Mar 10, 2023

Written by @zillennialtherapy & Estefania Pena 

The cycle is HARD to understand! We have broken it down as simply as we can.

The Female Hormone Cycle :
28 day cycle (sometimes ranging from 21 to 35 days)
The female hormone cycle is a natural process regulated by a complex interplay of hormones that work
together to prepare for the possibility of pregnancy.

The two primary hormones involved are ESTROGEN and PROGESTERONE, both produced by the ovaries.

The cycle is controlled by the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovaries which work together to regulate the levels of these hormones.


Menstrual Phase: GETTING READY: women are more prone to rest, reflect and decision-make:

In simpler terms:
The body starts by getting ready for the possibility of pregnancy. The menstrual phase marks the beginning of the cycle and lasts for 3-7 days.

During this stage, the uterus sheds its lining and gains a fresh lining resulting in bleeding from the vagina. Hormones: estrogen and progesterone start building up.

In more complicated terms:
During the menstrual phase, the levels of estrogen and progesterone are low.

The hypothalamus releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which signals the pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).


Follicular Phase: THE BIG MOMENT: women are more prone to plan ahead, have new ideas and cultivate new beginnings:

Levels of Estrogen are rising, which helps with mood regulation, which might have a positive effect on mood and increased energy, making exercise easier during this phase of the menstrual cycle.

In simpler terms:
The follicular phase begins on the first day of menstruation and lasts for about 10-14 days. When the lining of your uterus is shed, a sac containing an egg develops in your ovary.

During this stage, follicles in the ovaries start to mature and produce estrogen; causing the lining of the uterus to thicken.

The ovaries also produce a follicle, which contains an egg that will be released during ovulation. The egg travels down the fallopian tube and may or may not be fertilized by sperm.

If the body decides it's time to have a baby, one of the ovaries releases an egg, which travels through the fallopian tube. This is called ovulation.

In more complicated terms:
Follicle-stimulating hormones stimulate the growth of follicles in the ovaries, which produce estrogen.

As estrogen levels rise, it signals the endometrium to thicken in preparation for implantation of a
fertilized egg.


Ovulatory Phase: GETTING SERIOUS: women have a spike in testosterone, which makes us more
prone to socialize and feel energized:

In simpler terms:
Ovulation typically occurs around day 14 of the cycle. During this stage, the mature follicle releases
an egg, which travels through the fallopian tube and can be fertilized by sperm.

Ovulation is the most fertile phase of the cycle. After the egg is released, the body gets more serious about preparing for pregnancy.

The lining of the uterus gets thicker and more blood vessels grow to support a possible baby. Hormones called progesterone and estrogen help with this.


In more scientific terms:
As estrogen levels peak, it triggers a surge in luteinizing hormone, which causes the mature follicle to rupture and release an egg and travel down the fallopian tube, where it may be fertilized by sperm.

As the egg matures, it is surrounded by a group of cells called the corona radiata, which helps nourish the egg and provide it with the energy it needs to complete the final stages of maturation.

Hormones During Ovulation: Both fluctuating during the menstrual cycle, the hormones FSH and LH are produced in the brain by the pituitary gland in response to signals from the hypothalamus, which controls the endocrine system.


Luteal Phase: RESTART: women are focused, productive, and most organized: There might be a decrease in energy and worsening of mood and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) physical and emotional symptoms like bloating, breast tenderness, mood swings, irritability, and difficulty sleeping.

In simpler terms:
The luteal phase begins after ovulation and lasts for about 14 days until the start of your next period.

During this stage, the ruptured follicle transforms into the corpus luteum, which produces progesterone to prepare the uterus for pregnancy.

If the egg is not fertilized, the corpus luteum disintegrates, and the levels of estrogen and progesterone drop, letting the body know it’s not time for a baby.

Leading to the onset of menstruation and the beginning of a new cycle.


In more scientific terms:
After ovulation, the ruptured follicle transforms into the corpus luteum, which produces progesterone.

Progesterone prepares the uterus for pregnancy by thickening the endometrium and suppressing
the release of FSH and LH.

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