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0:00 Intro: Ladies. How much do you actually know about your cycle? We know it happens about once a month but, there’s a lot to know more about our bodies when it happens. So let’s talk about the Female Monthly Cycle: How it works and Why it’s important.
0:18 Menstrual Cycle: As a woman matures, the body undergoes hormonal and physical changes. Menstruation starts from puberty and it’s an ongoing cycle only stopping during pregnancy or menopause. Menstruation is a normal phase for every woman as it prepares our bodies for pregnancy. There are 4 phases in the Female Monthly Cycle: Menstrual Phase, Follicular or Pre-Ovulation Phase, Ovulation Phase, Luteal or Premenstrual Phase. We’ll tackle them one by one.
0:52 Menstrual Phase: First is the Menstrual Phase. This is when the old endometrial lining sheds – consisting of blood, mucus, and tissue, and exits through the vagina. This is why there is bleeding in the first 5 – 7 days of a healthy cycle. In this phase, many women experience fatigue, cramps, and lower back pain.
1:13 Follicular Phase: Now it gets more interesting. At the end of the Menstrual phase, the pituitary gland receives signals from the hypothalamus to produce two hormones: Follicle-Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone. These hormones help tiny little follicles to mature until one becomes the chosen egg of the month. At this stage, estrogen levels peak. With the rising level of estrogen, the endometrium thickens and the cervical mucus’ consistency changes, making it more hospitable to the sperm to help optimize fertilization. During these days, the increase in estrogen also motivates the mood by increasing serotonin.
2:00 Ovulation Phase: After a while, the pituitary gland stops the production of FSH, estrogen drops suddenly and LH spikes. This causes the most mature egg cell to burst from the ovary (Ovulation) and begin its travel to the fallopian tube. The Ovulation Phase is a short fertility window, ready to be fertilized by a sperm cell within the next 24 hours. Otherwise, the egg disintegrates, leaving all those lovely hormones to do their last bit of work but the fertility window closes for that month.
The Ovulation phase can be quite tricky for some. Hormones play such an important role in the cycle that infertility can occur when there is hormonal imbalance. Overproduction of LH can often result in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Low levels of LH will prevent ovulation. So both situations can cause irregular periods.
2:57 Luteal Phase: The Luteal Phase or Premenstrual Phase is the final phase when progesterone rises and becomes the dominant hormone. As the endometrium becomes thicker with blood, progesterone fluffs it up in preparation for the fertilized egg to nest and be nourished. If no implantation occurs, progesterone and estrogen levels drop drastically and the endometrium prepares to shed. A new cycle begins with the first day of bleeding. During this final cyclic phase, imbalanced hormones can cause the occasional PMS’ mood swings and breakouts.
3:25 Ending: Not all females experience their monthly cycles exactly the same way. Some bloom late in puberty, while others have long intervals between. Tracking your cycle tells more than when to expect your ovulation or period but can also identify if there are any concerns worth noting. Need more information on how fertility, pregnancy and other aspects of the hormonal life of women work? Check out our health and fertility blogs at WholeFamilyProducts.com and BeyondFertility.com.
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