Menstrual Cycle

Definition of Menstrual Cycle:

The repeating monthly cycle in women consisting of ovulation, thickening of the uterine lining to allow for fertilization and (if the egg is not fertilized) the breakdown and discharge of the lining of the uterus during menstruation.  Cycle length is measured from the start of one period to the start of the next.  The average cycle is 28-29 days, with length variation of up to 7 days being quite normal.  Length variation of 8-20 days is considered irregular; variation of 21 days or more is very irregular.

Also: Menstrual Cycles

Topics Related to Menstrual Cycle

Adolescent Acne

...the condition
“...Some young women are more prone to occasional acne flare-ups due to their use of cosmetics and the hormonal changes associated with their menstrual cycle.  These kinds of acne may affect young women well into adulthood...”


...the condition
“Amenorrhea is a menstrual condition characterized by absent menstrual periods for more than three monthly menstrual cycles, and may be classified as primary or secondary...”
...our question about Progestin use
“Injected progestins have been the standard form of injected contraceptive – and are very effective – but they can have severe effects on the menstrual cycle.  Like other progestin contraceptives, Depo-Provera prevents pregnancy by halting ovulation, thickening the cervical mucus, and stopping the implantation of fertilized eggs in the...”
...relationship to The Effects Of Overtraining
“Many young female athletes in training experience absent menstrual cycles due to low body fat content...”
...relationship to Hypothyroidism
“In many cases, an underactive or overactive thyroid gland is responsible for the absent menstrual cycles.”
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More topics Related to Menstrual Cycle

Breast Cancer

...our question about Breast pain
“...Breast cancer is extremely unlikely if your only symptom is pain that varies with the menstrual cycle, or if both breasts are affected.”

Corpus Luteum

...related topic
“Yellow endocrine structure formed during the third phase of the menstrual cycle (Luteal Phase) which lasts for 10-14 days unless a pregnancy occurs...”


...recommendation Tryptophan / 5HTP
“...Depression associated with menstrual cycles and postpartum depression sometimes respond very well to tryptophan supplementation...”

Diabetes Type II

...our question about Irregular menstrual cycles
“Women with long or very irregular menstrual cycles may be at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.”

Diuretics a treatment
“...Breast enlargement or tenderness in men (potassium-sparing diuretics); Deepening of the voice in women (potassium-sparing diuretics); Decreased hair growth (potassium-sparing diuretics); Irregular menstrual cycles (potassium-sparing diuretics); Sulfa drug allergic reaction (most diuretics are sulfa drugs); Alcohol and sleep medications may increase side-effects and should be avoided...”

Edema (Water Retention)

...the condition
“...Women are especially susceptible to edema due to hormonal fluctuations during their menstrual cycle.  Because of gravity, edema is most common in the ankles, feet, and legs...”
...relationship to Progesterone Low or Estrogen Dominance
“...Ovarian function was investigated in 30 women with postural idiopathic edema by measuring plasma estradiol and progesterone levels between the 21st and 23rd days of the menstrual cycle.  Plasma progesterone concentrations were found to be lower than 5ng/ml in 53% of the cases and lower than 10ng/ml in 83%...”


...the condition
“...Symptoms which seem to come and go with the menstrual cycle are suspicious...”
...recommendation Surgery
“Laser techniques to destroy endometrial tissue are currently popular in conventional medicine as is removing the uterus, ovaries (and perhaps appendix) thus stopping the menstrual cycle altogether.”

Evening Primrose Oil a treatment
“...In one study, administration of 4 capsules of OEP (each containing 72% linoleic acid and 9% GLA) twice daily during the last 14 days of the menstrual cycle relieved PMS symptoms...”

Female Infertility

...recommendation Natural Progesterone
“...The lack of normal progesterone production by the ovaries in the second half of the menstrual cycle is called luteal phase defect...”
...recommendation Vitex / Chasteberry
“Vitex is often used to help infertility caused by a luteal phase defect (a shortening of the post-ovulatory part of the menstrual cycle): women taking vitex for three months appear to have more success at becoming pregnant.”

Fibrocystic Breast Disease

...the condition
“...Both breasts become tender or painful and lumpy, and the symptoms vary at different times in the menstrual cycle.  Despite the fact that signs and symptoms of fibrocystic disease appear to be quite distinct from textbook signs and symptoms of breast cancer, any lump in the breast should be...”

High Body Fat Percentage

...the condition
“...Some experts believe that 17% body fat is needed for the onset of menses, and 22% body fat is needed to maintain normal menstrual cycles.  Of course, some people are healthy outside these parameters...”


...related topic
“...Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth...”

Irregular Periods

...the condition
“Alternative names: Oligomenorrhea Irregular periods involve bleeding that occurs outside the usual variations of a woman's menstrual cycle.  In other words, periods that are significantly early or late, bleeding between periods, missed periods, continuous periods, or periods that occur twice in one cycle...”

Lithosperma a treatment
“...Lithosperma is useful in balancing hyperestrinism and balancing irregular menstrual cycles.  Use short term in the luteal phase, or full cycle to suppress high estrogen levels...”

Menorrhagia (Heavy Periods)

...relationship to Progesterone Low or Estrogen Dominance
“In a normal menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone regulate the buildup of the endometrium (uterine lining of blood and tissue), which is shed each month during menstruation...”
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More topics Related to Menstrual Cycle


...related topic
“...The first day of menstrual flow is considered day 1 of the menstrual cycle.”

Migraine/Tension Headaches

...our question about Menstruation-related headaches
“...In 60-70% of cases in women, the headaches are related to the menstrual cycle.  Attacks that occur exclusively with menses, called "true menstrual migraine", affect about 14% of sufferers...”

Ovarian Cysts

...the condition
“...Functional cysts resolve within one to two menstrual cycles and so can be identified by their disappearing behavior...”
...our question about Non-menstrual bleeding
“Dysfunctional uterine bleeding is commonly associated with an 'anovulatory cycle' – a menstrual cycle that does not result in the release of an egg from one of the ovaries...”
...recommendation Wild Yam
“Wild Yam root (Dioscorea villosa) promotes a healthy menstrual cycle, hormonal balance and can help reduce ovarian pain...”

Painful Menstruation (Dysmenorrhea)

...the condition
“...The level of prostaglandin increases in the second half of the menstrual cycle.  When a woman's period begins, the cells in the uterine lining release prostaglandin as they are shed...”
...recommendation Vitamin E
“Supplementation with vitamin E (500 IU per day) from 2 days before menstrual onset through the third day of bleeding, for two consecutive menstrual cycles, reduced pain in a placebo-controlled trial of 100 young women with primary dysmenorrhea...”

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

...the condition
“...This may explain why symptoms of PID caused by gonorrhea often begin immediately after menstruation as opposed to any other time during the menstrual cycle.  Women with STDs – especially gonorrhea and chlamydial infection – are at greater risk of developing PID; a prior episode of PID increases the risk of another episode because the...”

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

...the condition
“...Hormones and birth control pills will give regular menstrual cycles and may reduce abnormal hair growth...”

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

...the condition
“...Physical ... Missed menstrual cycle...”

Premenstrual Syndrome

...the condition
“...Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) a very common condition that affects women during specific days of their menstrual cycle, usually just before their menses...”
...related topic
“PMS consists of various physical and/or emotional symptoms that occur in the second half of the menstrual cycle, after ovulation...”
...relationship to Manganese Requirement
“In a double blind study of women with normal menstrual cycles, lower dietary manganese (1.0mg versus 5.6mg) was found to increase mood and pain symptoms during the premenstrual phase...”
...recommendation Vitamin A
“Vitamin A has been shown to be beneficial in reducing PMS symptoms when given in doses of 100,000 to 300,000 IU per day in the second half of the menstrual cycle.  These levels should only be achieved by a water-soluble form of vitamin A and supervised by a doctor...”
...recommendation Vitex / Chasteberry
“...In all, 85 women were given one capsule of vitex that contained up to 4.2mg of vitex agnus castus dried fruit, daily for three consecutive menstrual cycles.  At the same time, another 90 women were given a placebo on the first 15 days of their menstrual cycle and 2 capsules of vitamin B6 (100mg per capsule) for the rest of the cycle...”

Protein Deficiency

...the condition
“ general); Diarrhea; Reduced blood pressure; High cholesterol and triglycerides (due to the liver processing fats less efficiently); Growth problems in children; Edema (fluid retention); Irregular menstrual cycle (a low-protein, high-carb diet contributes to insulin resistance, fatigue, inflammation and weight gain, which in turn disrupt the delicate balance of female hormones); Mental...”

Tendency Toward Postpartum Depression

...the condition
“...Depression associated with menstrual cycles and postpartum depression sometimes responds very well to tryptophan supplementation...”
...recommendation Tryptophan / 5HTP
“Depression associated with menstrual cycles and postpartum depression sometimes respond very well to tryptophan supplementation...”

Test Estrogen Level a treatment
“Estrogens are the hormones responsible for female sexual features such as breast development and the menstrual cycle.  An estrogen test measures the level of the most important estrogens (estradiol, estriol, and estrone), usually through a blood sample...”

Test for Hormones a treatment
“...Timing of the test in relation to the menstrual cycle is important for accurate and usable results with regard to estrogens and progesterone levels...”

Vitex / Chasteberry a treatment
“...The use of the fruits of the chaste plant have been used primarily to regulate the menstrual cycle, although it was also thought to decrease libido in both men and women (hence the name chaste)...”
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