2 The female reproductive organs include - the vagina (a muscular passage that connects the cervix with the external genital organs - one of which is a sensitive mound of tissue called the clitoris), -the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that separates the body of the uterus from the vagina), -the uterus (a hollow, muscular structure), -the ovaries (two glands that produce certain hormones and contain tissue sacs in which eggs develop) -fallopian tubes (two muscular channels that connect the ovaries with the uterus). Fingerlike projections called fimbriae (located at the opening of the fallopian tubes) sweep an egg released from an ovary into the tube.
6 What is the menstrual cycle? Menstruation is part of the menstrual cycle, which helps a woman's body prepare for the possibility of pregnancy each month. A cycle starts on the first day of a period. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long. However, a cycle can range anywhere from 23 days to 35 days.
7 Changes During the Menstrual Cycle A menstrual cycle is regulated by the complex interaction of hormones: luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, which are produced by the pituitary gland, and the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are produced by the ovaries.
8 What happens during the menstrual cycle What happens during the menstrual cycle? In the first half of the menstrual cycle, levels of estrogen rise and make the lining of the uterus grow and thicken. In response to follicle-stimulating hormone, an egg (ovum) in one of the ovaries starts to mature. At about day 14 of a typical 28-day cycle, in response to a surge of luteinizing hormone, the egg leaves the ovary. This is called ovulation.
9 In the second half of the menstrual cycle, the egg begins to travel through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Progesterone levels rise and help prepare the uterine lining for pregnancy. If the egg becomes fertilized by a sperm cell and attaches itself to the uterine wall, the woman becomes pregnant. If the egg is not fertilized, it either dissolves or is absorbed into the body. If pregnancy does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, and the thickened lining of the uterus is shed during the menstrual period.
10 The ovulatory phase begins with a surge in luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone levels. Luteinizing hormone stimulates egg release (ovulation), which usually occurs 16 to 32 hours after the surge begins. The estrogen level peaks during the surge, and the progesterone level starts to increase.
11 During the luteal phase, levels of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone decrease. The ruptured follicle closes after releasing the egg and forms a corpus luteum, which produces progesterone. Later in this phase, the level of estrogen increases. Progesterone and estrogen cause the lining of the uterus to thicken more. If the egg is not fertilized, the corpus luteum degenerates and no longer produces progesterone, the estrogen level decreases, the lining degenerates and is shed, and a new menstrual cycle begins.
15 What kinds of problems do women have with their periods? AmenorrheaDysmenorrheaAbnormal uterine bleeding-vaginal bleeding that is different from normal menstrual periods. It includes very heavy bleeding or unusually long periods )menorrhagia(
16 At what age does a girl get her first period? MenarcheHow long does a woman have periods .When should I see a health care provider about my period?
17 What are the symptoms of PMS? breast swelling and tendernessfatigueupset stomach, bloating, constipation or diarrheaheadacheappetite changes or food cravingsjoint or muscle paintension, irritability, mood swings, or crying spellsanxiety or depressiontrouble concentrating or remembering.