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The Menstrual Cycle
Transcript of The Menstrual Cycle
The Cycle of Menstruation
What is the Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is a process that repeats itself approximately every 4 weeks...
During week 1 the women sheds the lining of her uterus in what is called a period (better known as menstruation).
Throughout week 2 the women slowly starts to build up the lining of her uterus. At this point Ovulation begins to take place.
Weeks 3 & 4 of the Menstrual Cycle
These to weeks are a bit boring, the lining of the uterus just continues to build up.
However it is important to note that days 14 to 16 are the best time for the egg to be fertilised.
Finally if you are pregnant you will miss your period, but if you don't the cycle will start all again!
So what else is going on during the menstrual cycle?
The menstrual cycle is a mess of many different hormone levels going up and down. It's these hormones that trigger and stimulate the different moods and emotions of the women, along with the different bodily processes that go on (like ovulation).
Follicle Stimulating Hormone
...And thats actually it.
What do the
FSH is secreted by the pituitary gland and triggers two processes. First of all it causes an egg to mature in the ovary and causes the ovaries to release oestrogen. This all happens around the first couple of weeks leading to ovulation.
After being secreted by the ovaries Oestrogen restricts and lowers FSH levels to stop multiple eggs maturing. It also causes the pituitary gland to release LH. Oestrogen peaks at ovulation.
Even More Hormones
LH only has one purpose, it triggers a tear in the ovary in which the matured egg can be released, this peaks at ovulatuion.
This hormone maintains the uterus lining and remains fairly high till menstruation when it rapidly drops.
Comparing the Graphs
From the graph of the many hormones we can see how each hormone triggers another to be secreted. It is the levels of progesterone that have the largest impact on the uterus lining. As progesterone peaks so does the size of the uterus lining. The other 3 hormones are more related to the process of ovulation as they each have a specific role to play in that process however it is the very low oestrogen levels and progesterone levels that trigger menstruation.