Your unique menstrual cycle and what to expect!
As soon as you get your period and you start having it regularly, you’ll go through the menstrual cycle every month. About two weeks before your period, you’ll ovulate. Your ovaries have hundreds of ova or eggs inside them. Your ovaries “take turns.” One month your right ovary will release an egg and the next month your left ovary will release an egg.
Once the egg is released, it travels through the Fallopian tube to your uterus. We will talk more about the uterus and how it works another time. Remember how tiny that egg is! It’s the size of a period at the end of a sentence. It takes four days for it to travel down the tube. Since you won’t be having a baby for a long time, the egg isn’t going to grow into an, embryo. It will come out of your body with some discharge. Since the lining in the uterus won’t be used either, within two weeks it will start flowing out. You will have your period for that month and then the menstrual cycle will start all over again the following month.
How do you know when your period is regular or irregular? As soon as you get your first period, you can get pregnant. If you aren’t sexually active, a missed period when you first start shouldn’t make you nervous. At the beginning, you might not have your period every month. You might have it one month and then three months might go by before your next one happens.
Your body is getting used to a new process and at the beginning, it might not be too smooth! Your flow might be really heavy one month, then the next month it might be light. It’s completely different once you start your period every month. Then if you skip a month you could be pregnant if you’ve had unprotected sexual intercourse. If you don’t have sexual intercourse, you want get pregnant.
Once you start having your period every month, you’ll notice whether your periods are regular or irregular. We talk about using a calendar or period tracker, and you’ll know exactly when your period comes every month. I talk about that in my last post about last month, “What is Premenstrual Syndromes.” If you started having a period on August 1st, then count 28 days as you see on the diagram above, and your next period will be right on time on August 29th. The average cycle is 28 days.
However not everyone’s body works like this! Some of us will have a cycle of 21 days one month, 28 days the next, and 31 days the next. Depending on how the calendar falls you’ll be having your period once or twice in every calendar month. Whether you have a period every 28 days or whether your period bounces around from cycle to cycle, you’ll usually be able to tell a few days before, because you will feel different. Listen to your body and look for premenstrual signs, keeping track is will help until you learn your cycle.