Your menstrual cycle is controlled by hormonal changes which ultimately lead to the shedding of uterine lining each month, or roughly every 28 days if pregnancy does not occur. This shedding of the uterine wall, along with blood, refers to menstruation or “your period”. Menstruation lasts about 4 to 8 days on average and the cycle repeats every month. Some individuals have cycles which are longer or shorter than 28 days or they have irregular cycles.
The hormones which play a role in your menstrual cycle include:
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
Luteinizing hormone (LH)
There are 3 phases to your menstrual cycle:
Lasts about 13-14 days, starts on the first day of your period
Low estrogen and progesterone levels initially, but increase by the end of this phase
FSH begins to rise during this phase, but drops towards the end of the phase
Lasts 16-32 hours
High levels of FSH and LH
Estrogen levels decrease
Progesterone levels increase
Starts right after ovulation, lasts about 14 days or whenever your next monthly period starts unless you become pregnant
FSH and LH decrease
Estrogen levels are high
Once the egg is released, progesterone is produced
Why is it important to track my cycle?
This will help you determine if your periods are regular or irregular
Many individuals experience symptoms in their body which are linked to hormonal changes such as headaches, pelvic pain, cramping, or mood changes
If you can identify a pattern in your symptoms, you will be better equipped to manage these symptoms.
Understanding your cycle and when ovulation occurs is key to understanding when you are most likely to become pregnant if you are trying to conceive.
Pelvic floor Physical Therapy
If you are seeing a pelvic floor Physical Therapist for pelvic/abdominal pain symptoms and have noticed a pattern with your symptoms which could link to hormones and your menstrual cycle, share this information with your therapist.
The Physical Therapists at The Fit Pelvis will perform an evaluation with you on your first visit. During this time they will ask questions about your symptoms to help them better understand the nature of your concern. If you you have been tracking your symptoms and have noticed a pattern in your symptoms make sure to share this information. I