Follicular Phase – One of the Menstrual Cycle’s Phase

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On the first day of your period, the follicular phase begins. It usually lasts the entire first half of your menstrual cycle.

Before going to the subject you should know about the menstrual cycle.

All About the Menstrual Cycle's Follicular Phase
All About the Menstrual Cycle’s Follicular Phase

Phases of the menstrual cycle

The menstrual cycle is a set of hormone-driven events that prepare your body to get pregnant and carry a child. This cycle follows a four-part process:


This is the first, but also the final, phase of your menstrual cycle. During your monthly period, the thicker lining of your uterus sheds. Depending on the duration of your cycle, menstruation can last anywhere from three to seven days.

The follicular stage

This begins on the first day of your period and finishes when you begin to ovulate. The egg-containing pods known as follicles develop during this period, and one of the eggs matures.


This is the stage at which the ovary sends the developed egg down the fallopian tube on its journey to fertilization. This is the cycle’s shortest phase, lasting only 24 hours.

Luteal stage

The follicle that produced the egg generates hormones that thicken and ripen the uterus in preparation for pregnancy during this period.

Each woman’s menstrual cycle is distinct. The duration and phases of each cycle can vary depending on your age and other variables.

If you’re attempting to conceive, knowing whether your follicular and luteal phases are lengthy or short, and when they occur in your menstrual cycle, can be beneficial. Problems with these phases may have an impact on your fertility. Let’s look at the follicular phase in more detail.

What occurs during the follicular phase?

On the first day of your period, the follicular phase begins. It usually lasts the entire first half of your menstrual cycle.

This phase begins when the hypothalamus, your body’s hormone control center, sends a message to the pituitary gland at the base of your brain. The pituitary gland then secretes follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).

FSH causes your ovaries to create 5 to 20 small pods known as follicles. Each follicle contains an immature egg. During this stage of your cycle, these follicles develop.

One of these follicles eventually takes over as the dominant one. The other follicles begin to wither and are absorbed by your body.

The follicle containing the ripening egg increases estrogen production in your body. Higher estrogen levels cause your uterine lining to thicken and grow. To prepare for a possible pregnancy, the lining becomes nutrient-rich.

Rising estrogen levels also tell your pituitary gland to reduce FSH production.

Meanwhile, another pituitary hormone known as luteinizing hormone (LH) rises. The increase in LH stops estrogen production and initiates ovulation, the next phase of the cycle.

Longer follicular phase

The follicular phase of your menstrual cycle is frequently the longest. It is also the most erratic phase. It starts on the first day of your cycle and finishes when you ovulate.

The follicular phase lasts on average 16 days. However, depending on your cycle, it might last anywhere from 11 to 27 days.

The length of your follicular phase is determined in part by the time it takes for one dominant follicle to emerge. This phase will persist longer if the follicle is slow to grow. As a result, your entire menstrual cycle will be lengthened.

A protracted follicular phase indicates that your body takes longer to ovulate. Long-term use of birth control tablets can lengthen your follicular phase. Vitamin D deficiency A longer follicular phase has also been connected to Trusted Source.

Women with a protracted follicular phase are exactly as likely as those with a statistically more normal follicular phase to become pregnant. A prolonged cycle should have no effect on your fertility.

Shorter follicular phase

However, having a brief follicular period may reduce your chances of conceiving. It could be an indication that your ovaries are maturing and you’re approaching menopause.

Even if you still have a monthly period in your late 30s, the follicular phase may begin to shorten. During this time, hormone levels fluctuate. Your FSH levels continue to rise, but your LH levels remain low. This causes a follicle to ripen prematurely. The egg within that follicle may not be developed or ready to fertilize. This increases the likelihood of pregnancy.

Temperature during the follicular stage of the menstrual cycle

Tracking your basal body temperature might help you determine which days of the month are optimal for conception. Your basal body temperature is the temperature at which you are at rest.

Keep a thermometer by your bedside and take your temperature upon waking, before you even get out of bed, to determine basal body temperature. This should be done every morning at the same time.

Your basal body temperature should be between 97.0 and 97.5°F (36°C) during the follicular phase of your cycle. When you ovulate, your temperature rises and remains elevated throughout the luteal phase, indicating that the follicular phase has ended.

Important Points

The follicular phase of your menstrual cycle is when your body prepares to release an egg. This is a vital part of the pregnancy process. The follicular period is believed to be over once the egg is released. This usually occurs halfway between the starting day of one monthly cycle and the first day of the next menstrual period for many women.

Menstrual cycles generally follow a pattern, however the length and duration of a woman’s cycle might differ. Don’t be alarmed if you’re tracking your cycle and you don’t ovulate when you believe you should. Consult your doctor. They can identify any problems with the follicular — or any — phase of your cycle.

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