Menstrual Cycle Hormones Explained | HPO Axis + Ovulation



it's about time we have a serious chitchat about how we feel think and talk about the menstrual cycle common myth about dimensional cycle is that the most important part about it is the bleed however what we aren't fully informed about is the cycle that goes in between the bleed so administration to menstruation what is actually happening in between this time period we're going to cover a twosie how the menstrual cycle works stay tuned to have these questions answered so to start off the menstrual cycle we're gonna start at day 1 and day 1 is the first day of a full bleed not the spotting that leads up to it but a full regular bleed that is day 1 then after day 1 we lead up towards ovulation so once we've stopped bleeding our menstrual phase is now over and we are now progressing into our follicular phase so technically the menstrual phase or the section of bleeding is within the follicular phase of our menstrual cycle but I personally prefer to break it into four separate chunks just to get a good idea of how our hormones fluctuate within these four separate sections after our bleeding leading up towards the hormonal shifts that occur with ovulation I'm going to call our follicular phase and towards ovulation within the five days prior to and 24th after ovulation I'm going to call this chunk hour ovulatory phase and after ovule Ettore phase 24 hours after that egg is released we progress into our luteal phase and that continues until our first day of our bleed which is back at our menstrual phase scientifically speaking first day of menstruation – ovulation marks are follicular phase and ovulation – first day of menstruation marks our luteal phase but to make things a little bit easier to understand and to break them into a good reference point on how we're feeling and how our hormones are fluctuating I like to break them into those four categories menstrual phase follicular phase ovulatory phase and luteal phase these phases they've been outlined by Alisa Vitti and a few other health professionals out there and they are just a way of really embodying and feeling those fluctuations of hormones because if you look at a hormonal graph and I'll put it up right here you can see that it is pretty clear that in four sections of this graph our hormones are fluctuating if you take a look at it it's easy to divide it into four separate sections and do things to support these four separate categories so from day one which is our full bleed the brain starts communicating with our ovaries which are two glands located directly beside our uterus so we have our uterus our fallopian tubes and their ovaries here on the sides so our brain starts communicating with our ovaries the hypothalamus starts a policy note gonadotropin-releasing hormone and these pulses activate our anterior pituitary gland to start producing luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone now these output in small quantities especially the luteinizing hormone at this point and the follicle stimulating hormone which triggers the next cascade of events so the follicle stimulating hormone pulses out from our anterior pituitary gland which has been communicated from our hypothalamus so it goes hypothalamus pituitary gland and from the pituitary gland the follicle stimulating hormone communicates with our ovaries down here now inside our ovaries they're little little glands and in these glands we have follicles that start emerging from the sides these follicles are soon going to become the egg that gets released during ovulation so follicle stimulating hormone just like the name says it starts stimulating the growth of follicles within our ovary now the selection of these follicles isn't quite completely understood by science yet these follicles start to mature and they become more and more receptive to follicle stimulating hormone which increases the rate at which they mature now as these follicles mature they actually become sensitive to the low grade levels of luteinizing hormone and while this low-grade luteinizing hormone becomes responsive with inner follicle our follicles start to produce androgens as these follicles are developing the androgens get converted into estrogen and our estrogen levels begin to rise once our estrogen reaches a certain threshold luteinizing hormone is then triggered to be released in a search once our body receives a surge of LH due to rising estrogen levels our body is triggered to release the most mature follicle from our ovary now this release of the egg is ovulation during ovulation the ovary secretes the egg from the follicle and the follicle now becomes what's called a corpus luteum so with inner ovaries we now have the old follicle which is now called a corpus luteum and the egg that came out of her follicle and is now beginning its journey towards the uterus upon this eggs journey towards the uterus this is when it's actually awaiting to be fertilized this doesn't happen inside our uterus it actually happens within the fallopian tube on its way to the uterus now while this egg is travelling towards our uterus hoping to be fertilized by some sperm the corpus luteum then starts producing progesterone so now we're getting into our loop you'll face enduring our luteal phase this is when we produce progesterone no other time is our body producing this level of progesterone so it's not until you a view late that you actually start producing progesterone so from menstruation to ovulation we are estrogen heavy and from ovulation to menstruation again we are producing high levels of estrogen and progesterone and progesterone job is to balance up the estrogen dry up secretions and hold that layer in our uterus in hopes that the fertilized egg stays nicely embedded in there however if this egg does not get fertilized then the corpus luteum can only hold on for so long so typically we only have a luteal phase approximately between 12 and 16 days that's as long as the corpus luteum can normally last usually you'll always know from ovulation to menstruation typically that length will only fluctuate between one or two days depending on how long your corpus luteum is normally lasts so between ovulation and menstruation we have about 12 to 16 days before the corpus luteum can no longer hold on producing estrogen and progesterone and it fades away which leaves us with a collapse of both estrogen and progesterone and it is this collapsed in hormones that stimulates the shedding of our lining and the whole cycle repeats itself the big thing I want to drive home today is that ovulation is a sign of health it's not just something we do when we want to get pregnant and it's not just a sign of purely fertility yes if you ovulate you can get pregnant because that egg is released and it's awaiting fertilization however a regular cycle typically between 26 and 35 days and we're looking for consistency something that doesn't fluctuate more than five days approximately per person means that you are ovulating regularly consistently with a good solid luteal phase our hopes more than 10 days ten days is about the minimum you can go to sustain a pregnancy typically so when we are looking into your menstrual cycle the length of it whether you're ovulating or not whether you're producing fertile like cervical mucus and whether you're luteal phase can sustain a pregnancy we're not just looking at these things from a purely fertility perspective we're looking at these things as a overall lens of optimal health because if your body feels safe enough to stain a fertile body that means that your body feels safe enough and is healthy enough overall to be given this option if you have irregular cycles and ovulatory cycles where you're not ovulating no cycle at all short luteal phase you name it that is a sign that something is going on in your body and it is your body's way of communicating to you that it doesn't think that you are healthy or safe enough to be reproducing and if you aren't safe enough or healthy enough to be reproducing then that means that something's going on that you deserve to figure out so you can feel and live your best

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