I get a lot of questions about how the menstrual cycle works, what is a normal cycle, what causes irregular cycles and how birth control pills work. The next few posts will tackle these questions. Today: The normal menstrual cycle. As you will see, normal has significant variations.
The menstrual cycle is the basis of our ability to reproduce. Just as it is so easy to forget that eating exists primarily to provide nutrients for our body’s health and survival, so too is it easy to forget that our* menstrual cycles exist in order to make an egg ready to join with a sperm and prepare the uterine lining to accept the fertilized egg.
For an illustration of the reproductive organs and a helpful website check out: American Sexual Health Association
Menses begin with puberty and menarche (the medical term for the onset of menses) and continues until menopause (beginning one year after your last menses). Most women have many, many menstrual cycles in our lives. For many women, much of our reproductive lives are focused on how we can safely control our fertility and have our children when and if we want. Understanding the menstrual cycle is a key to understanding how our bodies work, how contraception works and how pregnancy is achieved.