OB/GYN Dr. Staci Tanouye explains each phase of the menstrual cycle.
Did you know your menstrual cycle could tell you a lot about your overall health? While I always suggest
patients track their periods, keeping a tab on how you feel the rest of the month can be just as
important. If it’s been some time since your last Sex Ed class or you just want to start paying more
attention to your cycle, here is what you need to know:
If you get a period, every month your body goes through what is called the “menstrual cycle,” a process
during which the body prepares for the possibility of pregnancy. The menstrual cycle can seem complex,
but U by Kotex® partnered with Simone Giertz to create a hands-on video to help demystify the amazing
process – watch it here! The cycle begins on the first day of regular flow of your period (does not include
spotting) and is counted up to the first day of your next period. The menstrual cycle includes two main
Follicular Phase – this phase starts on the first day of your period and ends with ovulation; the
development of the egg takes place during this time
Includes the Menstrual Phase (days 1-5) – this begins when an egg from your previous
cycle does not get fertilized, resulting in the shedding of thickened lining of the uterus
Luteal Phase – a decrease in hormones takes place if an egg has not been implanted; you may
experience PMS symptoms in this phase
Ovulation Phase (day 14) – usually occurring around two weeks before menstruation, a
mature egg is released from the surface of the ovary
While the typical cycle is 28 days, length may vary for different people and can also change month-to
-month. Typically, a period is considered “regular” if it comes every 24 to 38 days. Both knowing the
exact time and day that your period will come, as well as not being able to pinpoint a specific date, is
There are a variety of causes for irregularities in your cycle, including pregnancy, breast-feeding,
polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and uterine fibroids. To learn how to regulate your cycle, contact your
health care provider. In addition, see a medical professional if you experience any of these issues:
Author Summary: Staci Tanouye, MD, OB-GYN is a physician in a private practice and an expert in
adolescent health, sexual health, reproductive health, and menopausal health. She has become one of
the leading gynecologists on social media with the mission to educate women and all people with vulvas
to love their bodies through knowledge and empowerment.
Sources Referenced :
This is not intended to be medical advice. Everybody is different so please make sure to consult your physician if you're having issues. Do not delay or refrain from seeking professional medical advice from your physician because of something you have read on this site.
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