Menstruation and Menopause
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The menstrual cycle is the process by which a woman's body gets ready for the chance of a pregnancy each month. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days from the start of one to the start of the next, but it can range from 21 days to 35 days.
Most menstrual periods last from three to five days. In the United States, most girls start menstruating at age 12, but girls can start menstruating between the ages of 8 and 16.
Menopause is the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. The menopausal transition begins with varying menstrual cycle lengths and ends with the final menstruation.
Pregnancy and preconception care
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Human pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, or just more than 9 months, from the start of the last menstrual period to childbirth.
What are prenatal and preconception care and why are they important?
Prenatal care is the care woman gets during a pregnancy. Getting early and regular prenatal care is important for the health of both mother and the developing baby.
In addition, health care providers are now recommending a woman see a health care provider for preconception care, even before she considers becoming pregnant or in between pregnancies.
Both preconception care and prenatal care help to promote the best health outcomes for mother and baby.
Viewers share their comments
Reproductive Health - Experience Question: Please describe your menstrual cycle and menopause.
Reproductive Health - Pregnancy Question: Did you see a doctor before you got pregnant? Please share your experience.
Reproductive Health - Infertility Question: Please discuss your experience with infertility work-ups and treatment.