The menstrual cycle is a monthly process that most women regularly experience. And while we can typically predict when our periods will occur, many women know very little about how their menstrual cycle impacts their daily lives.

Understanding how and why your cycle affects your body and mind can help you better manage your health and quickly identify warning signs of complications.

Overview of the menstrual cycle

Often, when we think of menstruation, we focus on the period itself. However, there is much more at work in your body. The menstrual cycle is a complex process during which the ovarian cycle and the uterine cycle work in tandem. The ovaries, the uterus and the brain all work together, communicating through hormones, to keep the overall menstrual cycle working as it should.

The phases of the menstrual cycle are as follows:

Menstruation is the period itself, when the uterine lining sheds. In this phase, your levels of estrogen and progesterone are low.

The follicular phase is the time between the first day of the period and ovulation. As the