If you are experiencing a medical emergency please dial 911 immediately
The menstrual cycle is the female body's monthly pattern of preparing for a possible pregnancy. The uterus grows a new lining called the endometrium; one of the ovaries releases an egg; and then, if the egg is not fertilized by sperm, the endometrium sheds from the uterus as a menstrual period.
Last Revised: March 20, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.