The menstrual cycle and hormones control the shedding of the uterine lining, which results in bleeding. Menstruation is necessary for reproduction and is regarded as an indicator of a woman’s reproductive years. The menstruation cycle begins with menstruation and ends with menopause.
Women frequently have questions about what is and isn’t normal in their menstrual cycles. The women who are trying to conceive may be confused about what is going on with their bodies. Women should have a basic understanding of what is going on in their bodies to assist their doctors in diagnosing any problems that may arise.
Normal menstrual cycle and hormones are counted from the start of one cycle’s bleeding to the first day of the next cycle’s bleeding, not from the end of one cycle to the start of the next, as many women believe.
Hormones and Menstrual Cycle
Cycles are typically 25 to 35 days long, with only 10% of women having the ‘standard’ 28-day cycle. Phases of the menstrual cycle and hormones regulate the stages of pregnancy preparation; two are produced by the pituitary gland and two by the ovaries.
The pituitary gland regulates luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone production and release.
The uterus begins to build up the lining in preparation for a possible pregnancy during the first 13 days of the cycle. This is the follicular phase, which lasts until a surge of the luteinizing hormone causes an egg to be released in preparation for ovulation. During menopause, the follicular phase shortens.
The menstrual cycle and hormones in the follicular phase are follicle-stimulating hormones produced by the pituitary gland that stimulate the ovaries to produce 1-20 eggs. As the hormone level falls, only one egg continues to grow; this is the dominant egg.
The dominant egg exits the ovaries, leaving behind an empty shell known as the corpus luteum.
Phases of Menstrual Cycle And Hormones
The next stage is the ovulatory phase, which is marked by the release of the egg. Following the release of the egg, the corpus luteum secretes estrogen and progesterone to support the uterine lining. If no egg is fertilized, the hormone levels drop, causing the body to shed the uterine lining – menstruation.
Menstrual blood loss averages 4-12 ounces per month with a low of 12 ounces, and a high of 10 ounces. Most women believe that these figures are inaccurate, but unless there is heavy bleeding as a result of an abnormal medical diagnosis, the amount of loss has been quantified in several studies.
The menstrual cycle and hormones complete the three phases with the luteal phase, which occurs 14 days after the ovulatory phase.
These phases of the menstrual cycle and hormones appear to overlap with the luteal and follicular phases. However, without drawing hormone levels, it is difficult to predict the start of one phase to the next. This happens to all women, and all women have a responsibility to understand what is going on.