Menstrual cycle tells your fertility story

A woman’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.  The follicular phase includes maturation of the follicles in the ovaries and ends with ovulation.  The luteal phase is the latter phase that results either in pregnancy or menstruation.

Evidence suggests that a woman’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.  A cycle shorter than 22 days or longer than 35 days is considered irregular.  Periods are also irregular if the intervals between the shortest cycle and the longest cycle are more than four days.

Heavy menstruation is irregular.  Normal menses lasts 2 to 8 days.  Any longer signifies a problem.  Women beginning menopause will find that their menses decreases.

Underlying conditions can cause irregular cycles.  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.