ALERT

Access info on COVID tests, vaccines, visitor policy, hospitalization data, and FAQs.

toggle mobile menu Menu
toggle search menu

Site Navigation

Supplemental

Menu

Menstrual flow

Menstrual flow

Menstrual flow

The menstrual cycle is the series of changes the body goes through to prepare for a pregnancy. About once a month, the lining of the uterus (endometrium) thickens. Then an ovary releases an egg. If the egg is fertilized by sperm and attaches to the lining of the uterus (implants), pregnancy begins. If the egg isn't fertilized or a fertilized egg doesn't implant, the lining of the uterus is shed. This is the monthly menstrual bleeding (also called menstrual period) that happens from the early teen years until menopause, around age 50.

Current as of: February 11, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Rebecca Sue Uranga MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
JoLynn Montgomery PA - Family Medicine

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Healthwise is a URAC accredited health web site content provider. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.