Skip to main content

Stages of the Menstrual Cycle

Throughout the menstrual cycle, stages occur where hormones change, affecting your body and mood.

The menstrual cycle begins from the first day of menstruation, which occurs because the body releases an unfertilized egg during menstruation. Menstrual blood also consists of vaginal fluid and endometrial tissue. Bleeding can last for about 2-7 days.

During this time, the follicular phase of your cycle is also active. This is where follicles form on the ovaries. These follicles start to develop and grow eggs, one of which will eventually become large enough to be released.

Estrogen also begins to rise sharply during this time, which may lead to breast tenderness, bloating, mood swings, anxiety, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping.

At the end of this phase, the mature egg is released and starts its journey down the fallopian tube, known as ovulation. This crucial phase of the menstrual cycle lasts only a day and is also the time you’re most likely to conceive each month.

After ovulation, progesterone levels rise, leading to breast swelling, tenderness, bloating, anxiety, fatigue, depression, mood swings, weight gain, and decreased libido. This is the luteal phase, also the longest phase of the cycle, lasting about 12-14 days.

As the mature egg is reabsorbed into the body (if not pregnant), the cycle begins again as the egg is released as part of menstruation. Estrogen and progesterone levels both drop, so many women start to feel better at the onset of their period.

Tracking your menstrual cycle is a good way to understand your cycle and what’s normal for you. It can also help you better understand the changes happening in your body and how monthly hormonal fluctuations affect you. Knowing what to expect can help you better manage symptoms of menstrual flu. Knowledge is power, so empowering yourself with as much information about your cycle as possible is your mission.