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The menstrual cycle is the series of changes a woman's body goes through to prepare for a possible pregnancy. About once a month, the uterus grows a new, thick lining. This lining is then ready to receive a fertilized egg. The egg becomes fertilized if it joins with a man's sperm and implants in the lining of the uterus. This is how pregnancy begins. When there is no fertilized egg, the uterus sheds its lining. This is the monthly menstrual bleeding, or period. Women have periods from their early teen years until menopause, around age 50.
A normal cycle lasts from 21 to 35 days. Count from the first day of one menstrual period until the first day of your next period to find the number of days in your cycle.
Some women have no discomfort during their menstrual cycles. But others have mild to severe symptoms. If you have problems, ask your doctor about over-the-counter medicine. It may help relieve pain and bleeding.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: February 19, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & RSURemoved
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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