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Do dogs have a menstrual cycle?

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Antidepressants and the menstrual cycle

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Home. International News. Prozac and PMS

How antidepressants could help cope with an unpleasant painful condition in women

Over the past twenty years, SSRI drugs, widely known as antidepressants, have been increasingly used to treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Recent studies have clarified the mechanism of their action, which opens up new opportunities for improving the treatment of PMS.

SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, have been attributed to increased levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that transmits information between nerve cells in the brain. After sending the information, serotonin is usually reabsorbed, but SSRI drugs prevent this, thus providing a higher concentration of the substance in the brain. Since serotonin is associated with good mood, it is actively used in the treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders.

But in the treatment of PMS, drugs in this group do something else: they suppress an enzyme involved in the metabolism of the ovarian steroid hormone progesterone.

Premenstrual Disorders Most women experience some PMS-like symptoms before their period, such as irritability, anxiety, fatigue, disturbed sleep, and increased pain sensitivity. But they see them as a normal part of their menstrual cycle. At the same time, about a quarter of women turn to doctors for help in connection with premenstrual syndrome, and about 5% of women throughout the entire fertile period experience it in a severe and limiting form of normal activity, which is called “premenstrual dysphoric disorder” “.

It is known that PMS is caused by changes in the secretion of the hormone by the ovaries during the menstrual cycle. In particular, the level of progesterone after ovulation rises by about 10 times, and then a sharp drop in its secretion follows a week before menstruation. It is important that such a sharp drop in ovarian secretion of progesterone is accompanied by a decrease in the level of the progesterone metabolite allopregnanolone, a steroid with a powerful sedative and tranquilizing effect.

In other words, before menstruation in women, there is a “cancellation” of the “internal tranquilizer allopregnanolone.

How is it treated? If the cause of PMS is cyclical ovarian activity, then one way to deal with it is to stop ovulation. Of course, this is exactly what happens during pregnancy. On this score, by the way, there is an interesting idea according to which PMS evolved to turn women away from infertile men.

There are medications that prevent ovulation, but with their long-term use, it becomes necessary for additional therapy with the use of synthetic hormones, which are designed to replace the missing estrogens and progesterone from the ovaries. In addition, there are contraceptive steroids that suppress ovulation and provide some relief from PMS, but symptoms may return during bleeding due to the withdrawal effect.

Progesterone replacement therapy is also problematic: it can worsen symptoms and make some patients drowsy, possibly due to excessive amounts of sedative allopregnanolone during progesterone metabolism.

Using fluoxetine The ideal treatment for PMS would be a drug that slows the drop in allopregnanolone levels towards the end of the menstrual cycle. This is exactly what fluoxetine provides. In rats and mice, the use of fluoxetine and other SSRIs can increase the concentration of allopregnanolone in the brain, and this effect is observed within an hour after application of the drug, and at doses lower than those required to suppress the reuptake of serotonin. Low-dose SSRIs may also increase levels of allopregnanolone in the human brain.

Recent studies in female rats show that low doses of fluoxetine that do not block serotonin reuptake but increase brain levels of allopregnanolone also protect against PMS-like symptoms. Interestingly, low doses of fluoxetine also block the increased excitability of brain circuits associated with responses to fear.

Fluoxetine acts as a biochemical switch The ovaries and brain convert progesterone to allopregnanolone in two steps, both of which are controlled by enzymes. In the first step, progesterone is converted into a steroid called 5-alpha dihydroprogesterone, a passive precursor. The second step is regulated by a pair of enzymes, one of which converts this precursor to allopregnanolone, while the other converts allopregnanolone back to a passive precursor. Thus, the level of allopregnanolone is controlled by the balance of these two opposite actions. Basically, it’s about a biochemical switch.

In rat brains, fluoxetine blocks an enzyme that converts allopregnanolone into a passive precursor. The same effect is observed with the human enzyme. Thus, fluoxetine should slow the premenstrual drop in allopregnanolone levels.

Gender and Age Differences If fluoxetine in this way increases levels of allopregnanolone in the brain, this explains why younger women of reproductive age, with regular fluctuations in allopregnanolone, are more sensitive to SSRI drugs than men who have consistently low levels of this steroid.

This sex difference can be observed in rats. Indeed, there is a growing body of evidence from animal studies that elevating brain levels of allopregnanolone may be an important part of the antidepressant response to SSRIs.

The rise in brain levels of allopregnanolone at very low doses of fluoxetine also explains why women with PMS respond so quickly to the drug — within two days. In comparison, it can take up to two months to achieve a complete antidepressant response at higher doses of fluoxetine, which alters the function of serotonin in the brain.

Therefore, there is a basis here for treating PMS with small doses of SSRIs used occasionally to avoid the side effects associated with these drugs (nausea, diarrhea, anorexia, sleep disturbance, fatigue, and sexual dysfunction). The discovery of a target enzyme involved in the metabolism of allopregnanolone means there is hope for the development of more specific drugs for the treatment of PMS in the future.

Could there be a month’s delay from zoloft for a month? Immediately clarification: 1) I am not pregnant 2) I do not want to see a gynecologist because I suffer from panic attacks and such a visit will knock me out of balance for a long time, which I relatively entered thanks to zoloft. Plus I don’t want to drink hormonal.

The question is exactly this. did anyone have a monthly delay on this drug, and if so, how did they restore the cycle?

CLARIFICATION: 1) I will not go to the gynecologist. Because my panic attacks and depression were caused by the fact that at the age of 16 I was diagnosed with an erroneous diagnosis and then I tried to kill myself. I’d rather die in ignorance than go through this horror again.

2) The question is not “tell me what to do”. I just needed to find out if the cycle fails from these pills and if it does, after what time the cycle is restored.

Hello. I have been taking antidepressants and antipsychotics for 2 months. The menstrual cycle is out of order. The delay is already about 17 days. Pregnancy is excluded. Before that, there was a period, which began a week earlier than it should have. The discharge was not as usual. They lasted only 3 days, then became very scarce and ended quickly. Also there was no pain as usual. A couple of days ago, the lower abdomen pulled a little and brown very scanty discharge appeared, which ended instantly. Could it be while taking antidepressants and what to do in this case?

On the Ask a Doctor service, an online consultation of a gynecologist is available on any problem that concerns you. Medical experts provide consultations around the clock and free of charge. Ask your question and get an answer immediately!

Do dogs have periods? Explaining popularly

Heat in dogs is a normal and natural process that indicates that the animal is ready to fertilize. It proceeds in several stages. Many people think that heat is a period in dogs, but this is not entirely true.

Physiology and stages of estrus

The flow takes place in several stages, and each of them has its own physiological characteristics:

  • Proestrus (actually estrus). The duration of the period is from 4 to 20 days, but usually it ends in 7-10 days. At this time, follicles mature in the dog’s body. Proestrus can be recognized by the following signs: the loop swells slightly, a trail of blood droplets stretches behind the dog, the mucous membrane of the genital organs thickens. At this time, the behavior of the animal also changes. The bitch can start to move more, often sits down in the toilet, obeys worse. During the proestrus period, the pet is not yet ready for mating, so she does not show interest in males.
  • Estrus (hunting). This stage lasts from 5 to 13 days. Discharge from the loop becomes lighter. The loop is enlarged significantly. During the hunting period, the animal begins to react sharply to touching the tail area: it stops and takes it to the side. These days are considered the best for mating.
  • Metaestrus (end of heat). This period is final. Allocations become scarce, and by the end of the stage they disappear altogether. The hinge is returned to its original condition. During metaestrus, the bitch stops allowing males to approach her. With successful mating, embryos begin to develop in the animal’s body.
  • Anestrus (dormant period). During this period, the animal rests. Duration of sexual rest. from 4 to 10-12 months.

Each heat can be accompanied by an enlargement of the mammary glands. If this happens very brightly and regularly, it is recommended to neuter the dog in order to eliminate the risk of developing cancer.

Menstruation, heat or estrus. we understand the concepts

Heat is the first sign of puberty in a bitch. It is also called estrus in dogs and pushover.

Let’s understand the concepts of estrus, estrus and menstruation:

  • Estrus. This is the period during which the dog is capable of fertilization and subsequent bearing of offspring. Heat flows in four stages, each of which has its own characteristics.
  • Estrus. This is the name of one of the stages of estrus. During estrus, the dog is most aroused. It is during this period, under the influence of hormones, that the egg is able to fertilize.
  • Periods. This is the name of the menstrual cycle, which is characteristic of humans and some mammals. During menstruation, the functional layer of the uterine mucosa is rejected, which is accompanied by profuse bleeding. This phenomenon is not typical for dogs.

IMPORTANT! Menstruation or menstruation is common only in humans and primates. This period does not proceed in the same way as estrus, therefore, it is incorrect to call the dogs’ empty period as menstruation.

Dog’s first estrus

Veterinarians distinguish two types of animal maturity: sexual and physiological. Sexual maturity occurs at 6-12 months, depending on the size of the animal, the first estrus occurs during the same period. At the age of 1-1.5 years, the dog enters physiological maturity, and by this time it has 2-3 estrus. It is at this age that the pet is ready for the first mating.

The timing of the first estrus depends on the size of the dog. In dwarf and small breed bitches (up to 15 kg), it occurs earlier. at 6-9 months. Large animals come to the first hunt no earlier than 8-12 months.

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Often the first heat is unnoticed by the owner. The bitch is not very interesting to males, her discharge is not abundant, the loop swells slightly. However, the second and subsequent emptying runs more brightly.

dogs, menstrual, cycle

Frequency and duration of leaks

The duration and frequency of estrus are individual. On average, anestrus or rest period lasts from six months to a year. The estrus period itself lasts 20-30 days. Small and medium-sized dogs come into the hunt more often. every 6-8 months.

dogs, menstrual, cycle

INTERESTING! Leak in representatives of large and giant breeds occurs less often. once every 9-15 months.

Discharge and hygiene rules

During each estrus, copious red discharge appears from the dog’s loop, however, hygiene rules will help to avoid damage to furniture and things. If the bitch does not clean up on her own, wear special underpants on her.

The rules for the operation of such panties are as follows:

  • Make sure they have a hole under the tail.
  • Be sure to remove your dog’s swimming trunks before every walk.
  • When buying, choose the size carefully: panties of the correct size adhere well to the animal, do not slip and do not cause inconvenience to the pet.

REFERENCE! The most practical material for dog pants is nylon. It is durable, washable well. Cotton swimming trunks are also on sale, but they are more suitable for small animals.

Dog behavior during estrus

Under the influence of hormones, the behavior of the dog during estrus changes:

  • Change in behavior. The animal may become more loving, and some dogs, on the contrary, begin to show aggression. The owners notice that during the hunt, many bitches show an increased interest in men, demanding attention and affection. Most dogs become practically uncontrollable: they refuse to obey commands, tend to run away for a walk, therefore it is strongly not recommended to let the animal off the leash on the street.
  • The animal urinates frequently. Many bitches often sit in the toilet during this period. Owners think their dog has a cold, but in reality, the animal just leaves tags for the males. Some pets can urinate even in a house or apartment.
  • Relations with males. In the first few days of heat, the bitch reacts quite aggressively to the opposite sex. By the period of the hunt, the behavior changes, and the dog begins to show an active interest in the males, stands in front of them in a stance, moves the tail away. This behavior lasts for several days, after which the animal begins to behave as usual.

REFERENCE! Some dogs, whose hormonal background is disturbed, after estrus suffer from a false pregnancy. Such animals are recommended to be sterilized in order to prevent the development of uterine oncology.

Menstruation after taking antibiotics

It is almost impossible to guess how exactly the nature of the discharge during menstrual bleeding, which will be after taking antibiotics, will change. Bleeding can be profuse or, conversely, scanty, with or without clots.

Lean discharge without blood clots may be associated with insufficient development of the endometrium, that is, significantly less tissue volume is rejected than usual, therefore the intensity of bleeding also decreases.

Discharge of a dark brown color with clots of various sizes is due to an increase in blood clotting and its retention in the uterine cavity. Often, women note a more intense pain syndrome with such cycle disorders.

What are antibiotics

On the other hand, the effect of antibiotics on humans is not limited to the actual antibacterial effect. For each group of antibiotics in general and for each active substance in particular, the instructions always indicate possible side effects. This does not mean that every woman will necessarily have them, but there is a certain likelihood of such a development of the situation.

The main reasons for the violation

The end result is determined by a combination of a number of factors.

In most cases, it is impossible to say for sure whether there will be a violation of the menstrual cycle in this particular patient. As a rule, it is necessary to understand the causes of the violation that has occurred already with the identified violations of the cycle, as well as to correct these changes.

The effect of antibiotics on the menstrual cycle

Delay of menstruation after taking a course of antibiotics

Most often, menstrual irregularities are triggered by an inflammatory process, for the treatment of which antibiotics are prescribed. A pronounced inflammatory process has a significant effect on hormonal balance, disrupting the alternation of the phases of the cycle.

Antibacterial drugs are an essential component of postoperative prophylaxis. Any introduction into the reproductive sphere can cause an imbalance in female sex hormones.

In all of the above situations, the female body is under stress. If the stressful situation is prolonged and serious, then the consequence of this is hormonal imbalance and menstrual irregularities.

How to reduce the negative effects of antibiotics

There are no clear recommendations in this situation. There is no universal remedy, the use of which would completely eliminate or significantly reduce the likelihood of developing menstrual irregularities.

The use of various mineral and vitamin complexes has a general positive effect on a woman’s health, it is possible that cycle disturbances will be minimal or absent altogether.

The appointment of pre- and probiotics does not affect the hormonal background, therefore it is not a means of preventing menstrual irregularities.

The use of hormonal drugs as prevention of abnormal bleeding is categorically unacceptable. The use of a variety of drugs and homeopathic remedies is also doubtful.

The only means of prevention is compliance with all medical recommendations that relate to the use of antibacterial agents (duration, regimen, dosage).

Duration of estrus

The average duration of estrus in bitches is three weeks (21-23 days). In this case, you need to take into account the number, frequency of emptyings, age, weight of the dog.

In young dogs, as a rule, the duration and frequency of leaks are unchanged. In older dogs, due to age-related changes, the resting period increases.

If the duration of estrus in a bitch is 25-28 days, rest periods are six to seven months, then such a schedule should be constant. If vaginal discharge has become abundant, more pronounced, with frequent leaks, or estrus does not come on time, consult your veterinarian.

Important! The pushover may not occur at the appointed period if the dog is sick, weak, emaciated. Latent estrus is noted in case of hormonal disruptions, after prolonged use of hormonal agents that prevent sexual desire.

Bitch owners should monitor the dog’s health during and after estrus for several days, regardless of whether the dog has been mated or not.

To have an idea of ​​the duration of estrus, in a notebook, mark the days of its beginning and end, and also describe the behavior of the bitch at certain periods.

Even older females, if there is no control, are attracted to males and can be mated. A bitch can be covered by a sick male or a male of a larger size.

How to tell if a dog is in heat: stages of the cycle, signs, advice to owners

A dog’s heat (estrus, puddle) is a certain period, the reproductive stage, when a non-sterilized female is ready to mate in order to obtain offspring. A natural process also indicates the onset of puberty. The bitch is ready to mate, carry and give birth to offspring. If you have no experience with pets, but are planning to have a girl, we recommend reading this article, from which you will find out when the first heat should come, how long this period is, and also how to determine the onset of estrus in bitches.

How to determine the onset of estrus

You can understand that the dog will soon begin estrus by the behavior of the pet. Of course, each pet is individual, has its own character and disposition. At the same time, knowing the demeanor and habits of your dog, you can understand that in a few days, weeks, the pet will begin to be empty.

Bitches become more playful, active and even naughty, especially on walks. In a few days, the dog begins to flirt with the males, leaves urine marks, explores the territory, is interested in males, reluctantly returns home from a walk. Some dogs have increased or decreased appetite.

Important! Before a puddle, as well as in the first days, urination is more frequent, so the dog often asks to go outside. The loop (labia) swells. The dog begins to lick itself often. Disturbed appetite, fever.

During the rutting season, bitches can jump with their paws on other dogs, regardless of their gender. Females lift, twist the tail to facilitate mating.

Some bitches before estrus become angry, can show unmotivated aggression towards their relatives, regardless of their gender, as well as people. The dog refuses to obey commands, can run away from the owner in an unknown direction. Therefore, if you notice behavior that is not typical for your pet, walk it on a leash.


Pay attention to how the males react to your dog and how your pet perceives grooming. Before estrus, the level of sex hormones in the bloodstream rises, and even with a minimal concentration of them, males can show interest in a bitch. On ovulating days, most females are ready to mate, flirt with males, and may even run away for a walk.

Remove carpets from the floor before estrus, as droplets of blood will appear on the floor during estrus. Spotting, especially at the beginning of estrus, can be seen on the litter where the dog is resting.

Teach your pet to hygiene from the first heat. The dog must watch itself, lick the discharge. Until the end of the spotting period, some owners put on panties on the dog. The use of hormonal drugs is not recommended, especially. This will negatively affect the health of the animal. Estrus is a natural physiological process in which a person should not interfere.

Problematic estrus

The development of hormonal disruption, possible pathologies are indicated by:

  • too frequent estrus;
  • bloodless, latent estrus;
  • too abundant vaginal discharge of an uncharacteristic color and consistency during or after puffing (blood with pus, black discharge);
  • weakness, apathy, lethargy, inappropriate behavior of the dog;
  • refusal to eat, increased thirst;
  • unstable body temperature.

For several days after estrus, the loop remains slightly swollen. A small amount of light, clear discharge flows from the vulva. This is the norm.

If a dog is in heat for more than 25-28 days, vaginal discharge has a strong putrid odor, gray-brown, dark yellow-brown color, after puffing, severe bleeding has developed, immediately show the dog to a veterinarian. A similar condition causes vulvovaginitis, endometritis, metritis, the presence of tumors in the organs of the reproductive tract, infection of the uterus with pathogenic flora. Heavy bleeding signals poor blood clotting.

First estrus in dogs

If you decide to have a girl dog (bitch), you need to understand that the period of puberty in females is much more difficult from a physiological point of view than in males. In addition, throughout life, owners should pay great attention to the health of their pet. At least twice a year, during estrus, the dog’s body becomes more vulnerable than during other periods.

As a rule, the first estrus in females occurs between the ages of 8 and 13-15 months. Some females may begin estrus at six months or even a year and a half. Much depends on the breed, physiological, individual characteristics of the organism. For example, dogs of miniature decorative breeds (Yorkies, Chihuahuas, Chins) come into heat after a year, while females of large, giant breeds (Great Dane, Shepherd Dogs, Labradors) have about six to ten months.

Note that often in young dogs, the first puddle is not real. That is, there is no ovulation. The next estrus may take some time, so be careful.

But even within the same breed, the first estrus occurs in different periods, and the intervals and duration are different.

Advice! If the bitch does not start estrus until two years old, this signals the presence of any pathologies in the dog’s body, indicates a hormonal imbalance, disturbances in the functioning of the organs of the reproductive system.

Normally, the frequency of estrus in dogs is once or twice a year. Typically, the interval between estrus is four to six to seven months. So in mongrels, northern dogs (huskies, huskies, malamutes) estrus occurs approximately once every ten to twelve months, and in bitches of other breeds. once every five to six months.

Puppy Having Her First Period And Acting Cranky | Cavoodle

If a bitch has a puddle every three to four months, we recommend that you show your pet to a veterinarian. It is possible that frequent estrus indicates hormonal disorders.

Tips for bitch owners

During estrus, females need especially careful care and attention. Observe hygiene, regimen, daily routine. The diet should be nutritious, balanced and complete.

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To prevent unwanted mating, walk the animal on a leash and away from common dog walking areas. An empty bitch attracts males, which is unpleasant for their owners and for the dog itself, arranges fights with other females.

It is possible to release the dog from the leash only in deserted places where there are no dogs or people. Do not let your pet out of sight, control its actions and movements. If the bitch is disobedient, limit yourself to walking on a leash.

If the dog is kept in the yard, cover it in the enclosure during estrus to avoid unwanted mating.

Watch the dog closely. False hygiene may develop. Therefore, to avoid possible complications, noticing the first manifestations of such a condition during or after estrus, consult your veterinarian.

If the bitch is of no breeding value, it is best to neuter the dog. There are also special remedies to prevent ovulation, unwanted pregnancy.

Important! Long-term use of such medications can provoke hormonal imbalance, oncology. Only a veterinarian should prescribe them.!

How the puddle proceeds

Not only breeders of bitches, but also males should have an idea of ​​how estrus proceeds and how long it lasts in a dog. This information will help to avoid unwanted mating, since it is during this period that the female admits the males.

Heat is a natural physiological process that indicates the onset of puberty. This main signal indicates that your pet is ready for pregnancy and bearing offspring.

Estrus is accompanied by bloody vaginal discharge from the vulva, swelling of the outer labia, enlarged nipples, hormonal changes in the body, a change in the behavior of a pet.

The abundance of vaginal discharge during estrus, their nature (consistency, color) depends on the size, age of the dog, as well as the period of emptying. In representatives of small breeds, discharge is insignificant and the owners do not always determine the exact date of the onset of estrus. Therefore, the article will consider other signs by which you can understand that the dog is in heat.

Despite the readiness for mating, during the first puddle, experienced breeders and veterinarians categorically do not recommend mating a dog, since the body is not fully ready for bearing offspring, childbirth. Too early pregnancy will negatively affect the health of the dog, is fraught with the birth of weak, non-viable puppies, difficult childbirth.

Advice! It is best to knit a bitch with a male during the third estrus, choosing a worthy groom for your pet. This is the optimal age for mating.

Stages, cycles of emptying

Conditionally, estrus in a dog is divided into four successive stages:

  • Proestrus (forerunner). The cycle lasts seven to ten days. At this stage, characteristic manifestations are not noticeable. Due to the rush of blood to the genitals, the vulva swells. A small amount of bloody mucous discharge is released from the loop. There is no ovulation, the bitch is not ready for mating, does not allow the males, driving away the suitors with a growl. Behavior changes. The pet becomes more excited, playful, energetic, can show disobedience, and is reluctant to follow commands. Some bitches are irritable and aggressive. On walks, they explore the area, leave marks. Increased urination.
  • Estrus (rut). During the period of sexual heat, in the first two to three days from the moment of its onset, ovulation occurs. The female is ready to mate, but she does not always let the males come in. The rut occurs approximately on the 11-14th day after the onset of bloody discharge. During this period, females are usually interested in males. The bitch flirts with the dog, takes the tail away. The loop swells strongly, becomes more pliable and loose. The discharge becomes dark red, brown, viscous thick consistency.
  • Metaestrus (end of heat). The amount of discharge from the loop is reduced. The labia are reduced in size, puffiness subsides. Females do not accept the courtship of males, driving them away in every possible way. The duration of metaestrus is 10-11 days. If pregnancy has not occurred, the body gradually comes to a state of rest. But regardless of whether the egg is fertilized or not, the blood of the bitches contains an increased concentration of progesterone (pregnancy hormone), so a false pregnancy can develop.
  • Anestrus. The duration of the rest period, which determines the frequency of emptyings. 100-170 days.

If you are planning to mate a bitch, the most favorable period is 10-12 days from the beginning of the pimple. On other days, the female simply does not want to admit the males.

It is better to mate twice, for two days in a row at the same time. If the dog is obstinate, introduce the dog to the male a few weeks before estrus.

Menstruation (menses)

The first day of your menstrual cycle is the first day of your period (day 1). Menstruation then lasts 3 to 7 days. You probably know that in the presence of menstrual cramps, you experience the most painful sensations in the first few days of your period. This is because your hormones are actively promoting the rejection of the lining of the uterus that has grown over the previous menstrual cycle.

Understanding your menstrual cycle

The duration of the female cycle is not the same. The most common cycle times are between 23 and 35 days. The difference in the length of the menstrual cycle usually refers to the period before ovulation (the so-called follicular or follicular phase). For most women, it takes 12 to 16 days from ovulation (when the egg is released from the ovary) to the onset of menstruation (called the luteal phase).

Preparing for ovulation

At the beginning of your cycle, the pituitary gland, a gland located at the base of the brain, releases follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). It is the main hormone that stimulates the ovaries to produce eggs. Follicles are fluid-filled vesicles in the ovaries. Each follicle contains an immature egg. FSH promotes the maturation of a number of follicles and the production of the hormone estrogen. On the first day of your period, estrogen is at its lowest. Then it begins to rise along with the maturation of the follicles.

As follicles develop, usually one of them becomes “dominant”, and the egg matures in this large follicle. At the same time, the increasing level of estrogen in the body is responsible for saturating the mucous membrane of the uterine cavity with nutrients and blood. This is to ensure that, in the event of pregnancy, the fertilized egg has all the nutrients and support it needs to grow. High estrogen levels also contribute to the production of mucus, a “sperm-friendly” environment (or scientifically cervical mucus of the fertile phase). You may have noticed a thin, sticky discharge that may have a cloudy, whitish tint. Sperm move more easily through this mucus and survive for several days.

Your body produces hormones that control your menstrual cycle. At the beginning of a cycle, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is an important hormone. An increase in FSH promotes the maturation of follicles in the ovaries (fluid-filled vesicles containing one immature egg each) and the beginning of the production of a second hormone, estrogen.

Your menstrual cycle

You probably know quite a lot about your menstrual cycle, such as the frequency and intensity of your periods. Here we take a closer look at the female menstrual cycle, ovulation, and periods. Undoubtedly, no website can replace a complete consultation with a healthcare professional, however, we will help you get a general idea of ​​how this happens.

After ovulation

After release, the egg moves up the fallopian tube towards the uterus. Its life cycle is up to 24 hours. The sperm life cycle is more variable, however, and typically ranges from 3 to 5 days. Thus, the days immediately preceding ovulation and the day of ovulation itself are the most fertile. this is when you have the greatest chance of getting pregnant. Immediately after ovulation, the follicle begins to produce another hormone. progesterone.

Progesterone contributes to the subsequent preparation of the mucous membrane of the uterine cavity for the adoption of a fertilized egg. Meanwhile, the empty follicle in the ovary begins to shrink, but it continues to produce progesterone and begins to produce estrogen. During this time, you may experience premenstrual tension syndrome (PMS), such as breast tenderness, bloating, drowsiness, depression, and irritability.

After release, the egg moves through the fallopian tube into the uterus. The egg cell lives from 12 to 24 hours, however, due to the fact that the sperm lives for several days, the greatest fertility and the highest probability of becoming pregnant is present when having unprotected sex on the day of ovulation and the day before. Immediately after ovulation, the destroyed follicle begins to produce another hormone called progesterone.

How your dog’s behavior changes during estrus

The very first sign that can be noticed in a dog’s behavior during estrus is anxiety.

  • The pet can become either overly affectionate and clingy, or, on the contrary, begins to show inappropriate, unreasonable aggression. Even trained dogs at this time often cease to obey commands, often showing a desire to break off the leash and run away.
  • In addition, the dog may begin to mark territory, which is an extremely atypical sign for bitches at normal times.
  • Often, estrus in dogs is accompanied by an inexpressible “vociferous”, pets constantly whine and howl, do not allow the owner to sleep normally.
  • Some animals are so agitated that they all the time try to undermine the door in the apartment and escape into the street.

Menstruation in a dog: understanding the concepts

The entire beautiful half of humanity (and not only) knows how the female body feels during menstruation. This process is quite normal and physiological, but the state of health is worse than with another disease. In this regard, many dog ​​breeders have a quite reasonable question: “Do dogs have periods?”?

The first estrus in a dog: when does it begin and what is accompanied

By the period of the first estrus, you need to be prepared and not allow the dog to mate. The fact is that puberty and physiological maturity in dogs are not identical concepts. By the time of the first estrus, the female’s body can bear offspring, but the health consequences will be severe (since physiological maturity has not been reached).

The first heat can begin in the interval from six months to a year. In many ways, this period depends not only on the breed, but also on the conditions of detention and the quality of feeding. Thus, a dog that has been well fed and provided with good housing conditions will mature much earlier. And even if she suffers after the first heat, her body will recover much faster and more completely than if compared with an animal that somehow ate and lived on the street.

In small breeds (all other things being equal), the first estrus may be as early as 5 months (but this does not happen so often), while in dogs of large and especially large breeds, estrus can begin at the age of 13 months, and this is not considered a pathology.

Ask The Vet, (Dogs getting their period.) Dr Yalda Motavali

By itself, estrus in dogs is due to the action of sex hormones on the dog’s body. Even during the preestrus period, the blood supply not only to the uterus, but also to the vagina and loops, increases sharply. Accordingly, the visible part of the genitals swells significantly.

The onset of estrus marks the onset of bloody leakage from the loop. At first they are bloody, by the middle of the process they are clean and transparent, by the time of completion they acquire an unclear color and a very viscous, sticky consistency.

Discharge and hygiene rules during estrus

We have already mentioned that mucous discharge appears from the genitals of an animal during estrus. Their consistency varies with time, but on average they are always slimy. During this period, it is extremely important to observe the rules of hygiene.

In some pets, a lot of mucus “falls out”, the root of the tail and the genital area in such animals are constantly smeared. Gradually, the discharge dries up, crusts form in these places. As a rule, the dog licks them, but this is not always the case. If the pet does not belong to the category of cleanliness, the discharge must be washed off at least once a day using a clean cloth (or bandage) soaked in furatsilin solution.

Physiology and stages of estrus: how this process proceeds

Physiology and stages of estrus are closely related (at the age of active reproduction). It is generally accepted that the sexual cycle is divided into three stages, but many biologists distinguish four stages:

  • Forerunner, also called pro- or preestrus. At this time, the body prepares for possible fertilization and pregnancy. Lasts about 12 days (but there are variations from 2 to 16 days).
  • Estrus (estrus itself).
  • The third stage is diestrus. Applicable only to pregnant females, as a corpus luteum develops in their ovaries at this time.
  • Rest period (anestrus). Since dogs rarely miss a sexual hunt without “consequences” in the form of puppies, sexual rest is more typical for old females, whose body can no longer bear offspring.
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As for the biological background of estrus, it is directly related to the achievement of puberty by the animal. Generally speaking, at this time, the pet’s body begins to massively produce sex hormones, and its ovaries are already capable of producing normal, viable eggs. The combination of all these factors leads to the onset of structural changes both in the physiology of the female and in her behavior.

The frequency and duration of leaks in dogs at different ages and with different health conditions

The frequency and duration of leaks in animals is different and depends on different physiological factors.

The usual duration of estrus is up to 3 weeks. At this time, the female’s body is already completely ready for fertilization and bearing offspring. In an emaciated and weakened animal, estrus may either not begin at all, or it may take a couple of days. It even happens that at this time the males will not even pay attention to the female, since there will be no hormones or other “odorous” compounds in her blood that indicate readiness for mating.

The frequency of estrus directly depends only on the health of the dog. Normally, the period between estrus is about six months. In small dogs, estrus can indeed occur once every 6 months, but in representatives of large and especially large breeds, this time may well stretch up to 7 or even 8 months.

Menstruation, heat or estrus. we understand the concepts

Whether menstruation, heat or estrus are considered the same, how to figure it out and not get confused. All of these terms describe the same thing. Those. menses in women = estrus in dogs. The female body in all mammals functions approximately according to the same principles, so there is nothing surprising in this.

Heat itself is one of the most important stages of an animal’s sexual cycle. At this time, the old endometrium (uterine epithelium) is rejected and a new one grows. All this is accompanied by bleeding, as well as changes in behavior (i.e. increased readiness for mating and pregnancy).

The blood released during menstruation is different from normal blood: it is not only darker, but also contains many enzymes and hormones that attract the attention of males. It is for this reason that during this period it is unsafe to go out with a pet, as after a couple of minutes it is surrounded by a “crowd” of males.

Walking the dog during estrus: what to remember

Walking the dog during estrus turns into a real attraction. In order not to endanger the animal and your health, the following rules must be observed:

  • Walking where there are few or no (ideally) dogs.
  • Use only high-quality, durable collars, harnesses and muzzles. Don’t walk without them!
  • It is advisable to take into account your physical potential. If the owner is not sure if he can keep the pet, it is better to enlist the help of a friend.
  • It will not hurt to get a pepper spray. Attack of a pack of “starving” males. the situation is very unsafe.
  • If there are many males in the area, walk no more than 20 minutes. You can take your pet farther into the forested area and walk there.

Pregnancy in cats

The duration of pregnancy in cats is approximately 64 days from the moment of the first mating. The next estrus usually occurs 2 weeks after the cessation of lactation. But there are cases when the cat begins to “walk” after 2 weeks after giving birth and can become pregnant again.

External signs of pregnancy in cats become noticeable closer to the 50th day of pregnancy. Usually there is an increase in abdominal volume and an increase in appetite. At about the 3rd week of pregnancy, the nipples enlarge, in the last week of pregnancy, the mammary glands enlarge and lactation begins (milk formation).

Ultrasonography and X-rays can be used to confirm pregnancy. The most optimal period for diagnosing pregnancy in cats using ultrasound is 30 days from the moment of mating. At this time, the fruits are already clearly visible. It is problematic to accurately count the number of fetuses using ultrasound, especially with multiple pregnancies. X-rays are rarely used in doubtful cases.

The number of litters in cats ranges from 1 to 9 kittens. Primiparous cats rarely have more than 3 kittens per litter.

Throughout the entire period of pregnancy, it is necessary to protect the cat from stress, balance the diet, and increase the feeding rate. Vaccination and the necessary treatments (deworming, treatment for ectoparasites) must be carried out before pregnancy, because the use of certain drugs during fetal development can lead to undesirable consequences. This also applies to the use of various drugs.

Before giving birth, it is necessary to prepare the place where the cat will give birth. It must be located in a quiet, secluded place. To do this, you can use a cardboard box with an absorbent diaper at the bottom. Even if you prepare a special place for birthing, be prepared that the cat will ignore it and will give birth where it sees fit (for example, in the closet or behind the sofa).

The sexual cycle of cats

In cats, signs of sexual behavior begin to appear at the age of 6-9 months. That is, already at the age of six months, a cat may begin to “demand a cat”. As a rule, the owners of such animals do not understand what is happening with their kitten and take the calling calls of the cat and rolling on the floor for a manifestation of pain. There are also cases when a cat’s first estrus begins only at the age of 18 months (1.5 years).

Short-haired cats are considered more “early maturing” and usually begin to show sexual behavior earlier than long-haired cats. Also, the length of daylight has a very large effect on puberty. The longer the cat is in good natural or artificial light, the faster the sexual cycle will begin.

The sexual behavior of a cat is nothing more than a manifestation of the sexual cycle and the readiness of the body for mating. In the absence of mating, the cat’s sexual cycle resumes every 2-3 weeks. The intensity of sexual behavior in each cat is expressed differently. Some of them scream heart-rendingly without interruption, stick to each member of the family, roll on the floor. In others, estrus passes with restraint with mild external signs.

However, very few cat owners react calmly to the natural manifestations of their pets’ instincts during estrus. As a rule, the owners purchase hormonal preparations for animals that interrupt estrus and eliminate its external manifestations. The use of these drugs is not safe for the health of your pets. It is better to neuter (neuter) the pet in a timely manner.

The duration of estrus in cats is 3 to 10 days, followed by a 2-3 week break. In some animals, the development of follicles in the ovary occurs continuously without interruption, which leads to a constantly high level of estrogen and, as a result, a state of constant estrus.

Also, a feature of the reproductive system of cats is induced ovulation. That is, the release of the egg from the ovary occurs only during mating. This also explains the short heat spacing in the absence of mating. In the event that mating has occurred, due to the stimulation of the receptors, ovulation occurs, and then the fertilization of the egg. At the same time, a single mating in cats does not provide the necessary stimulation for ovulation. Requires multiple mating in a short period of time.

Sexual cycle and pregnancy in cats and dogs

When purchasing a kitten or puppy, not many people think that sooner or later their pet will grow up and begin to show sexual behavior, and possibly bear offspring. In order to avoid surprises, it is advisable to think before purchasing an animal whether you will use it in breeding work (to obtain offspring) or whether you need a pet without unnecessary hassle.

If you do not want to engage in mating and obtaining offspring from an animal, then it is advisable to plan the timing of routine castration (sterilization) in a veterinary clinic.

If you want to get offspring from a cat or bitch at least once, then you need to know the basic data about the sexual cycle, the physiology of pregnancy and childbirth of these animals, as well as some pathologies that you may encounter.

The reproductive cycle of dogs

The time to puberty in dogs varies considerably depending on the breed. The first estrus in small breed dogs usually occurs at the age of 6-10 months, while in large breed bitches, the first estrus can be delayed up to 24 months. In this regard, the absence of estrus before 2 years of age is not considered a sign of pathology.

The sexual cycle in bitches is divided into 4 stages: proestrus, estrus, diestrus and anestrus.

Proestrus is manifested by swelling of the vulva (outer labia) and bloody discharge from the vagina. During this period, the bitch flirts with the male, but does not allow mating. Sometimes this period goes unnoticed due to the fact that the bitch intensively licks the vaginal discharge. The duration of this period is from 2 to 25 days (average 9 days).

During estrus, the bitch allows mating. During this phase, ovulation and fertilization of the eggs take place. The length of the period when the bitch is allowed to sit also varies widely from 2 to 20 days, but the average is 5-9 days.

Diestrus begins after ovulation and is associated with the activity of the ovarian corpus luteum. The length of this period depends on whether the bitch is pregnant or not. In puppy bitches, the duration of diestrus is 56-58 days, and in non-puppies it is 60-100 days.

Anestrus is the resting phase when the development of follicles in the ovaries stops. The duration of this period is approximately 4 months.

The sexual cycle in dogs is repeated 2 times a year (on average every 7 months). In some dog breeds, estrus occurs only once a year. Due to individual characteristics, it is recommended to knit only after the second heat. This will enable the owner of the bitch to track how estrus goes, how long each period takes. In addition, the first estrus may be defective, not accompanied by ovulation, and the animal’s body itself may not yet be ready for pregnancy.

Despite the external manifestations of the sexual cycle, it is sometimes difficult for even experienced owners to understand when a bitch is ready for fertilization. In this case, several methods are used to diagnose the fertile period.

To determine the stage of estrus, a smear is taken from the vagina, stained, and the type of cells of the vaginal epithelium, the presence of bacteria and blood cells are assessed. This is a good research method that allows you to fairly accurately judge the current phase of the sexual cycle. It is often necessary to take several swabs at intervals of several days for greater accuracy. A more modern and accurate method is to determine the level of hormones in the blood (for example, progesterone).

If the mating turns out to be fruitful, then pregnancy develops. The larger the bitch, the usually larger the litter size. Dwarf breeds give birth to 1 to 4 puppies, and large bitches can produce up to 15 puppies. The first pregnancy is usually infertile. Also, the number of fruits decreases as the animal ages.

Pregnancy in dogs

The duration of pregnancy in dogs is approximately 63-65 days from the moment of the first mating. External signs of pregnancy are an increase in the volume of the abdomen and body weight, increased appetite. For diagnostics, an ultrasound scan is performed on the 30th day of the alleged pregnancy.

During pregnancy, the bitch should receive a quality balanced diet. The feeding rate should be increased by 50% in the last weeks of pregnancy and during lactation. It is better to feed the animal more often in small portions. Before giving birth, it is necessary to prepare a special place where the bitch can whelp.