What Do Estrogen and Progesterone Do in Menstrual cycle?

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Actually, your menstrual cycle is the series of changes your reproductive system goes through to prepare for a possible conception of pregnancy. The length of the cycle can vary from woman to woman (about 21 to 35 days). In each cycle, your uterus grows a new. Both your estrogen and progesterone can do & play a key role in each of your menstrual period.

Major phases of your menstrual cycle

Normal menstrual bleeding is the process of elimination of endometrium (the thickened uterus lining). This can be a sign that there is no any sperm that fertilize the egg released during ovulation.

Typically, the fluids of menstruation contain endometrial cells (these cells comes from the uterus lining), blood, and some mucus. On average, the length of this bleeding is about 3 day to 7 days.

During menstrual flow, it’s important for women to use appropriate tampons or sanitary pads to help absorb the bleeding. And these tampons /pads should be replaced regularly or at least every 4 hours.

The following are 3 major phases of your period [1].

Follicular phase is the first half of the period. It occurs from the first day you notice the bleeding of menstruation and will ends with the release of egg (ovulation).

In each follicular phase, the female body can make around 5-20 cysts or tiny nodules (follicles). Each of these follicle houses an egg (immature egg).

But typically, most of these follicles end with death and eventually there is only one follicle that successfully house and release the fully-matured egg.

As well we know, the phase of ovulation is very crucial if you with your partner are expecting a pregnancy. In ovulation, your ovary releases an egg (mature egg).

If you do intercourse without birth control during this phase, your chance of getting pregnant is very high. Therefore, it’s important to know the days of your ovulation if you are trying to get pregnant.

How long does ovulation last? Typically, it can take about 2 days. But the life span of egg is not more than a day (24 hours).

While follicular phase is your first half cycle, luteal phase is your second half cycle. The ruptured follicle during ovulation then will go into the structure called corpus luteum.

The female body can maintain the corpus luteum if there is egg fertilized by sperm and implant on the lining of the uterus.

If there is no pregnancy, the corpus luteum will disappear and your body returns to the first phase of your menstrual cycle to release a new egg. This is followed with the production of hormones called prostaglandins to trigger the smooth muscles of the uterus lining to contract and eliminate endometrium.

The large amounts of prostaglandins can play a key role in affecting the occurrence of some symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), particularly such as menstrual cramps, diarrhea, and abdominal bloating.

What does estrogen do in your menstrual period?

As mentioned before, estrogen is one of the most crucial hormones in regulating the cycle of your menstruation. Estrogen plays a key role in the first half phase of your menstrual cycle.

In general, there are two main functions that your body needs to prepare in this first half phase. These include [2]:

  1. To prepare maturation of an egg that will be released during ovulation.
  2. And to thicken the lining of uterus. This is purposed for the place of implantation of fertilized egg.

Estrogen is not the single hormone that plays a key role in this first half cycle. It works with another hormone called follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH.

Follicle-stimulating hormone can trigger the ovary to mature one egg for ovulation. In line with the process of maturing an egg, FSH triggers the cells of follicles to produce and secrete estrogen.

And then estrogen will trigger the uterus lining to thicken, preparing for the possible conception for pregnancy.

When there is an egg within a follicle has fully matured, the female body will release hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH) to cause this egg to get released from the ovary. This fully-ripened egg then will move to the fallopian tube, waiting to be fertilized by sperm.

How about progesterone, what does it do in your menstrual cycle?

image_illustration91After ovulation, you then go into the second half phase of your period. In this phase, there are two major possibilities:

  1. You get a fertilized egg, if you do intercourse (particularly if you do it without protection or birth control). Then this egg attaches /implants to the endometrium (the thickened uterus lining), and your pregnancy begins.
  2. Or there is no any sperm that fertilize the egg, and you do not get pregnancy. And then your endometrium starts to disappear which then eventually break down in the days of your menstrual bleeding.

Generally, the main function of this second half phase is to support a pregnancy, and this can be a starting point why your body produces progesterone.


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