Here is a guide of what a 28 day cycle may look like. Each phase and cycle can be longer or shorter depending on your body. I will write about the emotions of each phase in the next post. For now lets just get an understanding of what is going on with our body and that what is happening to us is perfectly normal for us!
It is our very own bespoke cycle.
Days 1 – 5: MENSTRUAL PHASE Day 1 is the start of your cycle and also of when you start to bleed. The bleed is your uterus lining shedding it’s lining of soft tissue and blood vessels, exiting the body in the form of menstrual fluid. During this phase you may experience abdominal cramping which is caused by the uterine and abdominal muscles contracting so that your body can expel the menstrual fluid.
Days 1 – 13: FOLLICULAR PHASE Along with your menstrual phase, the Follicular phase also starts on Day 1. This phase is all about fertilisation. Fertilisation for you regardless if you are trying to fall pregnant or not. We have a gland called the Pituitary gland which is a size of a pea. It is situated in a bony hollow, just behind the bridge of your nose. It is attached to the base of your brain by a thin stalk. The pituitary gland secretes the hormone Oestrogen and stimulates the egg cells in the ovaries to grow. During the 13 days of this phase, one of these eggs reaches maturity in a sac like structure called a follicle. This follicle secretes a hormone that stimulates the uterus to develop a lining of blood vessels and soft tissue called endometrium.
Day 14 – OVULATION PHASE Day 14 is the day that the pituitary gland secretes a hormone to make the ovary release the matured egg cell. This matured egg cell is swept into the fallopian tube. It’s the day that you are most fertile.
Day 15 – 28 – LUTEAL PHASE Progesterone is the main hormone that controls the activities during the luteal phase. During this phase, the matured egg cell stays in the fallopian tube for 24 hours. If it is not impregnated by a sperm cell within this time, it disintegrates. Progesterone (the hormone that causes the uterus to retain its endometrium) gets used up by the end of this cycle. Due to the drop of progesterone the menstrual phase of the cycle begins again. It is during the Luteal Phase that we can experience the symptoms of PMS.
Can you recognise each phase when you are in it? Why don’t you start to plot your cycle. I recommend using Clue App – https://helloclue.com/
Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss any aspect of your cycle.