What Are The Menstrual Cycle Phases Symptoms?
Here, you will find all you need to know about the menstrual cycle stages. The menstrual cycle has 4 phases and these are the luteal phase, the follicular phase, menstruation and ovulation.
A period would normally last for around 3 – 7 days. During this period, tissue and menstrual blood flows from your uterus, into the opening in your cervix and then it leaves your body via your vagina.
The following are the phases and symptoms of the menstrual cycle.
Phase 1: Menstrual Phase
The first phase of the menstrual cycle stages is known as the Menstrual Phase. In this phase you could experience any or many of the following symptoms:
- Mood swings
- Low back pain
- Tender breasts
The Menstrual Phase for women, on an average, lasts for between 3-7 days, though it is true that there are some women, who can have longer periods than other women.
Phase 2: Follicular Phase
Phase two of the menstrual cycle stages is known as the Follicular Phase. This phase would start on day one of your period and thus as part of these menstrual cycle symptoms, there would be an overlap of this phase with the Menstrual Phase.
This phase would end when you begin ovulating. On an average, this Follicular Phase would last for around 16 days and depending on your cycle it could last anywhere between 11- 7 days.
Phase 3: Ovulation Phase
This is the third phase of the menstrual cycle stages. In the Ovulation Phase, your ovary starts to release a mature egg. This is the only phase in your menstrual cycle phases chart, where you can get pregnant.
You would be able to know that you are ovulating when your discharge is thicker (it has an egg white like texture) and you would see a small rise in your nasal body temperature.
If your cycle is of 28 days, ovulation would take place around day 14, which would be bang in the centre of your menstrual cycle. This would last for around 24 hours and if the egg does not fertilize, it would die.
Phase 4: Luteal Phase
The fourth of the menstrual cycle stages is called the Luteal Phase. In this phase, if you do not get pregnant, it is possible that you may feel symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and these would be inclusive of:
- Food cravings
- Mood changes
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight gain
- Changes in sexual desire.
- Breast tenderness or pain in the breasts or swelling of the breasts.
This phase would last anywhere between 11 – 17 days and the average length of this phase is 14 days.
Common Issues With Menstrual Cycles
It is very true that each woman would have a different menstrual cycle, as you may have seen in a menstrual cycle diagram. For instance, there are some women who would get their periods at exactly the same time each month, while other women would have irregular periods.
Then there are some women who tend to bleed for a longer time period or much more heavily than other women.
Also, during certain phases in your life, your menstrual cycle could change. For instance, as you get closer to menopause, your menstrual cycle could start to get much more irregular. Here are some indicators of you having issues with your menstrual cycle stages:
- You would start to bleed for more than 7 days.
- Your bleeding would even take place in between periods and it would be far heavier than spotting.
- You would have periods that are very irregular.
- Your periods would stop totally or you would have skipped periods.
- Your periods would be less than 21 days or greater than 35 days apart.
What Can Alter Your Menstrual Cycle Stages?
There are many factors that could alter your menstrual cycle phases and hormones and these are:
- Uterine Fibroids: These are noncancerous growths that are present in your uterus and they can cause your periods to be heavier and longer than they usually are.
- Pregnancy: When you are pregnant, your periods should cease. One of the most obvious indicators of you being pregnant, is your missed periods.
- Eating Disorders: Your menstrual cycle could be disrupted and it could stop, if you suffer from eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia and others.
- Birth Control: If you take birth control pills, you could find your periods are lighter and shorter. But there are certain pills if taken by you, would not give you any periods at all.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): This is a kind of hormonal imbalance that prevents the normal development of the egg in the ovary. PCOS gives rise to missed periods, as well as menstrual cycles that are irregular.
Periods That Last Just 1 Or 2 Days
Depending on many factors, it is possible that your menstrual cycle days could vary and if you find that your period has suddenly got shorter, it could be cause for concern. A shorter period could be a sign of you being pregnant.
But there could also be other reasons why your period is shorter, such as some kind of a medical condition that you are suffering from, birth control methods being used by you, various lifestyle factors, to name a few.
The Bottom Line About Menstrual Cycle Stages
What is very important for you as a woman to understand is that every woman would have a different menstrual cycle. What might be normal for one woman, might not necessarily be normal for you – and vice versa.
But one thing is for sure, it is very vital for you to get familiar with your menstrual cycle. This would be inclusive of when your periods are happening and how long are your periods lasting.
It is also very crucial that you be alert for any changes in your menstrual cycle stages that are happening to you and if you do notice any, at once go and talk to your doctor about these.