After learning more about my menstrual cycle, I realized I was not the only one who was lost. Many schools do not offer sex education, in which women lose the opportunity to learn about their body changing. I had a sex education class, but the only thing I took away have I had a uterus and that I should not have sex. Disappointing right?
Fast forwarding to now, I’m in my twenties and JUST learning about my hormonal cycles. There’s a reason why I feel bloated one week and another I feel like I could conquer the world. For many of you reading, this information could be old news, but others it can answer a lot of their questions.
For many women, the average cycle lasts about 28 days but can be as long as 35 days. The cycle is set up into two phases.
The first is in between 1-14 days and it is called the follicular phase.
Our follicular phase begins once we get our period.
During this phase, the combinations of hormones are growing in the follicle in the ovaries to produce an egg. Estrogen stimulates the hypothalamus to produce GnRH (Gonadotropin- Releasing Hormone) to trigger the Pituitary Gland. This, in turn, produces Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and the Luteinizing Hormone (LH). By the 14 days, this is referred to as the “Ovulation Period” as Estrogen is increasing to also increase LH. Progesterone along with Estrogen begins to thicken the uterine lining for a potential embryo.
Ovulation occurs between the 10-14th day of the follicular phase, in which we have the optimal chance of getting pregnant.
After the 14th day, the next phase begins and is known as the Luteal Phase.
Estrogen begins to decline as Progesterone is increasing due to the formation of the corpus luteum. This is caused by the release of an egg. GnRH and LH are no longer prevalent due to lack of Estrogen. If the ovum or egg is not fertilized the corpus luteum decays. This begins the process if having your period as the lack of hormones causes the blood and nutrients to be removed from the uterine wall.
Once you get your period, the luteal phase is over and the follicular phase begins!
I hope this post gives you a little more insight, in what your body does. Comment below if you’d be interested in the forms of Birth Control.