The Menstrual Cycle

The normal menstrual cycle is between 28-35 days and lasts up to 7 days. It starts on the first day of your period and ends at the start of a new period. There are 3 phases:

There is a menstrual phase (period of uterine lining shedding) where you have vaginal bleeding and cramping.

There is a follicular phase (usually the first 2 weeks of the cycle) where estrogen hormone predominates and causes you to grow your uterine lining. This phase is also the time when you produce ovarian follicles.
One of those follicles dominates near the 14th day and becomes the “Dominant Follicle.” This is the follicle that you will ovulate.

There is a luteal phase (usually the last 2 weeks of the cycle) where the ovulated egg travels from the ovary to the fallopian tube and down to the uterine lining. The hormone progesterone dominates in this phase of the cycle to help prepare the uterine lining to accept a new pregnancy.

If there is no sperm to fertilize the ovulated egg, then both estrogen and progesterone levels drop and the menstrual phase happens once again.

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