Unlike men, who produce sperm every day throughout their lifetime, women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, stored in their ovaries.You'll have been born with 1 to 2 million eggs but only a fraction of these will be released during your lifetime. When you start your periods, usually between the ages of about 10 and 14, only about 300,000 eggs are still viable.At least one of these eggs ripens each menstrual cycle, and is released from the ovary during ovulation.
If the egg is fertilized by a sperm along its journey, it will bed down once it reaches the uterus. If fertilization doesn't take place, the egg will be flushed out, along with the lining of your uterus, when you have your period. In between your periods, it's normal to have a milky white vaginal discharge, which will change in consistency as your hormone levels rise and fall throughout your menstrual cycle.
As you get older, and nearer menopause, you’re likely to find that length of your menstrual cycles change.
As you get older, your cycle length tends to get shorter If you're under 40, and experiencing very long gaps between your periods, or your periods seem to have stopped completely, see your doctor to get some blood tests.
You should also see your doctor if you bleed between periods or after sex.
Some methods of contraception, such as an intrauterine device, can cause irregular bleeding.
If this doesn't apply to you, get yourself checked out.
Your menstrual cycle is under the control of a range of hormones produced in various parts of your body: The whole process of the menstrual cycle is started in the brain, when the hypothalamus produces Gn Rh.
This hormone travels to the pituitary gland and tells it to release FSH.
FSH then travels round the body in the bloodstream and stimulates the ovaries to start ripening some eggs.
Between 15 and 20 egg-containing sacs, called follicles, start to mature in the ovaries.
One follicle, very occasionally two or more, grows faster than all the others.