The menstrual cycle is the period from the first day of menstruation to the beginning of the next. Normally, it lasts 21–35 days, and fluctuations within 2-3 days are allowed.
The discharge goes from 3 to 7 days, during which time the lady loses 50–80 ml of blood.
If conception did not occur, and the egg cell was not implanted, the functional layer of the uterine mucosa, or endometrium, is rejected and exfoliated, and bleeding, that is, menstruation, begins. One cycle ends, the next one starts at the same time.
Characteristics of the cycle depend on the work of the reproductive system, which consists of many links. Its main regulator, the cerebral cortex, produces biologically active substances acting on the hypothalamus.
He, in turn, affects the pituitary gland, the latter – on the ovaries, and the ovaries “send” their signals to the uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, as well as to the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. Such a complex mechanism is necessary to ensure the birth of a child.
Failures in his work indicate problems in the system of regulation. Sometimes you can close your eyes to this, but in most cases, especially if a pregnancy is planned, it is necessary to determine and eliminate the cause of the “breakdown”.
And here we can not do without consulting a gynecologist, who will appoint an examination and choose the tactics of treatment.
Disruption of the menstrual cycle is a change in the frequency, duration and / or volume of the menstrual flow. If the interval between menstruation is less than 21 days, they talk about frequent menstruation, or proiomenorrhea; when it increases to 60–90 days – about oligomenorrhea.
If menstruation is absent for more than half a year – about amenorrhea. Abundant prolonged discharge is defined as hyperpolymenorrhea, or menorrhagia, scanty are called hypomenorrhea, and irregular uterine intermenstrual bleeding – metrorrhagia.
The irregularity of the menstrual cycle can be caused either by external or functional causes, or by internal or organic causes. In the first case, the body can be affected by stress, abrupt climate change, excessive exercise, rapid or significant weight loss or, conversely, obesity, taking certain medications.
To adjust the cycle, and hence the rhythm of hormone production, you need to adjust the diet, lead a healthy lifestyle and avoid extremes.
In the second case, everything is much more complicated, since the problems arise because of disorders in the woman’s body. They are frequent colds, foci of chronic infection in the body, transferred inflammatory processes, increased intracranial pressure, gynecological diseases, such as endometriosis, and other problems.
Regardless of the reasons, any violation of the cycle should be a reason for going to the doctor, especially for women planning a pregnancy. The last regular cycle is needed first of all in order to properly and fully develop the egg, without which it is impossible to conceive a baby.
The gynecologist will suggest that you do an ultrasound of the pelvic organs, a study of the level of the female and male sex hormones in the blood phase of the menstrual cycle, as well as thyroid hormones and an x-ray examination of the skull. In addition, it can be hysteroscopy, as well as a diagnostic study of the inner layer of the uterus – endometrial biopsy.
Depending on the results, the woman will be given recommendations on diet, treatment and a healthy lifestyle, and if necessary, she will be prescribed hormone therapy or will recommend surgical methods for solving the problem.
Often, to normalize the cycle, women are prescribed contraceptives, which also have a therapeutic effect. They give rest to the reproductive system, after which it begins to work with a new force.