What are the Hormones of your Menstrual Cycle?
The menstrual cycle is a natural yet miraculous process that a woman’s body undergoes every month. The masterminds of this process are the hormones, which are the chemical messengers that control and harmonize the four phases of the cycle. Understanding the hormones is vital especially if you want to go for cycle syncing. There are 6 key hormones of the menstrual cycle, which are explained as follows.
1. Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
FSH initiates the menstrual cycle and plays a vital role in the reproductive system.
FSH is produced in a small part of the brain called the pituitary gland. As the name indicates, FSH stimulates the growth and development of follicles (small ovarian sacks). Follicles contain eggs and one of these eggs is chosen for the ovulation phase.
2. Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
LH is a sign of the arrival of ovulation. It releases the eggs from the ovary.
Another product of the pituitary gland, LH directs the eggs from the ovary into the fallopian tube, where it waits for the perfect sperm to come. It acts as a catalyst for the reproductive system. LH is also known as ovulation hormone, as it is the star hormone of this phase. LH is a key indicator for those who want to conceive as it predicts the best time for having intercourse.
Estrogen gets your body ready for the potential pregnancy.
Estrogen is produced by the ovary and has a vital role in several processes. It prepares the uterus and cervix for a possible pregnancy. Estrogens, when rise, increase the release of LH which leads to ovulation. One of the most interesting functions of Estrogen is, that it facilitates the sperm’s travel towards the egg.
Progesterone is a regulator hormone of the menstrual cycle.
Progesterone is produced by a temporary cyst created during the luteal phase, called corpus luteum. It stops further ovulation and gets the uterus ready for embryo implantation. It also plays a key role in survival of the early pregnancy, and when there is not one, progesterone declines, which sheds the uterus lining and leads to periods.
5. Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH)
GnRH keeps the cycle on track.
GnRH, is a product of the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that produces several hormones. It sends a signal to the other hormones to stay in action. It guides the rhythm and pattern of the hormones, making sure the right hormone is released at the right time.
6. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)
A hormone that announces pregnancy in tests.
hCG is released by the embryo (fertilized egg created with the successful union of sperm and egg). It supports pregnancy by keeping the uterine lining intact before the placenta takes over. It also prevents the embryo from any possible attacks from the mother’s immune system. It not only promotes the growth and development of the placenta but also the fetus by producing vital hormones e.g., progesterone.
These are the vital hormones that orchestrate and regulate your menstrual cycle. A better understanding of these hormones lets you sync your daily life according to the natural cycles.