The first day of the menstrual period cycle also happens to be the first day of your menstrual period calendar and that is also the very first day when you tend to observe bright red blood. Keep in mind that brown spotting is not regarded as a menstrual period.
First day of menstrual period calendar
A menstrual cycle is the duration between the first day of your menstrual period and the first day of the next menstrual period. The menstrual cycle and the first day of your menstrual period are the same day and that is exactly when you notice real red blood rather than the brown discharge. As discussed earlier, brown discharge is not regarded as a menstrual period.
Having said that, there are numerous women who tend to observe brown spotting for several days before their menstrual period. They may or may not have issues with regard to hormones and the corpus luteum (short corpus luteum phase).
If you are attempting to get pregnant and you are observing regular brown spotting before your actual menstrual period commences, we recommend that in addition to using the ovulation period calendar, you also use Basal Body Temperature (BBT) and an ovulation detection kit in order to figure out when you get pregnant. If you observe plenty of spotting, you may contact your gynecologist and have your progesterone levels determined soon after supposed ovulation.
What happens during a menstrual cycle?
The menstrual cycle commences with the first day of menstrual bleeding and ends on the day just before the next menstrual bleeding. There are primarily a couple of segments of the menstrual cycle:
- In the first segment, known as the follicular phase, follicle develops inside the ovary
- In the second segment, referred to as the luteal phase, the corpus luteum develops in the ovary after ovulation in the region from where the egg was ejected
In the first segment of the period calendar, the levels of the female hormone known as estrogen begin to increase. This hormone is responsible to keep you healthy by ensuring that your bones remain strong as you get older with the passage of time. It is also responsible for ensuring that the lining of the womb or the uterus grows and becomes thick. This is the region where the embryo will be nourished in case of a pregnancy. While the lining of the womb grows and thickens, an egg or ovum begins to mature in one of the ovaries. On average, a menstrual cycle is 28 days long. On the 14th day of the period calendar, the egg is ejected out of the ovary and this process is called as ovulation. This is when the follicular phase commences.
As mentioned above, just as egg is ejected out of the ovary, the follicular phase commences. If the egg gets fertilized, it will travel through the fallopian tube to the uterus. The estrogen ensures that the lining of the womb grows and thickens due to its increasing levels. A woman is likely to get pregnant after being involved in a sexual intercourse during the three to four days before or on the day of ovulation. Women who have a period calendar that is either shorter or longer that the average duration of 28 days may ovulate before or after the 14th day.
A woman becomes pregnant if the egg is fertilized by a male’s sperm cell and attaches to the uterine wall. If the egg remains unfertilized, it will be broken down and get absorbed. The estrogen levels begin to decline and the uterine lining becomes thinner during the menstrual bleeding.
Pelvic pain one week prior to menstrual period
The pain that is related to the menstrual cycle takes place in the pelvic region of a female in the reproductive years of her life. It is related to hormones and ovulation. Any pain in the abdomen or the pelvic region that takes place every month should be examined to determine the anatomical and physiological changes that bring about the pain.
On most of the occasions, the diagnosis of such pain is only possible if diagnostic studies or exploratory surgery such as laparoscopy is carried out to look inside the abdomen. The timing and duration of the pain related to the period calendar can give pointers to the type of pathology to look for on the imaging studies or in the surgery.
Causes of pain one week prior to menstrual period
A corpus luteum cystic gland is created in a week or two before the menstrual cycle commences on one of the ovaries in the region where an egg was ejected out from the ovary. This gland produces progesterone and is responsible for increasing the size of the ovary and enhancing its weight from the time until the cystic area goes away after the menstrual period begins.
The veins of the pelvis often dilate during the week or two prior to the menstrual period due to progesterone. They may become similar to varicose veins of the pelvis and sometimes produce excruciating ache which lasts throughout the last week of the menstrual cycle.
The pain lasts for three days or so and begins seven to ten days prior to the menstrual cycle, the pain is most probably related to the enlargement of the ovary to the right. If it were due to the corpus luteum gland, it probably should be alternating sides since ovulation alters from one ovary to the other each month. Nevertheless, it is observed that ovulation takes place regularly from one ovary only despite the other one being healthy.
When the enlarging ovary tugs on any adhesions of the ovary to the surrounding tissues or when the ovarian capsule is stretched rapidly, pain takes place. Adhesions cannot be viewed on ultrasound or X-rays but if you undergo an ultrasound during the three days of the pain, you should observe a small cystic region on the right ovary if that is where the pain is coming from.
Here’s how to calculate menstrual period calendar manually
- Get a calendar either a paper-based one or the one in your smartphone, tablet or other computing device
- Mark the FIRST day of your last menstrual period as X. This is the first day
- Count ahead the number of days your menstrual cycle generally is before you begin. If you are unsure, then just count 28 days.
- Place an identification mark on the last day. This is when your period should begin.
This is it! If you have never observed your menstrual period calendar so closely before, after a few months you will be able to determine your actual cycle duration and adjust your calculations accordingly.