The menstrual cycle is a complex chain of event that is self regulated during which hypothalamus release chemicals that stimulates the pituitary gland to produce two hormones that affect the ovaries: Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
FSH stimulates the ovaries to produce estrogen and causes ova to mature in follicles (small sacs) within the ovaries. LH causes the mature ovum to be release from the ovary.
There are three phases of the menstrual cycle: the menstrual phase, the proliferative phase, and the secretory phase.
Menstrual phase is the phase when menstruation occurs. Menstruation is a woman’s monthly bleeding also known as period. Menstruation occurs as a result of uterine lining shedding off and passes out of the body through the cervix and vagina as menstrual flow. Menstruation take place if conception has not occurred and it is a sign that your body is functioning normally.
The length of cycle is measured from the first day of flow to the first day of the next flow. The menstrual period may last between 2 to 6 days and the volume of the menstrual flow may vary between 6 to 8 ounces. Every woman experience different length of cycle and it may range anywhere between 24 to 42 days.
Proliferative phase is trigger by the lower level of progesterone and estrogen in the blood stream during menstrual phase. As a result, FSH is released by pituitary gland to increase production of estrogen and to stimulate follicles to mature. When the production of estrogen in the blood stream reaches a peak, FSH production ceases and this trigger the production of LH.
LH causes the mature ovum to be release from the ovary which than travel to the fallopian tube. Every woman has different cycle length during menstruation and regardless of the length of cycle, ovulation always occur 14 days before the next menstrual period.
The production of LH continued in secretory phase in which a yellowish bump called the corpus luteum is develop from ruptured follicle. Progesterone is than release by corpus luteum and together with estrogen produced by the ovaries prepares the body for pregnancy.
fertilization occurs, a woman becomes pregnant when the egg is
fertilized by a man’s sperm and attaches to the uterine wall. If
conception does not occur, the egg dies, hormone levels drop, and the
lining of the uterus is shed in the form of a menstrual flow and once
again initiating the menstrual phase.
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