The Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is the monthly hormonal cycle a female’s body goes through to prepare for pregnancy. Your menstrual cycle is counted from the first day of your period up to the first day of your next period. Your hormone levels (estrogen and progesterone) usually change throughout the menstrual cycle and can cause menstrual symptoms and affect other health problems such as depression and anxiety disorder.

On average, women get a period for about 40 years of their life. Most women have regular periods until perimenopause, the time when your body begins the change to menopause. The transition to menopause, may take a few years. During this time, your period may not come regularly. Menopause happens when you have not had a period for 12 months in a row. For most women, this happens between the ages of 45 and 55. The average age of menopause in the United States is 52.

For most women, physical and emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) such as abdominal bloating, breast tenderness, irritability, depressed mood, and difficulty concentrating are manageable aspects of the menstrual cycle. But in 3-8% of women, these symptoms are so severe that they impair ability to function. This syndrome is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Many women with PMDD respond successfully to medications that have traditionally been used for depression.

Please remember this information is intended for educational purposes only and should not substitute medical advice from a healthcare provider.