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Menstrual Cycle

Menstrual cycle: Lining of uterus thickens and egg is released
Menstrual cycle: Uterine lining is shed

During the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, the lining of the uterus thickens to prepare for pregnancy. An egg becomes ready to be released inside a sac (follicle) on the surface of an ovary. During the luteal phase, the egg is released (ovulation). If the egg is fertilized by sperm, it may attach to (implant in) the lining of the uterus, and pregnancy begins. If the egg is not fertilized or does not implant, the lining of the uterus is shed as blood during the menstrual period (below), and the cycle starts over.

Current as ofMay 14, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Thomas M. Bailey, MD, CCFP - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology
Rebecca S. Uranga, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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