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episodic uterine bleeding in response to hormonal changes. A process that allows for conception and implantation of a new life. Also known as female reproductive cycle.


from the age of about 12 to14 and continues up to the age of 45 to 50 years. During this period certain rhythmic changes take place in the reproductive organs- the ovaries and the uterus - the duration of the cycle is typically 24-35 days, and is followed by a discharge of blood through the vagina, which is called menstruation.


length of cycles differ from woman to woman, but the average length is 28 days. The length of the average menstrual flow (termed menses)is 4 to 6 days.


bring an ovum to maturity and renew a uterine tissue bed that would be responsible for the ovas growth if it is fertilized.

Characteristic Beginning (menarche)

Description Average age at onset 12.4 years; average range 9-17 years. Average 28 days

Interval between cycles

Duration of menstrual flow Average flow, 2-7 days. Amount of menstrual flow Color of Menstrual Flow Average 30-80 mL /menstrual period Dark red: (blood, mucus & endometrial cells) Similar to that of marigolds.


Maturing Egg Egg


From Pilliteri:

Menstrual Cycle
Proliferative phase

Secretory phase

Ischemic phase

Menstrual phase

28 days

From other books:

Menstrual Cycle
Menstrual phase Follicular phase Ovulatory phase Luteal phase

28 days

is a periodic discharge of 25-80 mL of blood and mucus due to certain reduction in hormonal level. The first day is used to mark the beginning of a new menstrual cycle Initiated by the degeneration of the corpus luteum.


of uterine lining and rupturing of uterine capillaries take place. Lasts for 3-5 days. The menstrual flow or menses is composed of:
Blood from ruptured capillaries  Mucin from glands  Fragments of endometrial tissue  Microscopic, atrophied, and unfertilized ovum.


menstruation. Ranges from 6 to 13 days in a 28-day cycle. Also known as pre-ovulatory phase. This stage is controlled by estrogen secreted by the ovaries.

lining increases in thickness, becomes more vascular and glands become prominent. One of the secondary ovarian follicles in one ovary had outgrown all others and is called the dominant follicle.


rupture of mature (Graafian) follicle with the release of secondary oocytes into the pelvic cavity; usually occurs on the 14th day of the 28day cycle.


uterus thickens and prepares to receive the fertilized egg. Lasts for 14 days from day 15-28 After ovulation LH secretion stimulates the remnant of the mature follicle to develop into the corpus luteum.


corpus luteum secretes increasing quantities of progesterone and some estrogen.


fertilization occurs, the corpus luteum continues to grow due to human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) produced by the fertilized ovum. If fertilization does not occur, the corpus luteum degenerates towards the end of the cycle. (ischemic)