Woman's health


07/31/2015 Menstruation How to calculate the menstrual cycle? Such a question is often asked to specialists by girls. It is important to do these calculations for a number of reasons.

1. To ensure that critical days are not taken by surprise.
2. To know when you can most likely get pregnant. With a simple calculation, the timing of ovulation is determined, and at this time they have sex more intensively than usual.
3. In order to avoid unwanted pregnancy and on days dangerous for conception, to use barrier contraceptives. This method is fairly accurate, but it is still impossible to completely trust him, because it is impossible to calculate the physiological processes guaranteed.
4. To control your female health. If several months in a row to determine the menstrual cycle, you can understand how stable it is.

Menstrual cycle and monthly

Procreation is the main function of the female body. The more you know about its features, the more calmly you perceive all the changes in it that occur during conception, pregnancy and birth of a baby. The cycle of menstruation plays a very important role in the conception of a child. Those who are considered synonymous with the concepts “menstrual cycle” and “menstruation” are mistaken. What is the difference between these terms?

Menstrual cycle
This is a series of cyclical changes that occur every month and prepare the woman's body for conception. These changes, in addition to the reproductive reproductive system, have an impact on the nervous, cardiovascular, endocrine.

The duration of the menstrual cycle for all women is individual. Ideally, this is 28 days, plus or minus a few days. Its beginning is considered the first day of menstruation, and the whole cycle is the length of time from the same first day to the first day of the subsequent menstruation. If a woman has a regular monthly cycle (the tolerances are up to 3 days), then there is no reason to worry. Sometimes it loses its regularity due to stress, unhealthy diet, overwork, etc. How much you have it full, indicate:

  • duration
  • duration of menstrual days
  • the volume of blood secreted - no more than 80 ml for the entire menstruation,
  • regularity.

This release of blood from the vagina, which occurs monthly at relatively equal intervals of time. The menstrual blood contains pieces of the endometrium that have exfoliated. Menstruation lasts for a woman from the onset of puberty to menopause. They are absent during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

The first menstruation occurs in girls at the age of 11-15. Stable cycle becomes a year and a half. Some deviations from the norm of the monthly cycle occur during active puberty or after childbirth. In 51-52, menstruation stops and menopause begins. All active processes of the female reproductive system are declining, the body produces less and less sex hormones, the number of eggs in the ovaries decreases.

Phases of the menstrual cycle

There are four of them.

  1. Follicular
    Under the influence of follicle-stimulating hormone, which produces the anterior pituitary brain, the progesterone and estrogens are produced in the ovaries.
    Estrogens give rise to the formation and maturation of follicles. Among them is determined dominant. In the middle of the monthly cycle - closer to the end of this phase - ovulation occurs.
  2. Ovulation phase.
    It lasts three days. Luteinizing hormone produced by the pituitary gland, which, when released into the blood, accelerates the production of progesterone, which, together with estrogen, affects the dominant follicle so that it bursts and releases a ripe egg into the pelvis through the fallopian tubes. This is ovulation.
  3. Luteal.
    During this period, the female body produces a lot of progesterone, which occurs due to the action of the pituitary luteinizing hormone and is produced by the corpus luteum, which forms on the site of a ruptured follicle. During this phase, the uterus mucosa thickens, becomes viscous and loose. It is necessary to fix the fertilized egg. If this does not happen, the monthly will come in 12-16 days.
  4. Desquamation (critical days).
    Menstruation is the process of rejection of an unfertilized egg cell and the endometrial layer, which was ready for its implantation. This means that the pregnancy has not come. Before critical days, women experience irritability, fever, pressure, and breast swelling. These symptoms disappear as menstruation begins.

How to count the cycle of menstruation for conception?

The most fruitful period for conception is the phase of ovulation, which begins on the 14th-16th day after the beginning of menstruation. Ripened egg outside the ovary is active and capable of fertilization for one day. But a child can be conceived a few days before ovulation, since sperm outside the sperm are viable from 2 to 5 days.

For proper calculation, you should study your cycle for the last six months (preferably a year). Mark the longest cycle and the shortest. Take away the shortest number from 18, the longest from the number is 11. Suppose the longest menstrual cycle is 33 days, the shortest is 26. Counting: 33 - 11 = 22, 26 - 18 = 8. It turns out that the most suitable time for conception is the gap between the 8th and 22nd days of the cycle.

For more accurate counting for ovulation, use our ovulation calendar.

Why do they go monthly one day?

If there were monthly periods one day and ended, you should find out the reason. There is no reason for anxiety, if there were always scant and short discharge in 1–2 days. If the menstruation was normal, from 3 to 7 days, and suddenly decreased to one, you should consult a doctor.

Why are very strong periods?

Very strong monthly or hypermenorrhea - a violation of the menstrual cycle, which is expressed in heavy discharge. Total blood loss is more than 150 ml. The duration of critical days over 7 days with increased volume is called menorrhagia.

Why count the cycle

In addition to the opportunity to stock up on time with personal hygiene products before the next menstrual periods come in and prevent an unpleasant situation, the need to be able to read the menstrual cycle allows you to:

  • independently monitor their own health and timely pay attention to the first symptoms of disorders in the reproductive system,
  • increase the likelihood of pregnancy by correctly calculating the date of ovulation (the release of a ripe egg from the ovary),
  • prevent unpleasant surprises, which means that it is correct to schedule a check-up with a doctor, a long-awaited vacation or some other important celebration or meeting,
  • It is not uncommon for women to study the cycle in order to determine the days when sex is considered the safest, although the calendar method itself is not considered reliable, since there is no guarantee that ovulation will not come earlier or, conversely, will not be delayed for any reason.

Timely observed irregularities in the length of days between menstruation allow us to diagnose diseases in the early stages, as well as to prevent their complications. This is especially true of inflammatory processes, infectious diseases and the appearance of tumors in the genital area.

Cycle phases and their duration

The main task that the menstruation cycle performs is to prepare the female body for a possible pregnancy, which occurs with a certain cyclical nature. The norm is the duration of the cycle from 21 to 35 days. The beginning of the cycle is the first day of the appearance of characteristic discharge (bleeding). In medical practice, menstruation is also called regulation.

The whole cycle consists of two main phases, which are separated by ovulation: follicular and luteal.

In the first case we are talking about the process of follicle development and the maturation of the egg, which, after leaving it, can be fertilized (the onset of pregnancy). In the second case, it is customary to talk about the phase of the corpus luteum, which appears in place of the released egg.

  • The first phase (follicular) begins with the onset of the first bleeding associated with menstruation, and lasts until the onset of ovulation. In most cases, it takes about half of the whole cycle, which is characterized by a basal temperature of 37 degrees, which decreases sharply when ovulation occurs (thus, it is possible to specify the time of release of the mature egg and the best chance of getting pregnant).
  • As for the luteal phase, it begins immediately after ovulation and lasts as long as there is a yellow body, about two weeks. During this period, the female body must maintain the necessary balance between the amount of estrogen and progesterone produced by the corpus luteum. The basal temperature is mostly kept at 37 degrees and decreases sharply just before the next menstrual period begins.

The possibility of pregnancy especially depends on the moment of ovulation, since fertilization of a mature egg is possible 3 - 4 days before its occurrence or in the first 2 days after it.

Possible causes of violations

Violations of the menstrual cycle, namely its duration, may be the norm or indicate more serious pathologies. Consultation with a gynecologist is especially necessary if irregularities are observed for 2–3 consecutive cycles. The true cause of delayed or, conversely, prematurely menstruating can only be determined by a specialist. This necessarily takes into account patient complaints, observations, the results of the examination and direct tests after the examination.

In addition to the late onset of bleeding, a cycle violation is considered to be the modified duration of the discharge itself: less than three days or more than a week. The reason for visiting the doctor is also the absence of ovulation and the uncharacteristic change in the abundance of secretions: less than 40 ml or more than 80 ml over the entire period of menstruation.

  1. Among the most common causes of violation of the cyclical beginning of menstruation is:
  2. Gynecological and endocrine diseases.
  3. Disruption of the hormonal balance in the body.
  4. Changes in the reproductive system during pregnancy or lactation (breastfeeding), as well as after an abortion.
  5. Disorders in the production of hormones due to stress, medication, weight gain or weight loss.

Why the cycle is lengthened

The increased time interval between the beginning of the month can be caused by the incomplete development of the follicles and the immediate delay of the ovulation itself. In such cases, there is a lack of corpus luteum and insufficient production of progesterone. The advantage of estrogen in the body causes a further increase in the functional layer of the uterine lining, until it starts to collapse mechanically and provoke bleeding. Thus, there is a delay in the onset of menses.

A more dangerous reason for the lack of timely menstruation may be excessively prolonged presence of the corpus luteum, provided that the pregnancy has not occurred. The anomaly itself can be determined only after careful ultrasound examination of the pelvic organs. On the other hand, situations when the pregnancy has come are not rare, but the corpus luteum, which should provide nutrition for the fetus for its further development, is not observed. In such cases, it is customary to talk about the threat of miscarriage. At the same time, hormonal treatment is prescribed in order to preserve the pregnancy itself.

Causes of shortening

The reduction in the period between menstruation may be due to the earlier development of the follicle and the release of the mature egg (ovulation), as well as the earlier death of the corpus luteum at the site of the egg itself.

Of the external causes of too early onset of menstruation, it is worth highlighting serious diseases of the body, the occurrence of various stressful and extreme situations in which the normal course of pregnancy and the birth of a healthy child is impossible.

How to calculate the cycle

It is a mistake to think that the formula for calculating the duration of the menstrual cycle is too simple and it is enough to count the number of days between the periods themselves. Any result derived in this way will be incorrect. The cycle length is calculated from the first day of the beginning of the menstrual period and includes the last day before the onset of the following characteristic discharge. The whole process is recorded for three months, so you can not do without a pencil and calendar. It is necessary to mark not only the first day of menstruation, but also all subsequent ones, when discharge was observed.

Only after the end of the third cycle can one begin to consider its duration and be able to determine the first day of the next beginning of the monthly period:

If in each new month the critical days begin on the same date, then the duration of the menstrual cycle is 30–31 days.

The only shift in dates can be observed in March, since February is the shortest month and monthly periods can begin several days later.

In other cases, for example, when the cyclical nature of the onset of menstruation takes 34 days, the date should be calculated based on the number of calendar days, since it will move several days in advance. At the same time, there is no need to predict the onset of menstruation by more than 1 to 2 months, since violations can be associated with climate change and various stressful situations. If the delay in menstruation is observed for more than seven days, there is a probability of pregnancy.

Calculation examples

In order not to get confused in the correctness of individual calculations, it is worth examining how the first day of the menstrual cycle is recalculated each subsequent time on the basis of the following examples:

  1. If the patient's previous menstruation began on March 6, and the current one - on April 3, then the total cycle duration consists of two parts: 26 days in March (from the 6th to the 31st day) and 2 days in April. The result is 28 days.
  2. Often you can get confused if the date of the onset of menstruation falls on the middle of the month, for example, September 14. At the same time, the beginning of the following selections is dated October 13. The calculation is carried out as follows: in September, the cycle lasted from 14 to 30 number and is 17 days, and in October from 1 to 12 number - 12 days. Together it turns out 29 days of one menstrual cycle. The beginning of the next month is expected on November 11th.

Single menstrual irregularities, which can be explained by stress or strong experiences, should not be especially frightening or alarming, but if there is a delay or three months in a row, the doctor’s consultation is mandatory. Violation is pathological, if the cycle lasts less than 21 days or more than 35 days. It is also important to consider the number of days in which menstruation occurs. Pathology is bleeding less than three days and more than a week.