So how does your cycle kick off? Well, it’s measured from the start of your period when you have regular bleeding (although you may notice some spotting before that). You might then be wondering where that blood has come from (and why there seems to be so much of it)?!
Your period happens because the womb lining is being shed; menstrual blood will come through your cervix and then your vaginal opening. This bleeding will usually happen for three to five days, and while you may think you’re losing pints of the stuff, the typical amount of blood in your menstrual flow is 30-40ml. For more info, look at our article on how much bleeding is normal.
After your period finishes, your body will begin prepping for ovulation again with your uterus lining (the endometrial lining) thickening to get ready for a fertilised egg. One of your ovaries will then release an egg which will come through one of your fallopian tubes down towards the womb. If it has met a sperm on its travels, then the egg will be fertilised and you can become pregnant. If that egg isn’t fertilised then the womb lining isn’t needed – it’s shed, and the whole process will begin again.
The average cycle is 28 days, but don’t worry if yours isn’t – it could be anything between 21 and 35 days, and it’s normal for this to vary a bit as well. Plenty of women have cycles that are slightly different in length from month to month. It’s likely that you’ll have a slightly longer cycle to begin with, but it will often become shorter as you get older.
If you’d like to know more about the different phases, then check out our article covering the ins and outs of the menstrual cycle.