That time of the month. Shark week. Red Robot. The menses. These are among the many names most women use to call the first part of the Menstrual Cycle. But do we really know the entire cycle? Do we know that there are actually two parts to the cycle and four different phases within said parts? Menstrual Hygiene Day (today) seems as good a day as any to take a closer look.
Menstruation usually starts a bit after puberty. Menarche (the medical term for your first period) occurs in young girls around the age of 12 – 15 years old. Sometimes, the first period may appear slightly earlier or slightly later than the ages stated. Some girls even start their period in university! Any longer than that, though, usually require a visit to a gynaecologist, just to make sure everything is functioning normally.
Also read: Menstruation, ovulation, and fertilisation
The two cycles within the menstrual cycle are the Ovarian Cycle, and the Uterine Cycle. These are communicated to the body through hormones, and tend to overlap. The entire menstruation cycle starts on the first day of your period and ends with the start of the next period. Cycle lengths vary with each person, and can be anywhere from 21 to 42 days.
Find the Menstrual Cycle stages below.