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The reproductive phase of life in humans is different for males and females.

The reproductive phase of life in humans is different for males and females. In humans, males and females become sexually active when they reach adolescence. At this stage of life, they become capable of reproduction. For males the testes and for females, the ovaries begin to produce gametes. The capacity for maturation and production of gametes lasts for much longer in males over females. In males, production of sperms start at the age of between the age of 12-16 and continue throughout the entire lifetime. The phases of female reproductive cycle start around 10-12 years of age and last till 45-50 years. The ova or the egg begins to mature with the onset of puberty. One ova matures and is released by the ovary every 28-30 days.  During this period, the wall of the uterus becomes thick so it can receive the egg (in case the egg is fertilised and begins to develop). A fertilised egg results in pregnancy and if it is not fertilised then the released egg and the thickened lining of the uterus along with the blood vessels are shed off. This takes place through a process known as menstruation and it generally occurs every 28-30 days. The first menstrual flow that begins at the start of puberty is known as menarche and it continues till 45-50 years (give or take). The stoppage of menstruation is known as menopause. At first, the menstrual cycle can be irregular, however, in time, it becomes regular.

The day count for the menstrual cycle in adolescent females begins on the first day of menstruation when blood comes out of the vagina. The entire length of the cycle is around 28 days (taken as an average in all females). The entire duration of one menstrual cycle is divided into 4 phases. These are the following:

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The stages of human reproduction can be divided into three stages. These are First Trimester:  It lasts till the first three months with the fertilisation of the egg cell by a sperm. The fertilised egg turns into a zygote which eventually multiplies and then moves to the fallopian tube. The zygote then turns to morula when it contains 16 cells and a blastula which contains 100 cells. The blastocyst continues to grow on the uterine lining In the first month, the organs start to differentiate and the limbs become apparent in the second month. The embryo turns into a foetus in the third month. Second Trimester:  All the organs are developed in the first three months. In the second three months, the bone structure develops. The brain also starts maturing in this stage. Third Trimester:  In the last three months, the brain structure is perfected and the baby grows larger. The mother’s natural antibodies also pass to the foetus during the last trimester.

PMS:  PMS or Pre-Menstrual Syndrome are hormonal events before a period and can trigger a range of side-effects which can put any women at risk. These risks include fluid retention, fatigue, irritability and headaches. Some treatments are exercise and dietary changes. Dysmenorrhoea:  In general terms, this condition is a culmination of painful periods. The reason is thought to be that the uterus is prompted by certain hormones to squeeze harder than necessary to dislodge the endometrium lining. The condition can be treated with the usage of pain-alleviating medicine. Amenorrhoea:  It is the absence of menstrual periods. It is considered abnormal except during pre-puberty, pregnancy, lactation and post-menopause. Some of the reasons are excessive exercise or high/ low body weight.

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