By now you’re intimately familiar with a menstrual cycle — the series of changes a woman’s body undergoes every 20 to 30 days to help prepare for pregnancy. The endometrial cycle is simply the portion within the menstrual cycle that has to do with your endometrium, aka the lining of your uterus. It’s a very important component of helping your body prepare for pregnancy, since it’s essential that a fertilized egg nestles into the right spot in the womb.
There are three phases to the endometrial cycle. First up is the follicular phase, which begins on day 1 of your cycle, and lasts until about day 14. It’s where the endometrium grows to form a lush lining inside your uterus. Next is the luteal phase, where your body secretes the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The two work together to prepare the lining of the uterus for implantation, if it should occur. The luteal phase lasts about 12 days. If you don’t conceive this month, levels of estrogen and progesterone start to decline and the endometrial lining begins to shed; aka the menstrual phase, which typically lasts 3 to 5 days. Then the whole thing starts all over again.
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