The Latin word cycle generally describes a cycle that is always repeated. The menstrual cycle (or female cycle) is a physiological process concerning sexual reproduction in the female reproductive organs in women in the fertile phase. Accordingly, the fertile phase is the time between a woman's first and last monthly cycle. The task of the menstrual cycle is to prepare the uterus for a possible conception, as well as for the subsequent pregnancy. The cycle is noticeably expressed by the monthly bleeding, which is also called period or menstruation. The first period usually occurs in young girls during puberty between the ages of 11 and 14. Most women have their last period during the menopause, i.e., between the ages of 45 and 55. In between, there are about 400 cycles, lasting an average of 27 days. The menstrual cycle, which is controlled by the hormonal system, is of fundamental importance for reproduction. It is often divided into two phases: The follicular phase before ovulation and the luteal phase after ovulation. Ovulation is the most important time in the female cycle because fertilization can only take place after ovulation. The first day of menstruation is defined as the beginning of the menstrual cycle, as bleeding is the clearest symptom in the cycle. According to this definition, the cycle ends on the day before the onset of menstrual bleeding. In the first phase of the cycle (follicular phase), the old mucous membrane layer of the uterus is shed and expelled by contraction of the same. After the bleeding stops, it is rebuilt under the influence of the oestrogen produced in the ovary. At the same time, an ovarian follicle containing the egg matures in the ovary. During this process, which repeats itself every month, changes occur in the ovaries. Follicle maturation, follicle breakthrough and corpus luteum formation are also associated with changes in the lining of the uterus (growth and shedding). After ovulation, the luteal phase begins, which lasts 12 to 16 days. This is when it is decided whether fertilization with successful implantation in the uterus will occur or not. In the second case, a follicular phase with bleeding follows at the end of the luteal phase. In the case of successful implantation, there is no bleeding and pregnancy follows. Only when the woman decreases breastfeeding after delivery does the next follicular phase of her cycle follow. The duration and intensity of menstrual bleeding varies from woman to woman, and also changes individually over the years. The frequency and length of the cycle can also vary greatly. This is especially true for female teenagers or for women who stop taking the pill after years of use. In both cases, the rhythm first has to stabilize (again). A normal menstrual period lasts three to five days. Between 10 and 80 millilitres of blood pass through the vagina to the outside. To catch the blood, menstruation therefore requires special hygienic precautions. There are several devices (pads, tampons, menstrual cups, menstrual underwear, etc.) that women can choose from depending on their age, life situation and personal preference. For the majority of women, menstruation is accompanied by various symptoms, the so-called menstrual cramps. These can also occur within the menstrual cycle, i.e., before menstruation (PMS). The most common PMS symptoms include pimples, painful breasts, bloating, depression, irritability, and mood swings. The contraction of the uterus during the period can cause abdominal pain and cramping, some women need painkillers. Ovulation can be equally painful.

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