SexEdNotes   ~   Ovulation & Menstruation


In these Anatomy sections, new terms or the names of new body parts will have Leading Caps to emphasize to the reader their significance. Be sure you know what each term or part is as you read through the material.


Ovulation is the term that describes the action of the Ovary releasing an Egg or Ovum. This occurs each 'month', and in this case, a 'month' is the number of days that pass between the beginning of a Menstrual flow and the beginning of the next flow. The 'average' 'month' is 28 1/2 days and is usually between 21 and 36 days. Rare cases can be more and can be less.

The Menstrual Cycle refers to what happens during that 'month' to a woman's body. The sole purpose of the Menstrual Cycle is processing the Ovum or Egg that is produced every 'month', from being released from the Ovary to being sent on its way with the Menstrual flow, and then preparing the woman's body for the release of the next Egg.

Starting at Day 1:

  • A total of about 1/2 cup of blood, tissue (Uterine lining), and the unfertilized ovum will exit the Uterus through the Os of the Cervix and then the Vagina.

  • It will flow for 3 - 5 days (up to 7 days). No, not a full flow of blood... it will be much less each day. It should not total more than about 1/2 to a full cup, spread out over the full flow time.

  • Most women today absorb the flow with an absorbent cotton tampon placed temporarily in the vagina. Other materials may be used that may not contain chemicals, or even a type of cup that merely contains the fluid and is removed from the Vagina and drained. The tampon must be exchanged for a fresh tampon several times a day during the heavy part of the flow to prevent Toxic Shock Syndrome (blood poisoning). External Sanitary Napkins can also be used. They do not enter the vagina, and are suspended against the Vulva and accomplish the same result, but are more bulky.

Starting at Day 14:

  • An Ovum is released from one of the Ovaries. The Ovaries usually take turns releasing an Ovum on alternate months, but both may each release one the same month.

  • The Ovum is trapped by the fringed, larger end (Fimbria) of the Fallopian Tube (Oviduct), and it starts its journey down the Oviduct to the Uterus. Hair-like Cilia inside the Oviduct help urge the Egg to move toward the Uterus.

  • During these few days, if Sperm is waiting in the Oviduct, it will attempt to fertilize the Egg. That Sperm had to have entered the Vagina, Cervix, Uterus and eventually the Oviduct within seven days of when it fertilizes the Egg.  

  • If two Eggs are released and both  are fertilized, they will grow to be "Fraternal" twins and may be either sex.

  • The opening in the Cervix (Os) will close with a mucus plug, allowing no more Sperm access to the Uterus, and allowing the Uterus to be filled with blood in preparation of the fertilized Egg.

  • The Ovum or Egg is the largest cell of the body, and Sperm are so small, hundreds can surround the Egg at one time. One of them will fertilize the Egg and all the rest will back off.

  • Any Sperm deposited during Coitus after this closure will die and be ejected from the Vagina. If the Egg is to be fertilized this 'month', the Sperm that will fertilize it is already waiting in the Fallopian Tube for the release of the Egg.

  • When the fertilized Egg enters the Uterus from the Fallopian Tube, it will float to the wall of the Uterus, which has prepared itself to accept the fertilized Egg.

Day 28:

  • If the Egg was fertilized and it attached to the wall of the Uterus, the Menstrual cycle STOPS, and Pregnancy has started.

  • If the Ovum did not implant into the Uterine wall, the Os of the Cervix will now open and Menstrual cycle will begin again.

The woman's first ever Ovulation and Menstrual Flow is referred to as Menarche, and is one of three indicators of the start of Puberty, and it usually occurs around 12.7 years of age, give or take three to six years. It is beneficial for a woman to remember the date of, or what her age is when she has her Menarche as it is significant for doctors to know in later years. Menstruation will continue to happen every 'month' until Menopause, which averages around 45 to 55 years old. The 'month' may be somewhat irregular for the first few years after Menarche. When a young girl is extremely physically active, such as a professional-level gymnast or skater, her Menarche may be postponed a year or two, and if she is already menstruating, she will likely miss or skip a Period or two. Excess body fat encourages Menarche and lean body weight will discourage it.

The Menstrual Cycle stops when implantation of the fertilized Egg occurs, and will return at about 6 weeks after delivery of the baby. If the woman is exclusively breastfeeding the child, her period may wait as much as two years to restart, if she breastfeeds that long. That is NOT a reliable method of Birth Control at all. During Biblical days, it was common for a two-year spacing to occur between childbirth, and this is thought to be due to all women back then breastfeeding their infants for at least a year.

During pregnancy, a woman might actually continue to have a very light menstrual flow during the first part of a pregnancy. Some may actually continue through the entire pregnancy. ANY BLEEDING DURING PREGNANCY should be brought to the attention of your doctor immediately. TODAY!

A woman will likely experience Abdominal Cramps before or during her Period. They are usually severe muscle contractions of the Uterus, caused by hormones, and may be treated with medications from the doctor. Minor cramps are usually helped with Aspirin, and exercise may be of some help. The Menstrual Pains are thought to be a practice run of the Uterus getting ready for Labor Pains.