Day 26 Of Cycle: What Is Happening Internally?
Your menstrual cycle refers to the cyclical changes that occur in your body due to hormonal fluctuations. That leads up to a regular monthly bleed that could last a few days. This bleed usually comes from a woman’s uterus and flows through the vagina out of your body. That bleed is what some people call menstruation or period. It usually occurs on starting from day 1 of the cycle. The average length of your cycle as a woman would be 28 days. So then, you can imagine what is happening on day 26 of the cycle. Your body will likely be preparing for menstruation. And if you are pregnant already, lots of things would be happening internally.
The menstrual cycle only starts at menarche (a girl’s first menses), but it does not last for life. It typically ends at menopause (a woman’s final period). While we will talk about the 26th day of the cycle, we must mention that every woman has a unique cycle. To start with, some girls experience menarche as early as 9 years old. But some start very late, like at 16. And then, the length differs from woman to woman. Some women experience short periods, while some experience long periods. So what we will discuss in this article is not a rule. It’s a general approach to what to expect towards the end of your cycle.
An Overview of the Menstrual Cycle
Let’s start with how the menstrual cycle occurs. There is an intricate relationship between the hormones from your ovaries and your brain. This causes eggs to develop in your ovaries, which are eventually released for fertilization.
The release of eggs from your ovary is called ovulation. It occurs around the middle of your cycle. Your endometrium (uterus internal lining) also grows, in preparation for pregnancy. But the uterine lining begins to disintegrate when your hormones send a signal to your uterus that pregnancy hasn’t happened.
As the lining disintegrates, it separates from your uterine wall. And then, your period starts. The start of your period marks the beginning of a new cycle; starting with the menstrual phase.
In this phase, menstruation occurs because your uterus thickened lining, which should support pregnancy is not needed anymore. That is why your body sheds it off through the vagina. While your period is on, you would release a mixture of mucus, blood, and uterine tissue.
Running side by side with the first phase is the follicular phase. It starts with your menstrual phase. But it lasts longer. It ends at ovulation. Ovulation comes with another phase (ovulation phase) when eggs are eventually released by your ovaries.
During ovulation, the released eggs would travel down your fallopian tubes to your uterus. If viable sperm swims to the eggs and fertilize them, pregnancy takes place. Otherwise, the menstrual cycle progresses.
And finally comes the last phase before another menstruation (luteal phase). After your follicles release the egg it carries, the follicle turns into another structure called corpus luteum.
The corpus luteum releases hormones. It mainly releases progesterone. But it releases some estrogen too. If pregnancy occurs, your body will also produce hCG (Human Chronic Gonadotropin). This hormone is what a pregnancy test will detect.
But if pregnancy fails to occur, you will experience the typical premenstrual syndrome. And your body will begin to prepare for menstruation. Day 26 falls within this phase.
What Happens on Day 26 of Cycle?
Remember that our description of day 26 in this article typifies what happens on day 26 of an average 28 days cycle. The cycle usually varies between different women. The duration of one cycle lasts from day 1 of your period until day 1 of the succeeding period.
Adolescents’ cycle might last for 45 days in some cases. But when a woman is in her 20s and 30s, her cycle would last for about 21 to 38 days. Throughout your lifetime, your period would change. Sometimes, the change may occur after pregnancy. And as you approach menopause, there will be further changes.
So in an average 28-day menstrual cycle, what happens internally? Let’s talk about what happens if conception has occurred. If you got pregnant, your corpus luteum would keep releasing loads of progesterone. This hormone would maintain your uterine lining.
The fertilized egg or zygote would be growing larger daily after conception. And hCG production will also steadily increase.
But if conception fails to occur, your corpus luteum will regress and progesterone levels will, in turn, drop. The uterine lining would also start sloughing off.
That’s all that happens internally on day 26 of an average 28-day cycle. But then, how about the outward symptoms; what are they? What happens on the outside?
Outwars symptoms differ if you’re pregnant from if you didn’t get pregnant. If you got pregnant, your basal temperature will remain high (temperature goes up during ovulation). More so, your cervix might be low and firm, as well as closed. It could also be softer and slightly raised.
Also, if pregnancy occurs, your cervical fluid would either be dry or somewhat creamy. And then, you might experience water retention or bloat. If you check your weight around this time, it may seem like you’ve gained some weight. But that’s not true, it is just water retention.
You might also experience mild headaches and urinate quite frequently. But some women also experience food aversions/cravings and fatigue.
What if conception does not occur? What would happen? Your basal temperature might start dropping down. This would happen because your corpus luteum would be regressing already.
The consistency of your cervical fluid might become watery. You might also experience water retention and mild headache, as well as cramps and moodiness.
A woman’s menstrual cycle is very amazing. It could be quite difficult to trace because every woman is unique. But then, on average, an adult woman would have a 28-day cycle. Day 26 of the cycle is when you will either be dealing with the first signs of pregnancy or premenstrual syndrome. It depends on what happens during ovulation.