Menstruation: The Other Time of the Month (cont.)
Before we tell you how your body works in such mysterious ways, here's a quick primer on the hormone roller coaster.
The Female Hormone Roller Coaster
Your cycle starts on the first day of your period; this also marks the beginning of the follicular phase. During this phase, estrogen levels start to rise as eggs start to grow, says Sandra Carson, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
The ovulatory phase, or ovulation, occurs about day 14. One egg or follicle in your ovary emerges as the dominant one. It's ripe and ready to drop, and there's a surge and peak in estrogen.
The luteal phase begins right after ovulation. During the first part of this phase, estrogen levels briefly dip and then rise again and remain high, while progesterone kicks in, reaching its zenith. If you don't get pregnant and implantation of the fertilized egg doesn't happen, both hormones fall during this phase. The waning hormones result in menstrual bleeding and the start of a new cycle, she says.
In general, PMS symptoms occur during this phase, especially the latter half -- just before menstrual bleeding.
The Other Time of the Month
So what happens to your physical and mental well-being during "the other time of the month?" Just about anything!
After consulting with our experts, we've compiled the short list:
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions