mucus, blood, and the lining tissue from the uterus. This is what we call “having a period.”

During the menstruation cycle, some common symptoms take place in the body of the female. These symptoms might not happen in the case of every single woman, but the majority do go through these. So, it would be a great help to know about it in advance.

Changes in the body

Here are some of the symptoms that happen in the body of the woman who is going through the menstrual phase in the menstruation cycle:

  • Cramps might occur in the lower abdomen and cause some pain and distress
  • Breasts might feel a bit tender during the phase of menstruation
  • There might be a feeling of bloating in the body
  • Most women also suffer from frequent mood swings during this time
  • There are some irritable tendencies in the minds of the women
  • They are also constantly tired
  • Some women also experience lower back pain in these cases

While the menstrual phase in women might be different from one to another, there is an average number of days for which the menstrual phase is active in women. This particular phase stays for about three to seven days in total. Some women have periods that are pretty much longer than that. However, these cases are pretty rare.

The Follicular Phase

This is the second phase that happens in the menstruation cycle of a woman, and it would start on the very first day that women get their periods. So, this can be said that there is an overlapping that happens between the menstrual phase and the follicular phase. The cycle usually ends when the woman is ovulating.

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In the beginning, the hypothalamus would send a signal to the pituitary gland about the releasing of the follicle-stimulating hormone, which is also known as FSH. This is the particular hormone which would stimulate the ovaries and hence produce some sacs which are known as follicles. The number of follicles that are produced would be between five to about 20. Every single follicle which is produced will contain an egg that is not matured yet.

There is just one egg that would mature and it is the one which is the healthiest in the group. There are some rare occasions where about two different eggs are matured. After the maturation of the eggs, the rest of the follicles would be absorbed again by the body.

The follicle, which is maturing, will send a particular surge of the hormone estrogen which will further help in the thickening of the uterus that you have. Now that would create a nutrient-rich environment. This is where the embryo would be growing in case there is a pregnancy.

The follicular phase in a woman’s body lasts for an average of about 16 days. The range could be from the 11th to the 27th day, which depends on the cycle that women have.

The Ovulation Phase

The next phase that we are going to talk about is the phase of Ovulation in the menstruation cycle. There is a pretty high rise in the levels of estrogen during the previous follicular phase which puts a trigger on the pituitary gland. As a result of that, there is a release of the luteinizing hormone also known as LH. This is what marks the beginning of the ovulation process in a woman’s body.

When the ovulation phase arrives in the menstruation cycle, the ovary of the woman releases an egg that is matured. There is an absolute path that the egg has to travel before it gets fertilized by the sperm. The egg that is released has to travel down the fallopian tubes of the woman’s body and then go to the uterus to be adequately fertilized by the sperm.

This is the actual time when there is the only chance of a woman to get pregnant. There are sure signs and symptoms which let women know that they are ovulating. When they know the signs, it would be easier to decide the time of ovulation, and hence, they can have a chance at pregnancy. So, it is one of the most critical phases for sure.

Signs and symptoms of ovulation

One needs to know about these signs and symptoms and these are:

  • There is a slight change or rise in the temperature of the basal body of a woman
  • There is a thicker discharge which optimally has the texture that you see in white eggs

The ovulation phase starts from day 14 in case there is a 28-day cycle. This would happen right in the middle of the menstrual cycle that you have. The ovulation period lasts for about 24 hours in total. After a single day, the egg will start the process of dissolving if it is not fertilized by then. However, because sperm can live up to about five days in total, pregnancy can still occur if the woman has sex as much as five days before the ovulation.

The Luteal Phase

This is the last phase in the menstruation cycle chart that we are going to talk about and it is undoubtedly the most important one as well. After the follicle releases the egg, there is a change that happens in it. The egg would change into a corpus luteum. This is a structure that releases certain hormones. The primary hormone which is released the most is progesterone and some parts of estrogen as well. This causes a proper rise in the hormones and hence keeps the walls of the uterus thick so that the fertilized egg would be able to implant itself without any difficulty.

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In case there is a pregnancy that took place, the body of the woman will produce the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). That is just the hormone that the pregnancy tests would be able to detect when a woman is taking it. This hormone helps in maintaining the corpus luteum, and it would keep the walls of the uterus and the lining pretty much thick during the pregnancy. However, in case no pregnancy is happening, the corpus luteum would basically shrink away and then be absorbed by the body again. That would result in the decrease of the hormones in the body and hence, that would cause the period to start.

Signs of PMS

The uterine lining which was meant to support the pregnancy would shed during this time of the menstrual cycle. It is during this time when the women who do not get pregnant, suffer from specific other symptoms that we know as PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome. These are the symptoms that tend to take place in the body of the woman and hence, the people need to know about it more.

  • There is bloating that happens in the body of a woman
  • Most women also experience breast swelling as well as some tenderness and pain in that area
  • There are significant changes in the mood, what we know as mood swings
  • Some women also experience headache
  • There is a considerable weight gain that occurs in the body of the female
  • There are some changes in the sexual desire of a woman as well
  • The food cravings tend to happen during such a time
  • Sleeping problems are also prevalent in women.
  • The period for which the luteal phase lasts is about 11 to 17 days in total. However, the average count is about 14 days.

Menstrual Cycle Calculator

We all know that menstruation in a woman’s body takes place in cycles. The ovaries would prepare the egg or the oocyte for the release. The womb or the uterus would make the lining, which is required to nourish the fertilized egg; it that happens. In case the egg isn’t fertilized, the lining of the uterus would shed and hence, the woman would get her period in the form of menstrual bleeding.

The usual cycle in any typical case is about 28 days in total. So, women tend to get their period every 28 days. However, some women have longer cycles and get their periods every 40 days or more. So, this is where the menstruation cycle calculator comes in handy. The calculator would tell the women about their exact period days, or the results are pretty close. All they have to do is add on the date of their last period and the calculator would be able to determine the next period date based on the 28-day cycle.

When Does Menopause Occur?

Women continue to have their period every single month until there is a pregnancy or menopause. Menopause would occur when the woman is between the age of 45 and 55. This usually stretches up to the age of 50, as well. Menopause is the stage where the woman will no longer be ovulating or producing eggs. Hence, there are no periods in the menopause and this also makes sure that the women going through menopause will not get pregnant anymore. Menopause tends to vary from one woman to another, and these are the changes that take place over some years in total.

Final thoughts

The menstrual cycle of every single woman is different. According to the menstruation cycle chart, the whole cycle is about 28 days. However, some women have longer cycles and some have shorter as well. It depends from one woman to another and some other factors which decide the length of the menstruation cycle in women. It is essential to know about the cycle of menstruation and also to know how long these periods last.