Hormones affect every woman in different ways, and we all have them. Often we don't directly feel the influence they have on our bodies, but sometimes we do – most notably during puberty when the sex hormones are produced in larger amounts. These hormones, including estrogen and progestins, enable and influence the menstrual cycle.
Hormones and The Menstrual Cycle
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Estrogen
At the beginning of your cycle a gland in your brain produces the FSH hormone, which stimulates a cluster of follicles (containing undeveloped eggs) to develop in your ovaries. These follicles release estrogen, a hormone that causes the lining of your womb to thicken.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
As one of the eggs develops in the ovaries, estrogen levels rise further. When they are high enough, the pituitary gland releases LH, which triggers ovulation. The follicle bursts, and the egg leaves the ovary to travel down the fallopian tubes.
The burst follicle in the ovary then produces progesterone, which transforms the womb lining in order to receive a fertilized egg. If the egg is not fertilized, progesterone levels drop, and the lining of the womb is discharged in menstruation.
Learn more about methods of contraception that may suit you and your lifestyle here:
A small, flexible T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of hormones. It is placed in your womb by a doctor.
A small, T-shaped plastic frame with a copper wire that is placed in your womb by a doctor.
A small, flexible silicone rod that releases hormones. It is placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor.
A shot containing progestin that is effective for up to three months. It is administered by a doctor.
NEED ADVICE? SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL
Seek out an appointment with your doctor or nurse for further support that is specific to you and your lifestyle.