The health of all our patients, staff, and community is our top priority | The latest COVID-19 update.

Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle

Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle

The menstrual cycle is an important part of women's health and having a better understanding of it, could be of use to those trying to conceive.

It consists of two phases:

  1. The Follicular Phase—the part in which a follicle (fluid full sac within the ovary that contains an egg) grows over the course of 10-20 days (on average- but lengths can vary). As it grows, the follicle produces Estrogen which prepares the uterus for implantation. Ovulation happens once the follicle has reached a certain size and the resulting estrogen levels trigger a release of the hormone LH. It’s this “ LH surge” that initiates ovulation. The “fertile window” consists of the days leading up to ovulation.
  2. The Luteal Phase—The second part of the cycle which begins following ovulation, marked by a rise in the hormone Progesterone. Progesterone has an important job of maintaining a pregnancy should you get pregnant, but if pregnancy doesn’t occur, it slowly declines and results in a bleed (the period). This part of the cycle has less variability and is approx 14 days for everyone (regardless of the cycle length).

Importance of this is that people with longer menstrual cycles have a longer follicular phase and ovulate later, hence have fertile windows at a later point in their cycle! 

(Ex: 35 day cycle—14 day luteal phase = 21 day follicular phase (fertile window approx CD 18-21) vs 28 day cycle -14 day luteal phase =14 day follicular phase (fertile window approx CD 11-14).

Hope this helps people out there stress less about when their fertile window is and gives you a better way to think about cycle tracking!

Understanding your menstrual cycle is key when determining when your “fertile window” is in order to plan when to have “timed intercourse.”

Dr. Nidhee Sachdev Dr. Nidhee Sachdev Nidhee Sachdev, MD has trained among the most prestigious and diverse medical programs in the country, including fellowship training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the prestigious New York University (NYU) Langone Fertility Center in New York City where she conducted research on preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she earned the academic distinction of chief resident in obstetrics and gynecology, and trained under a top recurrent pregnancy loss expert. Dr. Sachdev is passionate about providing individualized, collaborative patient care. She started her medical career right here in Orange County, earning her Doctor of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine.

You Might Also Enjoy...

5 Benefits of Gestational Surrogacy

You’ve always dreamed of having your own baby but, medically speaking, that now seems impossible. Either you don’t have a uterus, or you can’t or don’t want to carry a child to term. Gestational surrogacy could make your impossible dream possible.

Is Embryo Transfer Painful?

You know you can’t get pregnant on your own, but still you hesitate about moving forward with in vitro fertilization (IVF). You worry, especially, about the process of transferring an embryo to your womb. Will it be painful?

How Does Metformin Help PCOS?

PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is a condition that often consists of menstrual irregularities (typically absent or sporadic menses), signs of increased androgens (hair growth, acne or hair loss) and the presence of multiple ‘cysts’ on an ovary.

Can I Be an Egg Donor?

You’re young and you either need extra money or you wish to help people who can’t get pregnant by themselves. Either reason for donating eggs is perfectly acceptable. However, not every woman can donate her eggs. How do you find out if you can?

How Does OC Fertility Help Prepare For Your IVF Cycle?

Before you start your IVF cycle, there are many items that must be reviewed and completed in order to optimize a successful cycle, as well as a positive experience for the patient. Here's what you need to know as you're picking a clinic.