Bleeding phase of the menstrual cycle

The start of the bleeding phase (or period) is Day 1 of the menstrual cycle. The medical term for a woman’s period is menstruation, coming from the Latin word mensis meaning month. Bleeding patterns are very individual for each woman and can last from 2 to 8 days but on average are 4 to 6 days.

The ovaries produce two hormones to regulate the menstrual cycle – progesterone and oestrogen (or estrogen – US spelling). Both oestrogen and progesterone are at their lowest levels during the bleeding phase.

The first day of bleeding is written as ‘day 1’ on your fertility chart. However, you do not need observe anything else at this stage. Just put the letter B in the mucus column to indicate you are bleeding.


You do not need to take your temperature during your bleeding phase.

Vaginal mucus.

You do not need to check your mucus, just record your bleeding on your fertility chart.


There is no need to feel your cervix during this time.

Sensations and emotions.

Different women experience a wide range of physical and emotional signs when they have a period. These may include headaches, nausea, diarrhoea, dizziness, pains or cramps in the lower stomach, upper legs or vaginal area and/or lower backache.

Some women feel a bit depressed or emotionally low, perhaps anxious, irritable and/or short- tempered during their period. Others may feel relieved if they have been waiting for their period to arrive. You may be feeling particularly upset or disappointed if you wanted to conceive that month but this hasn’t happened. The two week wait after ovulating can be an agonising one when you are trying to conceive a baby.

Find more:

Read about the 5 phases in a normal menstrual cycle:

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