Relate the hormonal changes of a typical female menstrual cycle Essay:
Menstruation refers to the shedding of the lining of the uterus. The menstrual cycle begins at puberty and stops at menopause. The cycle begins with bleeding in day one and the bleeding takes 3 to 7 days .The cycle ends just before the next menstrual period. The bleeding varies from one woman to the next with some take short time while others take long. Also some bleedings are heavy while others are light. All these difference take place because of the hormonal changes. In this discussion let’s look at the hormonal changes in a typical female menstrual cycle.
The cycle is regulated by hormones; luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone produced by pituitary gland. Ovaries are stimulated to produce estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones cause the uterus and the breast for fertilization. The cycle is divided into three phases: before the egg is released (follicular), when the egg is released (ovulatory) and after the egg is released (luteal) (Menstrual Cycles: What Really Happens in those 28 Days, 2012).
In the first day bleeding starts and the hormones estrogen and progestin decrease. The decrease causes the endometrium wall of the uterus to break down and shed off. The follicle-stimulating hormone on the other hand increases during menstruation. An increase in the follicle hormone causes the development of several follicles in the ovary which contain the eggs (Menstrual Cycles: What Really Happens in those 28 Days, 2012) . Later the follicle-stimulating hormone decreases and only one follicle continue to develop. This follicle begins to produce estrogen hormone.
The ovulatory phase begins when a surge in luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone level occurs. During this process blood supply to the ovary increases and the ligament around the ovary contract causing the ovary to move close to the fallopian tube. The luteinizing hormone stimulates the egg release. The process takes between 16 to 32 hours after the surge. The egg is then carried along the fallopian tube to the ovary by hairy projections called cilia. The estrogen level starts to increase at the same time progesterone hormone also increases (Menstrual Cycles: What Really Happens in those 28 Days, 2012).
After the egg has been released (luteal phase), the levels of the follicle-stimulating hormone and the luteinizing hormone decreases. After the follicle rapture releasing the egg, it forms a corpus luteum which produces progesterone. The estrogen level continues to be high as the corpus luteum continues to heal. The presence of progesterone hormone causes the lining of the uterus thicken more in preparation for fertilization. Progesterone hormone maintains a pregnancy after fertilization. When fertilization does not occur, the corpus luteum degenerates. And changes from yellow to white and it is called the corpus albicans .The production of progesterone hormone stops and the estrogen level drops when fertilization does not take place. The spiral arteries of the lining close stopping the blood flow to the surface of the lining. The top layer of the layer sheds off and menstruation occurs making the beginning of another menstrual cycle.
In summary menstrual cycle comprises of 28 days. Menstruation takes 3 to 7 days varying from one woman to the next. The menstrual cycle takes place in three phases, follicular phase, ovulatory phase and the luteal phase. The hormones that are present during the menstrual cycle are follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, estrogen hormone and progesterone hormone. The levels of the hormones vary depending on the phase of the cycle. The process repeats itself at each of the cycle. The cycle stops when the egg is fertilized and permanently when a woman reaches menopause.
Menstrual Cycles: What Really Happens in those 28 Days. (2012, June 2). Retrieved July 22, 2015, from