The average menstrual cycle can be calculated by counting from the first day of bleeding until the first day of the next menstrual period. The menstrual cycle (the days in between menstrual periods) normally lasts about 28 days, however only 10 to 15% of women will experience perfect menstrual cycle lengths. Menstrual cycles can range from 25 to 36 days, and can be different for every woman. Calculating the menstrual cycle can be very challenging for most women, however there are solutions to this common dilemma.
Calculating the menstrual cycle
Many women find it difficult to keep up with their ever changing menstrual cycle patterns. Keeping a calendar may help to ease concerns of when to expect the next menstrual period. The menstrual period starts the first day that bleeding is seen. It is very important to document this date on a personal calendar as this is considered the first day of the menstrual cycle. The last day before the next menstrual period begins should also be documented.
The number of days between the first day of the menstrual period and the last day before the menstrual period arrives is considered the menstrual cycle. When calculating the days, it is vital to include the first day of the menstrual period and the last day before the menstrual period arrived again. This is the number of days that can be expect before the next menstrual period starts.
Developing a menstrual cycle pattern
Every woman is different and only 10% - 15% of women will have the normal 28 day length menstrual cycle. Tracking the menstrual cycle for three to four consecutive terms will help a woman gain a personal pattern according to her own body's rhythm. Once consistency in the number of days has been achieved, the menstrual period should come when expected.
Late menstrual periods
Many things can affect the menstrual cycle. Young women who may be having their menstrual period for the first time may experience irregular menstrual periods for their first two years. This is also called menarche. A woman receives her first menstrual period between the age 9 and 15 and may experience light or skipped menstrual periods. During the menarche phase, a woman's menstrual cycle can be as long as 45 days and as short as 21 days.
Women facing menopause may also face inconsistent patterns during their menstrual cycles. Menopause occurs later in age and cause a shift in hormonal balance. This directly affects the way the body responds the menstrual cycle. A woman in menopause phase may experience mid-cycle spotting, heavy bleeding, or skipped menstrual periods.
Women who have personal concerns about their menstrual cycle, should schedule an appointment with their personal OB/Gyn.