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Understanding the Average Menstrual Cycle

2019-06-18T11:21:52-06:00June 18th, 2019|

What is Menstruation?

Menstruation (also known as a woman’s “period”) is when blood and tissue from the lining of the uterus is passed through the vagina.

Menstruation and Ovulation

During ovulation (when the ovary releases an egg), the hormones progesterone and estrogen are produced. These hormones help prepare the uterus for menstruation by thickening the endometrium (uterine lining). Progesterone is also responsible for pre-menstrual symptoms (PMS), such as mood swings or acne.

If pregnancy doesn’t occur during the menstrual cycle, your levels of estrogen and progesterone drop causing your endometrium to shed, and triggers the production of prostaglandins, which cause your uterus to contract, initiating your period.

Average Menstrual Cycle Length

The average menstrual cycle occurs every 24 to 38 days. However, every woman’s menstrual cycle is different. Various factors can impact menstruation including your weight, stress, exercise, or medical conditions, such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), etc.

Average Period Length

Your period may last 1 to 7 days, but the average period length is 3 to 5 days.

Keeping Track of Your Menstrual Cycle

Tracking your periods can help indicate when you are most likely to get pregnant and when to expect your next period to start. If your periods are irregular, tracking them can help you share any problems with your doctor. Period tracking apps, such as Eve Tracker or Flo, can help keep track of your fertility cycle.

If you are experiencing irregular periods or amenorrhea (the absence of menses) and are interesting in conceiving, please book an appointment today with a fertility specialist.