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. A new lining grows on the uterus about one time monthly to get ready for a fertilized egg and this lining will shed if this does not happen. This 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 three to five days.

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 its normal to have it longer or shorter. Girls normally start menstruating between ages eleven and fourteen. Women normally have fewer periods in between the ages of thirty-nine and fifty-51. The cycles can change a lot or go for longer during the forties and teen years.

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 with your doctor if your menstrual periods are occurring three or more times and lasting for longer than seven days or if they are very heavy. It would also be a good idea to check your doctor for any bleeding in between periods or pain in the pelvic that is not caused by your period.

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 keep the uterus 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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