The Menstrual Cycle

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The Menstrual Cycle

At day one the endometrium (womb lining) is breaking down because of the drop in progesterone at the end of the previous cycle.

The low level of progesterone allows follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) to be secreted by the pituitary gland. The rise in FSH stimulates the development of an egg in the ovary and the production of oestrogen by the cells surrounding the egg.

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Between days six and twelve the developing egg releases increasing amounts of oestrogen which #1 makes the endometrium thicken #2 eventually reaches a level which tells the pituitary gland to release luteinising hormone (LH). #3 reduces the production of FSH which causes a drop in oestrogen production. #4 days thirteen to fourteen LH peaks this stimulates ovulation then the LH makes cells grow in the space where the egg was (corpus luteum) and the cells release progesterone. Days fifteen to twenty four progesterone maintains the endometrium and increases its blood supply. It inhibits the production of FSH and LH. Days ...

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