What Is The Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is governed by an interaction between reproductive hormones that result in growth of a follicle , ovulation , formation of the corpus luteum . If no pregnancy occurs, the fall in progesterone leads to shedding of the endometrial lining and recommencing the cycle. The menstrual cycle typically has a duration of 28 days from the first day of menstrual bleeding until the first day of menstrual bleeding of the next cycle, but can range from 21 to 35 days. Less frequent menstrual cycles are termed oligomenorrhoea, and absent menstrual cycles are termed amenorrhoea.
The hormones governing the menstrual cycle change as follows:
Diagram of the menstrual cycle
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Estradiol
Painful sex due to a lack of vaginal lubrication are some of the symptoms of low estrogen. There has been an increase in urinary tract infections. There are periods that are irregular or absent. There are shifts in mood. There were hot flashes. There is breast tenderness. There are headaches or accentuations of pre-existing headaches. Depression.
What Does Estrogen Do
Estrogen is responsible for female sexual development, triggering the growth of breasts, pubic hair, and other sex characteristics during puberty. This hormone also plays an important role in maintaining your reproductive health by controlling the growth of the uterine lining at the beginning of your menstrual cycle and during pregnancy.
However, estrogen also plays an important role in your overall health. Estrogen regulates your bone and cholesterol metabolism, as well as your body weight, glucose metabolism, and insulin sensitivity.
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How The Luteal Phase Might Feel
Common symptoms of the second part of the luteal phase include all of the known symptoms of PMS, such as:
- Increased appetite
- Oily hair and skin
For people who experience PMS, the second part of the luteal phase may bring discomfort and interfere with daily life. Learning how to relieve PMS symptoms can provide an increased understanding of the body and help get you through the luteal phase with minimal discomfort.
Higher Circulating Cortisol In The Follicular Vs Luteal Phase Of The Menstrual Cycle: A Meta
- 1Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States
- 2Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands
- 3Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States
- 4The Psychiatric Institute, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States
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Tests For Estrogen Level Changes
Your doctor may recommend taking an estrogen level test to measure the amount of estrogen in your blood or urine. Blood tests are performed by inserting a needle into your vein and taking a sample of blood. With urine tests, doctors ask people to collect urine samples over 24 hours. There are also tests available that measure your estrogen levels using your saliva.
Estrogen tests help to:
The Menstrual Cycle Is Broken Into Phases
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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How Does High Estrogen Affect The Body Of A Woman Or Afab Person
Its rare for your levels to be high because of the estrogen youre producing. Its more likely that your estrogen levels are high because of medications youre taking. For instance, you may have a low sex drive because of high estrogen levels, but this is most likely caused by your birth control pills not your bodys natural estrogen.
Vitamin D And Pyridoxic Acid Increased In The Menstrual Phase
Nineteen clinical parameters were tested including eight B vitamins, cofactors and metabolites. C reactive protein was statistically significant in L-F , while high density lipoprotein , triglycerides and cholesterol were statistically significant in L-F . Glucose showed rhythmicity with a statistically significant decrease in the luteal phase in comparison to menstrual, pre-menstrual and periovulatory phases . Magnesium showed a statistically significant decrease in L-M and O-M and riboflavin showed a statistically significant decrease in luteal vs. pre-menstrual phases. However, these results were not significant when corrected for multiple testing . Vitamin D showed significant decreases in L-F, L-M and O-M with L-M and O-M and met the multiple testing threshold q< 0.20). Moreover, the menstrual phase consistently showed higher levels of vitamin D. Pyridoxic acid also showed an elevation in the menstrual compared to the periovulatory phases .
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Hormones And Your Menstrual Cycle
Chioma Ndubisi, MD, is a board-certified OB/GYN who specializes in sexual and reproductive health in New York, New York.
Your menstrual cycle is controlled by hormone signals in the brain. Each month, your ovary will release an egg after the egg has matured. The egg enters into the fallopian tube and makes its way down to the uterus with hopes that a sperm will fertilize it. Your monthly menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period and lasts until the first day of your next period.
How Can I Naturally Balance My Estrogen
12 Natural Ways to Balance Your Hormones Eat Enough Protein at Every Meal. Consuming an adequate amount of protein is extremely important. Engage in Regular Exercise. Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbs. Learn to Manage Stress. Consume Healthy Fats. Avoid Overeating and Undereating. Drink Green Tea. Eat Fatty Fish Often.
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What Happens When Estrogen Levels Are Consistently Low
Low estrogen is often a tell-tale sign that youre approaching menopause. Low estrogen may also signify a fertility problem, a nutritional deficiency, a condition like Turner syndrome, etc.
Symptoms may include:
- Hot flashes and night sweats.
- Irregular periods or no periods.
- Headaches, trouble concentrating.
Signs And Symptoms Of High Estrogen
What is estrogen?
Your bodys hormones are like a seesaw. When theyre perfectly balanced, your body works as it should. But when theyre unbalanced, you may begin experiencing problems.
Estrogen is known as the female hormone. Testosterone is known as the male hormone. Although each hormone is identified with a specific sex, both are found in women and men. On average, women have higher levels of estrogen and men have more testosterone.
In women, estrogen helps initiate sexual development. Along with another female sex hormone known as progesterone, it also regulates a womans menstrual cycle and affects her entire reproductive system. In premenopausal women, estrogen and progesterone levels vary from one stage of the menstrual cycle to another.
In men, estrogen also plays an important role in sexual function.
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Characteristics Of Individual Studies
After removal of duplicate studies, literature search identified 2, 226 individual abstracts as shown in the PRISMA figure . Those abstracts were screened for relevance and coded for exclusion reasons. The greatest number of abstracts excluded was based on absence of menstrual cycle groups, followed by cell line/animal research studies. A total of 256 full-text articles were reviewed for relevance, of which 221 were excluded. Of the 221 studies, 44 were excluded based on the self-report nature of menstrual cycle phase determination, and 40 were excluded because they either didn’t mention cortisol collection time, or the morning sample was collected at times which varied by two or more hours. The analysis included data from 35 final studies.
Figure 1. PRISMA flow diagram.
Table 1. Participant information from individual studies.
Table 2. Menstrual cycle and outcome measure information from individual studies.
Causes Of High Estrogen
High levels of estrogen can develop naturally, but too much estrogen can also result from taking certain medications. For example, estrogen replacement therapy, a popular treatment for symptoms of menopause, may cause estrogen to reach problematic levels.
Your body may also develop low testosterone or low progesterone levels, which can upset your hormonal balance. If you have estrogen levels that are abnormally high relative to your progesterone levels, its known as estrogen dominance.
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Week 3 Begins The Day After Ovulation And Lasts 8 Days : Progesterone Rises Estrogen And Testosterone Drop The First Half This Week Then Estrogen Rises Again
Your Week 3 is really a two-parter: During the first half, you can experience a pre-PMS phase. The symptoms are like a shorter, less intense version of premenstrual syndrome and may include irritability, fatigue and a down mood. Like PMS, this pre-PMS phase is also caused by plunging estrogen. While most women are aware that estrogen plunges once in their cyclein the six days before their periodnot many realize there are actually two estrogen dips every cycle .
Luckily, by the second half of your Week 3, estrogen rises again, putting a stop to any annoying pre-PMS symptoms youve experienced, which helps level out your mood.
Progesterone rises throughout your Week 3 and, as it does, it slows you down and makes you quieter, more cautious and a bit foggy and physically fatigued. Thats because progesterone is a sedating hormone. If youre sensitive to progesterone, this can be a cycle phase when you experience bouts of sadness or crying.
During your Week 3, progesterone has you craving favorite comfort foods that are high in fat and calories. Your appetite is also greater and youre hungrier more often, so you tend to eat more at meals and snack more frequently. All this is because your body thinks you might have gotten pregnant during ovulation, so progesterone wants you to eat enough for two.
Menstrual Cycle: Two Main Phases
The follicular phase begins with the first day of bleeding . It is called the follicular phase because this is when the ovarian follicles, fluid filled structures containing one egg each, grow. Follicular growth is driven by the appropriately named follicle stimulating hormone which is produced by the pituitary gland.
In a typical menstrual cycle, communication between the brain and ovary leads to the development of a single dominant follicle, which will ultimately release its egg at ovulation. As the dominant follicle grows under the influence of FSH, it starts to produce increasing levels of estrogen.
Estrogen has two basic functions in the menstrual cycle. One is to develop the uterine lining, which increases in thickness during the follicular phase. The second is to trigger the surge of another hormone, luteinizing hormone , which is released from the pituitary gland when estrogen levels are at their highest, prior to ovulation. This LH surge leads to ovulation of the egg from the dominant follicle. LH is also the hormone that is picked up by home ovulation predictor kits.
The most fertile period is from the three days leading up to ovulation through the day of ovulation. This is the also called the fertile window.
If pregnancy occurs, the uterine lining is maintained and progesterone levels stay elevated as the embryo develops.
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The Two Parts Of Your Menstrual Cycle
The first part of your menstrual cycle is called the follicular phase. This phase starts on the first day of your last period and continues until the day you ovulate. This phase of your menstrual cycle may be different for every woman . The second part of your menstrual cycle is called the luteal phase. This phase begins on the day of ovulation and lasts until your next period starts. The luteal phase usually has a more precise timelinefor most women, this part of your menstrual cycle typically lasts around 12-16 days.
Understanding The Monthly Cycle Can Improve Symptoms
Heres how to improve symptoms by getting to know the menstrual cycle.
- Tracking cycles using a calendar can help some people better anticipate symptoms.
- Noting personal observations on a calendar can show which diet, skin care, and other changes have an effect on symptoms.
- Changes in blood glucose levels and insulin resistance due to fluctuations of progesterone can affect appetite. Knowing how hormonal changes affect insulin and tracking your appetite changes and cravings can help you monitor your health.
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Summary Of Follicular Phase Endocrine Follicle And Endometrial Activity
The follicular phase of the menstrual cycle has three stages . The early stage is dominated by FSH and follicle recruitment. The mid-stage is characterized by FSH-estrogen predominance for follicle selection and uterine proliferation. The late stage is an LH-Estrogen predominance assisted by TRH and PL, and regulated by ACTH. The culmination of the follicular phase is ovulation, which requires a combination of LH, prostaglandins , progesterone, and T4 .
Fig. 4.24. A summary of the follicular phase activity of gonadotropic hormones according to the theory of Endobiogeny. The intrinsic gonadotropic hormones are assisted by ACTH , as well as prolactin and TRH . In summary, ovulation is a luteal feat which occurs within an environment prepared by follicular hormones in conjunction with corticotropic, thyrotropic, and somatotropic factors. Bottom left shows the status of development of the follicle, uterine lining , and cervical mucus throughout the follicular phase. E2, estrogens No, number P2, progesterone Recep., receptors.
Efficiency of FSH and estrogens within the ovary are the most indicative prospects of development of a viable ovum.
Efficiency of estrogen activity on endometrial proliferation is the most important determination of the length of the menstrual cycle.
Michael R. Wills RD, MD, PhD, MRCP, FACP, FRCPath, Bill Havard MA, DM, FRCP, in, 1983
How Can Hormones Affect Your Mood
Hormones affect your mood by sending messages to your brain. If you go through something stressful, certain hormones will send signals to your brain that can affect the way that you think, the way you remember things, and maybe even how you view and bond with other people.
The same is true when you do things that make you feel good. Hormones like dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin are released. They communicate with your brain and make you feel happy.
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Other Causes Of High Estrogen Levels
Furthermore, high estrogen levels can be induced by the following conditions:
- Insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, the body doesn’t properly regulate the amount of glucose in the blood, which can cause an increase in body fat. In turn, extra estrogen can be produced from this body fat.
- Poor liver function. Reabsorption of estrogen back into the body or generation of elevated estrogen levels can result from improper liver functioning. The organ is responsible for the metabolism and excretion of estrogen.
Paying attention to hormonal levels is important before imbalances develop into more serious complications. Continue reading to learn more about the signs and symptoms of high estrogen.
Clinical And Vitamin Biochemistry
Standard clinical routine analysis of human serum samples was performed by the Molecular Nutrition laboratory at NIHS. The applied Architect plus ci4100 platform from Abbott Laboratories , consists of a chemistry and an immunoassay module. Glucose, insulin, vitamin B12, holotranscobalamin, folate, 25-hydroxy vitamin D and cortisol were determined by chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassays while cholesterol, HDL, triglycerides, high sensitivity C-reactive protein , ceruloplasmin, copper and magnesium were analyzed using the ARCHITECT cSystems assays developed by Abbott Laboratories .
Plasma analysis was completed by Vitas Analytical Services, Oslo, Norway for B1 , B2 , and B6 . The analysis was performed with an an Agilent LC-FLD 1200 system using a fluorescence detector . Separation of the analytes was achieved by a Phenomenex Kinetex® column . Unknowns were calibrated against known standards from Sigma-Aldrich, and reported as nmol/l.
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What Are The Treatments For High Estrogen
The treatments your provider recommends will depend on whats causing your high estrogen levels. In some cases, lifestyle changes may help. If high estrogen levels increase your cancer risk or worsen cancer you already have, your provider may recommend more aggressive treatments.
There are few medications that directly decrease estrogen. Usually, whats needed is to identify the underlying cause and treating this first.
Making some lifestyle changes may help lower your estrogen levels. Your provider may recommend that you:
Your provider can adjust your prescription if the hormones youre taking are causing high estrogen. You may need medicine if you have cancer spreading in response to estrogen exposure.
- Aromatase inhibitors: Aromatase inhibitors are used to treat breast cancer. They prevent your fat cells from making estrogen. Aromatase inhibitors include Anastrozole , Exemestane and Letrozole .
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists: GnRH agonists stop your ovaries from releasing estrogen.
Plasma Phospholipids Were Significantly Reduced In The Luteal Phase
Of the 139 lipid species with detectable plasma levels, 57 reached statistical significance, , for 1 to 5 phase contrast comparisons: L-F, L-M, L-O, P-L and O-M . Thirty eight percent of the lipid species tested consistently showed a statistically significant decrease in the luteal phase relative to the follicular and in some cases, relative to the menstrual phase with 7 compounds showing a decrease in comparison to the premenstrual phase and 2 in comparison to the periovulatory phase. One compound, LPE 22:6, showed a statistically significant difference in 4 out of the 5 phase contrasts: L-F, L-M, L-O and P-L. After multiple testing, at q< 0.20, 17 lipid species met this threshold for L-F including 6 LPCs, 10 PCs and 1 LPE. One other LPC met this threshold for O-M .
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