- It is the cyclic events in female reproductive system starting from one menstruation till the next during the reproductive period (from puberty to menopause).
- Its duration is 28 or 29 days.
- Menstrual cycle is also seen in other primates.
- Menstrual cycle includes Ovarian cycle (changes in ovary) & Uterine cycle (changes in uterus, oviduct & vagina).
- Menstrual cycle has the following phases:
- The cycle starts with menstrual flow (bleeding).
- It lasts for 3-5 days.
- Menstruation occurs if the released ovum is not fertilized. It results in breakdown of endometrial lining and its blood vessels that comes out through vagina.
- Lack of menstruation indicates pregnancy. It may also be caused due to stress, poor health etc.
- Menarche: The first menstruation during puberty.
- It starts from 5th day after menstruation and completed within 8-12 days.
- In this phase, the action of gonadotropins (FSH &LH) from pituitary occurs. FSH stimulates
o Development of primary follicles into Graafian follicles.
o Secretion of oestrogens by Graafian follicles.
- Oestrogens stimulate
o Proliferation of ruptured uterine endometrium and mucus lining of oviduct & vagina.
o Development of secondary sexual characters.
o Suppression of FSH secretion.
o Secretion of LH (Luteinizing hormone).
- LH & FSH attain a peak level in the middle of cycle.
- Rapid secretion of LH (LH surge) induces rupture of Graafian follicle and thereby ovulation (on 14th day).
- After ovulation, Graafian follicle is transformed to a yellow
endocrine mass called Corpus luteum. It secretes progesterone.
- Functions of progesterone:
o Makes the endometrium maximum vascular, thick and soft. Thus, the uterus gets ready for implantation.
o Inhibits the FSH secretion to prevent development of a second ovarian follicle.
- If fertilization does not occur, corpus luteum degenerates. It causes disintegration of endometrium. It leads to next menstruation and new cycle.
- If a woman becomes pregnant, all events of menstrual cycle stop and there is no menstruation.
- Menstrual cycle ceases around 50 years of age. It is called Menopause.
· Take bath and clean body regularly.
· Use sanitary napkins or clean homemade pads.
· Change them after every 4 – 5 hrs as per the requirement.
· Dispose the used napkins or pads properly. Do not throw them in the drainpipe of toilets or in the open area.
· After handling the napkin, wash hands with soap.