Saturday, September 23, 2023

Menstrual Cycle Phases And Hormones

Overview Of Ovarian Folliculogenesis

Puberty and The Hormones Involved | Physiology | Biology | FuseSchool

In the ovary, folliculogenesis can simply be divided into the follicular phase, prior to ovulation, and the luteal phase, after ovulation1. Figure 3 depicts the stages of ovarian folliculogenesis in humans. Ovarian folliculogenesis begins with the recruitment from a pool of growing primordial follicles1. Despite intense work in both mice and other species, the critical signals that initiate the recruitment of primordial follicles are still unknown1, 68. After recruitment, these follicles grow and become primary follicles. Once the multilayer follicles express FSH receptors, they are then subject to endocrine regulation.

Stages of ovarian follicular development

Folliculogenesis requires a coordinated progression of growth of ovarian follicles. The process begins with the germ cells which are recruited to a pool of primordial follicles. The primordial follicles progress to primary and then secondary follicles. At the secondary follicle stage, theca cells are present. The early antral follicle stage is defined by the presence of antrum. The peri-ovulatory follicle stage is also known as the dominant follicle and is ready for ovulation. this stage, cumulus and mural granulosa cells are present. Once the oocyte is ovulated, the remaining granulosa cells become the corpus luteum. This cycle of folliculogenesis occurs for every single oocyte ovulated.

How Will My Menstrual Cycle Change Throughout My Life

From your first period…

The average age of getting your first period is just over 12 years, but this usually ranges from 9-15 years. It takes a while for your body to adjust and get the balance of all the hormones right, but after about a year, your periods should be regular, says Dr Rosén.

Through potential pregnancy and later life…

With the exception of pregnancies and breastfeeding, and occasional skipped periods if youre very stressed, your periods should continue regularly until youre in your mid-40s.

As we get older, the quality of our eggs declines, which is why the risk of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities increases. The corpus luteum also becomes less effective at producing progesterone, so your menstrual cycle might become shorter, says Dr Rosén. This is usually the very first sign of perimenopause.

Ending with perimenopause and menopause…

After a while, you start to run out of eggs, and you wont have your cycle every month. Despite not ovulating, your ovaries will still produce oestrogen, causing your uterus lining to grow. But as youre not ovulating, youre not producing progesterone and so eventually the lining becomes so heavy it just falls out.

Thats why you can get very irregular but heavy, long-lasting bleeds until around the age of 51. After this time, if you havent had a period in a year, then youre officially in menopause.

How Ovulation Might Feel

Ovulation is generally regular without any extra symptoms aside from changes in vaginal secretion. Cervical mucus increases in quantity and becomes clear and stretchy, like egg whites, during this phase.

Different types of vaginal discharge occur throughout the cycle, so discharge that slightly changes color and consistency may be normal. During ovulation, there may be mild soreness on the side of the body where the ovary is releasing an egg. This is called mittelschmerz and can last from a few minutes to one to two days. Mittelschmerz is completely normal, and its also normal not to experience it.

However, if theres a sharp pain in the belly during ovulation or an excessive amount of discharge, its possible that there are underlying health issues that need medical treatment.

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What Is The Normal Time Range For The Follicular Phase

The average menstrual cycle lasts from 28 to 35 days. The follicular phase ranges from 14 to 21 days. The luteal phase lasts about 14 days. Unlike the luteal phase, which stays fairly consistent, the length of your follicular phase may vary at different stages of your life.

The length of your follicular phase depends on how long it takes the dominant follicle to form a fully matured egg.

Long follicular phase

Having a long follicular phase doesnt mean youre less likely to become pregnant. A long follicular phase most likely means that your menstrual cycle is longer, too. You can have a long follicular phase for a variety of reasons:

  • Its just your bodys normal timetable.
  • Youre taking birth control thats lengthening your follicular phase.
  • You have a vitamin D deficiency.

Short follicular phase

A short follicular phase could indicate that you may have trouble becoming pregnant. Its common for your follicular phase to shorten as you approach menopause. Menopause signals a shift in your life when you no longer get your period.

Starting in your late 30s, your FSH levels may still increase during your follicular phase, but your LH levels may not spike as they did previously. As a result, the follicle may mature faster than the egg inside and release it too soon. These eggs may not be viable for pregnancy.

Phase : Pumpkin And Flax Seeds

Menstrual Cycle

During phase 1, estrogen is the dominant hormone. Estrogen deficiency can play a role in infertility and is also part of the natural process of menopause. Balancing estrogen with pumpkin and flax seeds is promising due to the lignans found in these seeds, which act as phytoestrogens.

Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that have estrogen-like properties and can modulate your body’s estrogen production. One study showed beneficial results of flax seed ingestion on menstruation. Results revealed that those regularly consuming flax seeds in their diet had consistent periods, compared to three anovulatory cycles in the control group.

An additional benefit is that both seeds in this phase contain zinc, a mineral necessary for LH release and ovulation. Zinc, a common deficiency associated with estrogen imbalance, can also decrease symptoms of PMS. Implementing these seeds during phase 1 can assist in proper cycle regulation by influencing hormone function and essential nutrients.

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What Are The Phases Of The Menstrual Cycle

The first thing to understand is that a typical menstrual cycle lasts around 28 days and has different phases caused by rising and falling levels of hormones:

  • The menstrual phase
  • The luteal phase

The menstrual phase is when you have your period the first day that you start bleeding is considered the first day of your cycle. Bleeding will last for two to seven days, averaging at five days for most women.

The follicular phase begins at the same time as your period starts and ends at ovulation, lasting around 14 days if you have a 28-day cycle. If your cycle is shorter or longer, the follicular phase will be shorter or longer. During this time the ovaries are stimulated to produce and mature an egg to release at ovulation.

Ovulation usually occurs in the middle of your menstrual cycle, at around day 14 if you have a 28-day cycle. If your cycle is shorter or longer ovulation will occur earlier or later. This is where a matured egg is released from one of your ovaries and begins to travel down the fallopian tube towards the uterus.

The luteal phase begins after ovulation and lasts until your period starts the luteal phase usually lasts 14 days regardless of your cycle length. If an egg isnt fertilised during this time, the body will start preparing for its next menstrual phase.

What Is The Menstrual Cycle

Its the female bodys way of preparing for a possible pregnancy every month.

Understanding your cycle is very important as it impacts every aspect of female well-being, including hunger and sleep.

As the hormones in your cycle change throughout the month, your body and mind also go through a number of changes.

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Choose Different Exercise At Different Times Of The Month

  • Follicular phase. This is when you can HIIT it hard . Get your high intensity interval training, powerlifting, heavy weight lifting, plyometrics, long runs, hot yoga, hill repeats, or other intense exercise modalities in now. Take at least one rest day between hard workouts, and be mindful of signs of overtraining, as some studies suggest you may be more prone to muscle damage from overtraining during this phase (

What Happens In The Follicular Phase

Do monthly cycle change after first contact? – Dr. Teena S Thomas

The follicular phase starts on the first day of your period. Typically, it takes up the entire first half of your menstrual cycle.

This phase begins when your bodys hormone control center, the hypothalamus, sends a message to the pituitary gland at the base of your brain. The pituitary then releases follicle-stimulating hormone .

FSH stimulates your ovaries to produce 5 to 20 tiny pods called follicles. Inside each follicle sits an immature egg. These follicles grow during this phase of your cycle.

Eventually, one of these follicles becomes dominant. The other follicles start to wither away and are reabsorbed into your body.

The follicle with the ripening egg increases your bodys production of estrogen. Higher estrogen levels make your uterine lining grow and thicken. The lining becomes rich in nutrients to prepare for a possible pregnancy.

Rising estrogen levels also send a signal to your pituitary gland to slow FSH production.

Meanwhile, levels of another pituitary hormone called luteinizing hormone surge. The rise in LH halts estrogen production and starts the process of ovulation, the next phase in the cycle.

The follicular phase is often the longest part of your menstrual cycle. Its also the most variable phase. It begins on the first day of your period and ends when you ovulate.

The average length of the follicular phase is 16 days . But it can last anywhere from 11 to 27 days depending on your cycle.

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What Happens During The Follicular Phase Of The Menstrual Cycle

Youre born with about a million eggs. This reserve declines as you grow older. Once you start menstruating, your body begins a process of maturing these eggs. Only a select few fully mature over your lifetime. During the follicular phase of your menstrual cycle, around 11 to 20 eggs begin developing, but only one matures completely.

Hormones in your brain and your ovaries regulate the changes in your body that make this process possible.

  • Your pituitary gland releases follicle-stimulating hormone . A part of your brain called your hypothalamus controls your pituitary gland. Your pituitary gland helps your body make the hormones it needs to regulate important processes. The FSH from your pituitary gland activates your ovaries to start producing follicles, the fluid-filled sacs where your eggs can mature.
  • A dominant follicle forms. A single follicle, called the dominant follicle, starts to develop more quickly than the other follicles in your ovaries. As the dominant follicle matures, so does the egg inside that will eventually be released when you ovulate.
  • The dominant follicle releases more estrogen into your body. The increased estrogen thickens your uterus lining so that a fertilized egg can implant there. This stage is sometimes called the proliferative phase.
  • Mouse Models With Endometrial Dysfunction

    Numerous factors have been demonstrated to play a role in implantation, decidualization, or embryo spacing in knockout mouse models. These factors include cytokines, transcription factors, ovarian hormones, and other autocrine/paracrine factors . Additionally, a mouse model of endometriosis has been created45.

    Estrogen and progesterone are obviously important in the development of the endometrium. E2 signals through either estrogen receptor alpha or beta to activate a number of estrogen responsive genes. P4 signals through progesterone receptor A and B to activate a number of progesterone responsive genes in the mouse42.

    ER null mice are infertile, have abnormalities of the female reproductive tract, and cannot support implantation. However, ER null mice support implantation. Leukemia inhibitory factor is a member of the IL-6 family and is a down stream target for estrogen. LIF null mice do not support implantation, although a similar role of LIF in humans has not been observed. Thus, ER and cytokines, perhaps acting downstream of ER, are important to maintain endometrial receptivity42.

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    Certain Extreme Symptoms Should Be Addressed By A Medical Professional

    These are some instances when your cycle is considered not normal and should be brought up with a medical professional:

    • Absence of the period for more than 90 days and youre not pregnant
    • Irregular periods after having been regular
    • Cycles lasting less than 21 days or more than 35 days
    • Bleeding between periods

    The Menstrual Cycle Is Broken Into Phases

    The Ovarian Cycle, the Menstrual Cycle, and Menopause

    Both the uterine cycle and ovarian cycle are divided into different phases, in other words different stages . Different events occur during each phase. There are three phases in the uterine cycle: menstruation, proliferative phase, and secretory . There are also three phases in the ovarian cycle: follicular , ovulation , and luteal .

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    Menstrual Cycle Phases From Beginning To End

    First, lets outline the order of the three menstrual cycle phases since youll be reading these terms a lot. Based on the “textbook” 28-day cycle:

  • Follicular phase: This phase lasts from day 1 of your period until approximately day 14 of your cycle .
  • Ovulation: This usually happens around day 14 and only for one day.
  • Luteal phase: This phase begins after ovulation and lasts for about 14 days.
  • The main purpose of these menstrual cycle phases is to get all your ducks in a row for a possible pregnancy the ducks in this instance being the ovaries and uterus. The cycle kicks off with a menstrual period, and when the last phase ends, the first one begins again, and so on, and so on. That is, until menopause .

    Exercises According To Your Cycle

    • Menstrual. Rest is key. Pamper yourself. Focus on yin and kundalini yoga and opt for meditative walks through nature rather than pushing yourself.
    • Follicular. Keep exercises to hiking, light runs, or more flow-based yoga that works up a sweat.
    • Ovulation. Your testosterone and estrogen are peaking, maximizing your potential. Try exercises such as high-intensity interval workouts or a spin class.
    • Luteal. During this time, progesterone is on the rise as testosterone and estrogen deplete. Opt for strength training, Pilates, and more intense versions of yoga.

    Its always important to listen to your body and do what feels good. If you feel you can push yourself a little harder, or need to back off more during certain stages, this is OK. Listen to your body!

    As a functional nutritionist, Negron leans on food as medicine to address menstrual symptoms.

    Oftentimes, women tend to eat the same foods on a regular basis to save time and frustration.

    But the different ratios of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone throughout the month require different nutritional and detoxification needs.

    Shaking up what we eat on a week-to-week basis is imperative to support our cyclical body, she explains.

    According to Dr. Mark Hyman, Imbalances in your hormones are triggered by bad food. This means removing or limiting sugar, alcohol, and caffeine, especially during the menstrual phase.

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    Ovulation: The Egg Goes On Its Journey

    About 14 days into the cycle , we enter a new, one-day phase where the ovary releases an egg for possible fertilization: ovulation.

    • This is a time of *peak* fertility. The five days leading up to and the day of ovulation are considered your fertile window, meaning the days when your chances for conception are highest.
    • Why are the days before ovulation part of that window? The egg only has 12-24 hours for fertilization, but sperm can last up to five days in the reproductive tract so sex or insemination during that 6-day window can mean sperm is there waiting when the egg is released.
    • Tracking your ovulation to plan sex or insemination around your fertile window increases the likelihood that sperm and egg will meet up at *just* the right time for fertilization to be possible.
    • During ovulation, your cervical mucus is also at its fertile peak its slippery, clear, and stretchy, and has a similar consistency to a raw egg white.
    • If sperm tries to meet up with the egg at this time, the mucus will help move sperm past the cervix and make conception more likely.

    Whats happening in the ovaries during ovulation:

  • 24-48 hours before ovulation, the rise in estrogen produced by the dominant follicle signals that its time to ramp up luteinizing hormone production in the brain.
  • The dominant follicle ruptures and releases a mature egg.
  • The little finger-like tendrils at the end of the fallopian tube grab the egg and send it on its way through the tube .
  • Hormones And The Follicular Phase

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    The Starting Place

    • Everything begins with when the hypothalamus produces the gonadotropin-releasing hormone .
    • Once produced, the GnRH will then trigger your pituitary gland to release the follicle stimulating hormone . This hormone’s job is to stimulate the growth and development of your eggs.

    The Follicle Stimulating Hormone

    • The FSH then makes the journey through your bloodstream to your ovaries.
    • Once the follicle stimulating hormone arrives, it triggers the growth of a follicle to develop into a mature egg.

    The Role of the Follicle

    • As the follicle develops and matures, it produces the hormone, estrogen.
    • After about 10 days, the estrogen levels reach high numbers.
    • The estrogen level peaks approximately one day before ovulation .
    • This estrogen peak tells the brain that the egg has matured and triggers the pituitary gland to release a surge of luteinizing hormone .

    The LH Surge

    • This LH surge acts as a cue to the ovarian follicle.
    • About 24-36 hours after the LH surge, a mature egg breaks out of the ovary and is released into the fallopian tubethis is ovulation.
    • The egg leaves behind the corpus luteum .

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