Your Menstrual Cycle
You know your body better than anyone, but how much do you know about what goes on every month around your period? Your menstrual cycle is the time from the first day of your period until the day before your next period. Get to know your body and your cycle.
While you might not be planning to have a baby right now, knowing about your menstrual cycle can help you learn when you are most likely to become pregnant. That way it is your choice when you want to become a Mom.
- There is no such thing as a “normal period.” Every woman’s body is different. Most menstrual cycles are between 26 and 32 days. Don’t worry if your cycle is longer or shorter than most. 50% of women are not “regular.”
- Talk with your doctor if you have extremely heavy bleeding, clotting, or severe cramps. Also, if you have unusually long periods or don’t get your period at all.
You can read more information about menstruation and your menstrual cycle from the Office of Women’s Health.
Ovulation is the time in your menstrual cycle when your ovary releases eggs. When you ovulate, it means that you are fertile and can become pregnant. You are fertile for 5 or 6 days in a row during your cycle. It’s important to remember this timing in your cycle is different for every woman.
If you don’t want to get pregnant:
- Look into using birth control. Many forms of birth control are 99% effective if used correctly.
- If you are having unprotected sex and do not use any kind of birth control, you need to know when you are ovulating. This information can help you avoid an unplanned pregnancy, but can’t help you avoid an STI (sexually transmitted infection).
- Not having sex around the time of ovulation reduces your chances of getting pregnant. It is very difficult to predict when this time is, it’s best to consider birth control if you don’t want to be pregnant.
If you want to get pregnant:
- There are different ways to track your ovulation. For example, using a calendar or an ovulation test.
- Fertility awareness, also called Natural Family Planning, uses your body’s natural functioning to figure out the days you are most likely to get pregnant. These methods include checking your cervical mucus or taking your temperature (during ovulation, body temperature rises).
- Planned Parenthood Detroit Health Center in Midtown offers pregnancy and STI testing as well as options for birth control.
- Summit Medical Center provides screenings and testing for pregnancy and STI’s as well as reproductive care services.
- Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) Center has location is Midtown and Southwest provide bilingual healthcare services.
- Detroit Community Health Connection, Inc. offers prenatal care at various locations all over the city regardless of your ability to pay for services.