Ovulation: When an egg matures and is released from one of the ovaries (this happens about every 28 days). The small egg travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. Meanwhile, the uterus has built up a lining of healthy, new tissue and blood which provides a cushion on the wall of the uterus. This happens in preparation for pregnancy (having a baby.)
Fertilization: If the egg has been fertilized by a sperm cell from a male the two cells will combine their genetic information and begin to divide over and over again on the way down the fallopian tube to the lining of the uterus. This collection of cells attaches to the wall of the uterus and continues to develop and grow for about nine months. This is known as a pregnancy.
- Menstruation: If the egg is not fertilized, it may dissolve and get absorbed by the lining of the uterus. In a couple of weeks, the uterus sheds the unneeded lining along with blood and mucus. This is called menstruation (having a period). The menstrual fluid can vary in color from bright red, to darker red, to dark brown. These differences in colors are natural and healthy. Females usually have a period about once a month. During the first year or two of having periods, it is normal for a young woman’s period to be irregular. She could have a period one month then skip a few months before she has another. The number of days between periods, called a cycle, can be anywhere from 21 to 45 days.