Menstruation, also known as a period or monthly visit from Aunt Flo, is the regular discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina. This is the definition we are given since middle school when our first educational lesson on periods begins. There is nothing glamorous about this definition and to be honest it sounds rather scary, but it does not have to be! When you first get your period it should be something you are proud of, you are now entering the world of womanhood!  


  • The first period usually begins between twelve and fifteen years of age, a point in time known as menarche. (pretty cool name, right?) However, periods may occasionally start as young as eight years old and still be considered normal. It can be a stressful time in a young girls life waiting for her first period, but with proper education and preparation it will be a fun and exciting time!

  • A period typically last for 3-7 days, but as any women who has experienced a period know, those few days out of the month can be stressful. Making sure you are prepared with the proper feminine hygiene products, making sure you have the right size and absorbency and making sure you do not experience any embarrassing leaks or string exposures is a nightmare. Thankfully V-CUP® can make this part of your period less stressful. All you need to do is carry your menstrual cup with you in the carrying case provided and once your period starts you can begin use.

  • The typical length of time between the first day of one period and the first day of the next is 21 to 45 days in young women, and 21 to 31 days in adults (an average of 28 days). This means that by paying attention to your body and the signs that your period is coming you will be able to properly plan your schedule, and know when to start carrying your menstrual cup with you to be prepared for your period.


Follicular Phase of the Menstrual Cycle: This phase starts on the first day of your period. During the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, the following events occur:

  • Two hormones, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), are released from the brain and travel in the blood to the ovaries.

  • These hormones stimulate the growth of about 15 to 20 eggs in the ovaries, each in its own “shell,” called a follicle. They also trigger an increase in the production of the female hormone estrogen.

  • As estrogen levels rise, like a switch, it turns off the production of follicle-stimulating hormone. This careful balance of hormones allows the body to limit the number of follicles that mature.

  • As the follicular phase progresses, one follicle in one ovary becomes dominant and continues to mature. This dominant follicle suppresses all of the other follicles in the group. As a result, they stop growing and die. The dominant follicle continues to produce estrogen.

Ovulatory Phase of the Menstrual Cycle: The ovulatory phase, or ovulation, starts about 14 days after the follicular phase started. The ovulatory phase is the midpoint of the menstrual cycle, with the next menstrual period starting about two weeks later. During this phase, the following events occur: 

  • The rise in estrogen from the dominant follicle triggers a surge in the amount of luteinizing hormone that is produced by the brain. This causes the dominant follicle to release its egg from the ovary.

  • As the egg is released (a process called ovulation), it is captured by finger-like projections on the end of the fallopian tubes (fimbriae). The fimbriae sweep the egg into the tube.

Also during this phase, there is an increase in the amount and thickness of mucus produced by the cervix (lower part of the uterus). If a woman were to have intercourse during this time, the thick mucus captures the man’s sperm, nourishes it, and helps it to move towards the egg for fertilization.

Luteal Phase of the Menstrual Cycle: The luteal phase of the menstrual cycle begins right after ovulation and involves the following processes:

  • Once it releases its egg, the empty follicle develops into a new structure called the corpus luteum.

  • The corpus luteum secretes the hormone progesterone. Progesterone prepares the uterus for a fertilized egg to implant.

  • If intercourse has taken place and a man’s sperm has fertilized the egg (a process called conception), the fertilized egg (embryo) will travel through the fallopian tube to implant in the uterus. The woman is now considered pregnant.

  • If the egg is not fertilized, it passes through the uterus. Not needed to support a pregnancy, the lining of the uterus breaks down and sheds, and the next menstrual period begins.

The menstrual cycle occurs due to the rise and fall of hormones. This cycle results in the thickening of the lining of the uterus, and the growth of an egg or ovum, (which is required for pregnancy). The egg is released from an ovary around day fourteen in the cycle; the thickened lining of the uterus provides nutrients to an embryo after implantation. If pregnancy does not occur, the lining is sloughed off in what is known as menstruation.