Menstrual cycle: animation 

This animation explains in detail how the menstrual cycle works.

Find out more about periods

Transcript of Menstrual cycle: animation

A woman's reproductive system consists of an arrangement of organs

that each month prepares itself for the possibility of creating a baby.

It is made up of the ovaries, the Fallopian or uterine tubes,

the uterus or womb and the vagina.

These all play a part in the menstrual cycle,

which is centred around the release of an egg from the ovaries

approximately every 28 days.

Let's have a look inside the body to see what happens during this cycle.

The ovaries are a pair of almond-shaped glands

that are positioned either side of the uterus.

They are enclosed by the finger-like ends of the Fallopian tubes,

which are hollow passageways connecting the ovaries to the uterus.

The uterus is a hollow, pear-shaped organ

that has thick muscular walls

and is where the embryo grows to become a baby.

It is attached to the upper end of the vagina.

The eggs develop and mature inside the ovaries.

This process is controlled by the pituitary gland

at the base of the brain,

which releases hormones into the bloodstream,

causing the ovary to release a mature egg.

This is known as ovulation,

a process which usually occurs sometime between day 13 and day 15 of each cycle,

day one being the first day of your menstrual bleed or period.

The ovaries also release the female hormone oestrogen,

which causes the lining of the uterus to thicken

in preparation to receive a fertilised egg.

Once released from the ovaries,

the egg makes its way along the Fallopian tube,

where it might meet a sperm, if sexual intercourse has occurred,

and fuse with it in a process known as fertilisation.

The fertilised egg moves through the Fallopian tube to the uterus,

where it embeds itself in the thickened lining

and continues to grow.

If the egg is not fertilised, it breaks down,

and the level of hormones produced by the ovary begins to fall.

This causes the lining of the uterus to also break down.

Both the unfertilised egg and the lining of the uterus

are then shed from the body via the vagina during menstruation,

known as a period,

and the cycle starts all over again.

Ratings

How helpful is this page?

Average rating

Based on 13 ratings

All ratings

Add your rating

Comments

The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

debroth said on 14 May 2011

My rating was meant to be 3 or 4, not 1 sorry. Would have been even more useful if it named the other hormones (progesterone, LH and FSH.)

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Heavy periods self-assessment

Heavy periods self-assessment

This assessment will help you to gauge how heavy your periods are and will explain more about treatment options

About periods

Find out everything you need to know about the causes, symptoms and management of periods

Teen girls 15-18

Read about teen girl health issues, including healthy eating, skin problems and having sex for the first time