Your Menstrual Cycle: A Quick Tour

How long is the menstrual cycle?

On average a regular cycle will last 23-38 days and up to 40 days as a teenager.

Hormones: Am I actually feeling hormonal or is it a myth?

Oestrogen and progesterone are the main hormonal players during your cycle. Both transmit important messages to your body. The messages can be both positive (better sleep, more energy, good mood) or negative (tiredness, over-emotional, anxiety).

How do I know when my cycle has started?

Simply put, when you bleed, your menstrual cycle has started. Count from that day onwards until the first day of your next period when you bleed again. It won’t always be exactly the same number each month.

What are the symptoms of premenstrual?

Symptoms are very personal and hard to lump into one explanation. Your boobs might hurt, your tummy might hurt, you may get headaches, cramps, sickness. These symptoms may also change over the years.

What is going on with my body during the menstrual cycle?

We can break a cycle down into 4 phases.

The period: when the womb lining comes away and comes out through your vagina. Hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) levels are low and this phase lasts on average 8 days.

The follicular phase: the bit where the egg is being released from your ovary somewhere between the first day of your period and ovulation. Oestrogen levels go up as the egg gets ready to be released. 

The follicular phase: the couple of weeks between ovulation and your next period. It’s during this time that your body is ripe for baby-making. Progesterone kicks in and rises along with a rise in oestrogen. 

The premenstrual phase: the few days before your period starts when symptoms may or may not hit you.

I’m on contraceptives, what happens to my menstrual cycle?

It may disappear in its entirety. You may experience ‘withdrawal’ bleeding over a couple of months. 

Should I exercise on my period?

Yes! It can even help with period pain as exercise produces endorphins which act as a natural painkiller. Get out there and get jogging!