Menstrual Cycle Calculator, Calendar
Baby girls are naturally born with two small grape shaped like ovaries in her uterus. These ovaries are stored with up to 450,000 eggs. When a young girl reaches puberty, these ovaries will produce hormones that cause changes in her body and the most evident of which is the start of the menstrual period cycle.
A woman’s menstrual cycle starts when she reaches puberty. At puberty, the girl’s body will start to change into an adult capable of reproducing. An ovary normally releases one egg per period cycle and as the women ages, her stored eggs also decreases. This means that as the woman ages her chances of getting pregnant slims down.
A period cycle usually occurs every month or every 25 – 36 days throughout a woman’s reproductive life or until she reaches her menopausal age.
Beginning of the cycle
Hypothalamus is a gland found in the brain which is responsible for releasing a chemical signal called the follicle stimulating hormone releasing factor or FSH-RH to the pituitary gland. The pituitary is another gland found in the brain which is responsible for secreting follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) into the bloodstream. These hormones will cause the follicles to mature. When the follicles mature, it releases a hormone called estrogen. As it continues to ripen for about seven days, so is the secretion of estrogen into the bloodstream. These estrogens are the hormones responsible for thickening of the uterus lining. When enough estrogen is present in the bloodstream it causes the hypothalamus to release another hormone called luteinizing hormone releasing factor or LH-RH. These hormones send signal to the pituitary to release more luteinizing hormone or LH which triggers follicles to release the egg inside. This is when ovulation occurs.
Once ovulation begins, an increase of blood supply in the ovary also occurs which causes ligaments to contract and pull the ovaries close to the fallopian tube. The ruptured egg can now easily find its way into the fallopian tube where it stays for a couple of days. Also at this stage, the cervix secretes a clear and stretchy mucous which helps sperms easily get through the cervix and find its way to the egg.
The egg inside the fallopian tube will be carried along towards the uterus by a hairy-like projection called cilia. While travelling towards the uterus it will wait until a sperm successfully penetrates and fertilizes it.
After the ovulation, the ovaries are now filled with collapses from empty follicles and these substances will turn into a corpus luteum. These masses of cells will produce a hormone called progesterone which is responsible for thickening of mucus of the cervix to become impenetrable by sperms. Progesterone also helps in thickening and preparing the uterus lining for the possibility of getting pregnant.
When a sperm successfully penetrates an egg in the fallopian tube it will continue to travel down toward the uterus. Once it reaches the uterus lining it will bed itself in there and stay until implantation. The journey towards the uterus would usually take at least five days.
When the released egg is not fertilized or if an implantation fails, the corpus luteum will start to shrink and disintegrate. And the estrogen and progesterone level will also drop causing the uterus to produce a chemical hormone called prostaglandins. These chemicals are responsible for changes in the blood supply, breakage in the uterus lining, and stimulation for it to contract. Once the uterus lining is shed, it is then the start of a menstrual period cycle.
Menstrual Period Table
An average menstrual cycle would usually occur every 28 days. Here is a period table guideline for women to fully understand what happens during a 28-day cycle.
Day 1 to 7: Day 1 always starts with menstrual bleeding and this usually takes 3-7 days. At this time the uterus muscle relaxes and contracts which may result into menstrual cramps.
Day 8 to 11: During these days, the uterus is preparing for ovulation. The uterus lining are thickened in preparation for the possibility of implantation.
Day 12 to 18: This is when ovulation occurs. See above explanation on what happens during ovulation.
Day 18 to 25: When fertilization doesn’t take place, the corpus luteum will start to fade away.
Day 26 to 28: At this time, the uterus lining will start to detach itself leading to menstrual bleeding.
Vaginal Infections and Discharge
Vaginal discharges are normal during a menstrual period cycle. These discharges are sometimes caused by too much mucous production especially before an ovulation. But not all vaginal discharge are safe, it may be an indication of an infection or even a more serious disorder. These discharges are characterized into different types, they are:
• White and thick discharges are common during a menstrual period cycle. If accompanied with itching it may indicate presence of infection.
• Clear and stretchy discharges indicate fertility or start of ovulation.
• Clear and watery discharges occur anytime during a menstrual period cycle and may particularly heavy after an exercise.
• Yellowish or greenish discharges are signs of vaginal infection esp. if accompanied with foul odor.
• Brownish or dark discharges usually occur at mid cycle and are pretty normal. Brownish or darkish colors are caused by oxidation.
A normal discharge usually consists of a teaspoon a day of white, clear, thick or thin, and odorless discharge. If dark discharge occurs after a day or two of menstrual period cycle it may indicate infection especially if one or more of these symptoms are present; itching, pain, discomfort, rashes or sore accompanied with vaginal discharge. When these symptoms occur consult your doctor.
Facts about Menstrual Cycles
• Women usually lose at least 2 ounces of blood per cycle.
• There are rare cases that women are still able to experience menstrual period even when they are pregnant or women who got pregnant while having sex during her menstrual period.
• Though an average woman has average of 28 days menstrual period cycle some women have only 3 to 4 period cycles a year. These women doesn’t show any sign of abnormalities but it doesn’t mean all these cases are normal, at times it may also indicate a more serious disorder like diabetes.