Dictionary > Menstrual cycle

Menstrual cycle

The reproductive cycle of human and other animal (e.g. certain primates) females, and is comprised of phases characterized by the changes in the ovarian follicles (i.e. ovarian cycle), as well as changes in the endometrial lining of the uterus (i.e. uterine cycle)
The menstrual cycle is the reproductive cycle of female humans and other animals, particularly certain primates (e.g. apes and monkeys), shrews, and bats.1 The menstrual cycle begins at menarche and ends at menopause.
The menstrual cycle is described through the ovarian cycle and the uterine cycle. The ovarian cycle is comprised of phases characterized by the changes in the ovarian follicles. It is comprised of the phases: (1) follicular phase, (2) ovulation, and (3) luteal phase. The uterine cycle is comprised of phases characterized by the changes in the endometrial lining of the uterus. The phases of uterine cycle include (1) menstruation, (2) proliferative phase, and (3) secretory phase.
The menstrual cycle is different from the estrous cycle, which occurs in many female mammals. One difference is the shedding of the endometrium in females with menstrual cycle when there is no conception. In females with estrous cycle, the endometrium is reabsorbed.

See also:

  • Ovulation
  • Menopause
  • Climacteric
  • menstruation
  • Reference(s):

    1 Lopez, K. H. (2013). Human Reproductive Biology. Academic Press. p. 53.

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