Most of us are not comfortable discussing menstruation; we tend to avoid the topic. However, it is important for us to educate ourselves about this normal physiological process and understand that regular menstrual cycles are extremely important for the female fertility health and well-being of a woman.
The menstrual cycle prepares a woman’s body for pregnancy. Every woman has two ovaries in her reproductive system, and they contain several eggs called oocytes. Usually, In each cycle, one egg matures in either of the ovaries. After attaining a particular size, the egg gets released from the ovary by a process known as ovulation., to be fertilized by the sperms. There are certain hormones secreted by the ovaries that help in preparing the inner lining of the uterus for pregnancy. If the egg is not fertilized after ovulation, this thick inner lining of the uterus called the endometrium is shed out– which is what we call a “period”. You can approximately calculate the date when you are ovulating and also calculate the number of days left for your next period with Femiint’s ovulation calculator: https://femiintfertility.in/ivf-lp/.
Why is Your Menstrual Cycle Important?
Understanding your menstrual cycle plays a vital role in helping you learn, plan and make the right choice for your health, and sexual life. Regular menstrual periods indicate that your hormone levels are balanced. About 80% of women have issues with hormonal imbalance. if not addressed, it often leads to minor issues like mood swings, fatigue, to serious problems like excess weight gain, metabolic syndrome, infertility and so on. Your menstrual cycle gives an indication of the following things about your body:
- Hormonal balance
- Health of bones and thyroid
- Fertility window, the time of ovulation
In addition to regularity of menstrual cycles, the pattern of menstrual period flow also impacts your health. The normal menstrual period flow is about 30 ml per menstrual period. The usual length of bleeding is about 4-6 days. The normal amount of blood loss is about 10-35 ml per period. Each menstrual cycle is about 28 days to 30 days. it can be as short as 21 days or as long as 45 days which is considered normal if the pattern is regular, for a particular woman. However, it is important for a woman to recognize any deviation from the pattern of menstruation she usually has and seek help from a doctor.
Anovulation is a condition where the egg doesn’t get released from the ovary. This leads to menstrual irregularities, weight changes, hormonal imbalance, infertility – their sets in a vicious cycle. One such condition is polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Apart from anovulation, there are other menstrual cycle problems that might affect your health and cause infertility. One of the most common is the “period pain” known as “dysmenorrhea”. Usually, the pain is experienced as cramps in the lower abdomen along with backache, it sometimes also associated with aching pain in the thighs and legs. Most of the times the woman can carry on with her daily activities but if the pain is more or intolerable it is advisable to see your doctor.
- Some home remedies like hot water bags over the lower abdomen help
- over the counter medicines like ibuprofen
- Regular exercise has a long-term benefit.
An irregular period is also a sign of irregular ovulation. It is possible that if the periods are irregular, it is because you might not be ovulating every month, or you might be ovulating at different times every month. In fact, menstrual-like bleeding is also possible even if you haven’t ovulated. This usually happens when the uterine lining becomes too thick and unstable, causing it to shed naturally. There are different causes of irregular periods. Some of them might affect the process of ovulation and your ability to conceive. Some of the causes are:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS
- Disturbance in thyroid hormone secretion.
- Weight gain
- Stress -both mental and physical
- Increased prolactin levels
Although you might dread the 5 days of periods, regular cycles confirm that your body is working the way it should. In case of any abnormality, consult an fertility expert doctor immediately.