The normal Menstrual Cycle

There are so many variations of normal when it comes to a regular menstrual cycle. When it comes to security and feeling secure about their body’s performance, OvaTel and MyCycleDiary help women help themselves. Doctor’s can aid their clients in knowing what to expect from their cycles and when it is time to bring in their cycle diary to you for treatment or testing.

Menstruation

Women expect bleeding, cramping, and bloating with their menses each cycle. The question is – how much and how long is normal? Not many women investigate how long they bleed each month or how intense it is.

Menstruation can be easily charted on the MyCycleDiary as spotting, light, medium, or heavy. There are also sections to mark down whether your cycle is accompanied by cramps or bloating of any kind. Woman should know that a normal menses lasts 4-9 days at the most. The type of bleeding will depend on the lining thickness prior to her period and any other bleeding conditions she may have – hemophilia or clotting factors. Some women will experience a shorter heavy cycle, while others have lighter longer ones. They are all common, as well as anything in between.

When your patient has a menses shorter than 4 days or longer than 9, there could be other hormonal issues going on. Very light or varying 3 days or less cycles can indicate annovulation. No follicles making estrogen would mean no lining build up or very little endometrium buildup. No release of progesterone by the ovary post ovulation would mean no drop off to make the lining more susceptible to sloughing off.

Longer menstruation can also mean issues. Light, long bleeding can mean that the cycle is annovulatory. This is very common in PCOS women. The body builds a lining over a long period of time. After a few months it will attempt to shed what little was there. Long, heavy periods can indicate Endometriosis, Endometrial Hyperplasia, as well as many other issues.

If you have each of your patients using OvaTel with their MyCycleDiary, you will be able to keep track of their cycles with them to see if there are any issues that are of concern. No more guessing dates, flow, or other concerns after the fact. It will be right in front of you and easy to read.

Follicular Phase

Every woman’s follicular phase can vary. Even in the same woman it is normal to see a minor variation is this phase of the menstrual cycle. The best part about OvaTel is that a woman can test her estrogen levels from cycle day 1 till the very end and see the rising levels, using her mini-scope. This can really help you to see if her follicular phase is normal or not.

With a normal cycle lasting anywhere from 24 to 40 days, it is easy to see how wide a variation is considered normal. It is also easy to see how some women with the misconception that 28 days is the only norm can get anxious if they have a cycle significantly longer or shorter. On average a normal follicular phase, where follicles produce estrogen to mature an egg, lasts anywhere from 10 to 24 days.

OvaTel fertility monitor can help a woman understand how her cycle works by measuring the estrogen she is making during her follicular phase. As the levels rise she will know she is gearing up to ovulate. Once she sees full ferning she will know her levels have peaked. If your client complains of no ferning you can than test her estrogen levels to help figure out what is going on.

You will also be able to help your clients who are on the short or long side of follicular phase using OvaTel. Women with very short or long cycles can release eggs with poorer quality. You can track ferning – estrogen – to see what her body is doing and if desired levels are reached. If not, you can prescribe ovulation medications that can raise estrogen to enhance the quality of her eggs.

Ovulation

Ovulation is only a moment that occurs once (maximum twice) per cycle for most women. The ovulatory period is critical for a woman trying to get pregnant. The 2-3 days prior to ovulation are critical for fertility. While sperm can live up to 5 days in the female reproductive tract, it is the intercourse from a few days prior to ovulation that has the best chance of conception.

Using the OvaTel ferning scope to determine when estrogen is peaking can enable a woman to catch the egg. Ferning means that the woman is approximately 24-48 hours prior to ovulation. Ovulation takes the body approximately 20 minutes, but the hours after a crucial. The egg only lives 12-24 hours, so the sperm must be waiting for the egg for fertilization to be completed.

If a woman is advised to use OvaTel with her MyCycleDiary to help predict ovulation, she will be able to time intercourse right in order to get pregnant faster. For women who get no ferning or ovulation symptoms, treatment can begin after 3 months of charting. There is no more waiting a year or more for infertile couples as OvaTel can help couples and doctors see right away that ovulation is or is not occurring and when.

OvaTel cannot be used for Natural Family Planning as peak estrogen levels occur 24-48 hours before the egg is release and sperm can live up to 5 days after ejaculation. Be sure to let your patient know that if they are trying to avoid getting pregnant they will need to use a back up method of birth control until a precise pattern is seen over at least six months. Once the ovulation period is determined, a couple can avoid intercourse during the week prior to ovulation to avoid pregnancy. This is not a fool proof method and has a high failure rate, as many women vary slightly in their cycles.

Luteal Phase

Most people worry about ovulation – whether or not it is happening. Then they and their doctors forget about the rest of the cycle. It is simply wait and see. What many doctors forget is that the luteal phase is also critical.

After the egg is released from the ovary, the follicle turns into the yellow body – corpus luteum. It begins to pump progesterone into the blood stream at higher amounts. A woman using OvaTel will know she is post ovulation once the ferning pattern disappears with the release of progesterone. She will be able to chart her symptoms in her MyCycleDiary to help her determine if her luteal phase is long enough and to help her see if she might be pregnant.

If the egg is not fertilized it will die and be reabsorbed in the fallopian tube within 24 hours post ovulation. If the egg is fertilized, it will journey down the tube dividing for approximately 6 days. During this 6 day span, progesterone is peaking and causing the endometrium to become “sticky.” Once the embryo makes it into the uterus it will be trying attach to the endometrial lining. If the progesterone is normal in the woman’s body, the egg will roll along the wall of the uterus till it sticks. Once stuck in place it will begin to burrow into the lining.

When the embryo begins to burrow into the lining, estrogen and hCG is released from the embryo. A woman using her OvaTel mini-scope will start to see ferning if she is pregnant. If for any reason spotting occurs or she begins to bleed prior to the onset of her menses is due, she will be able to tell you using her MyCycleDiary. Premature failure of the corpus luteum can cause progesterone to drop and the embryo to be expelled or unable to implant. Your patients can also see what their normal PMS symptoms are each cycle and not get them confused with pregnancy symptoms, which are the same.