menstrual cycle

the female monthly cycle

The menstrual cycle is a series of changes in the reproductive system of mature females that repeats every month. While the egg and follicle are developing in the ovary, tissues are building up inside the uterus, the reproductive organ where the baby would develop. The uterus develops a thick lining covered in tiny blood vessels. This prepares the uterus to receive an egg that could develop into a child (a fertilized egg). The occurs during the first part of the cycle. Ovulation, the release of an egg from the ovary, occurs at about the midpoint of the cycle. This would be around day 14 of a 28 day cycle. The egg is swept into the fallopian tube. If sperm is present, fertilization may occur. As sperm can only survive in the fallopian tube for up to a few days, fertilization can only occur within those few days post-ovulation. If the egg is fertilized, the egg makes its way through the fallopian tube into the uterus, where it imbeds into the thick lining. When this occurs, the monthly cycle stops. The monthly cycle does not resume until the pregnancy is over. If a sperm does not enter an egg, the lining of the uterus breaks down. Blood and other tissues from the lining break off from the uterus. They pass through the vagina and out of the body. This is called menstruation. Menstruation is also called a menstrual period. It lasts about 4 days, on average. When the menstrual period ends, the cycle repeats. Some women feel discomfort during this process. Some people think that the average length of a menstrual period is the same as the normal length. They assume that shorter or longer menstrual periods are not normal. In fact, menstrual periods can vary from 1 to 8 days in length. This is usually normal. The average length of the cycle (time between menstrual periods) is about 28 days, but there is no normal cycle length. Some women experience cramping and pain before and during menstruation.


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an egg can be fertilized any day of the monthly cycle.

a. true

-->  b. false

during menstruation, bleeding occurs as tissue breaks away from the uterus.

-->  a. true

b. false

the uterus thickens each month

a) to allow the unfertilized egg to easily flow through.

-->  b) so it can accept a fertilized egg.

c) to lessen menstruation.

d) to allow ovulation to occur.

if an egg is not fertilized,

-->  a) the uterus lining breaks down.

b) the uterus lining thickens.

c) ovulation occurs.

d) menstruation stops.

the monthly cycle stops

a) never.

b) while the egg is flowing through the uterus.

c) during ovulation.

-->  d) during pregnancy.

menstruation usually lasts about

a) 1 day.

-->  b) 4 days.

c) 14 days

d) 28 days

how long is the normal monthly cycle?

a) 14 days.

b) 28 days.

c) 30 days.

-->  d) there is no normal cycle length.

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