A womanâ€™s menstrual cycle represents the regular physiological changes her body undergoes for the purpose of reproduction.
The menstrual cycle has two main phases: the follicular phase and luteal phase. Â The follicular phase includes maturation of the follicles in the ovaries and ends with ovulation. Â The luteal phase is the latter phase that results either in pregnancy or menstruation.
Evidence suggests that a womanâ€™s menstrual cycle can be indicative of her fertility status, with regular cycles corresponding with fertility and irregular cycles corresponding with infertility.
Here is a summary of recent research:
Irregular cycles are associated with infertility. Â A cycle shorter than 22 days or longer than 35 days is considered irregular. Â Periods are also irregular if the intervals between the shortest cycle and the longest cycle are more than four days.
Heavy menstruation is irregular. Â Normal menses lasts 2 to 8 days. Â Any longer signifies a problem. Â Women beginning menopause will find that their menses decreases.
Underlying conditions can cause irregular cycles. Â Diabetes, high or low body weight, endometriosis and PCOS can contribute to irregular cycles.
Check out the original article for more information on the link between menstrual cycles and fertility.