The Menstrual Cycle

Christi Prater

The Act of Menstruation.

The Menstrual Cycle naturally occurs each month, it is the body's preparation for pregnancy. An egg is released from the ovary, this process is called ovulation, which is then put into the fallopian tube. This is where it will stay till it is fertilized. If the egg doesn't become fertilized it causes shedding of the uterus walls, this is your period.
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Parts of the Women's Reproductive System.

In the female reproductive system there are many parts, including:

- The Vagina.

- The Cervix.

- The Ovaries.

- The Uterus.

- The Fallopian Tubes.

All these parts work together in order to keep a women fertile.

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Hormones present during the Menstrual Cycle.

There are many hormones released during the menstrual cycle that are responsible for different functions. These hormones include: LH. FSH, progesterone, and estrogen.

> LH and FSH- Released from the Pituitary Gland. The ovaries pick up these gonadotrophins causing the eggs in the ovaries to mature. While the eggs are maturing more LH and FSH are being released at a rate depending on how much Progesterone and Estrogen is in the blood. At the beginning of the menstrual cycle there is more LH present rather than FSH, also FSH is causing maturation of the ovarian follicle therefore releasing estrogen. Approximately day 14 is when LH levels spike and cause ovulation to take place.

> Progesterone and Estrogen- Released during maturation of the egg in the ovary. At the beginning of the menstrual cycle Progesterone and Estrogen levels follow one another closely due to depending on each other. When the ovarian follicle becomes mature estrogen is released. The Uterine lining is affected by all of this, estrogen causes the wall to become thicker right before ovulation, once ovulation occurs it's glands began secreting nutrients.

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If Pregnancy Occurs.

If pregnancy occurs rather than your menstrual cycle many things happen. A new hormone called HCG will be produced by the production of the placenta, once this begins happening the body pumps out even more Progesterone and Estrogen. HCG is the hormone that allows you to take an at home pregnancy test, as it is present in your urine and blood, which is why doctors take blood tests to be sure. One of the popular traits known about pregnancy is morning sickness, this is also caused by HCG levels decreasing. When you become pregnant there is also no more production of LH and FSH. Also during pregnancy your endometrial lining changes, it become thicker and develops three sections: the outer layer, middle, and inner layer. When you're pregnant the endometrial lining becomes 9mm thick, this is necessary in order to properly carry a baby.

Fun Facts.

- A woman will spend approximately 3,500 days of her life menstruating.

- The only mammals to go through menopause are elephants, humpback whales, and humans.

- The average women in the modern industrialized society menstruates about 450 times in her life, it is believed that women in prehistoric times only menstruated 50 times and women in agrarian regions menstruate only 150 times.

- Periods tend to be heavier, more painful, and longer during the winter months.

- Menstrual blood was thought to be a cure for birthmarks, warts, gout, hemorrhoids, epilepsy, headaches and leprosy.

- In the womb a girl creates approximately seven million eggs, at birth she has roughly two million, and then by puberty she only has forty-thousand left-- only which five-hundred will be released.

- Some scientist have suggested harvesting stem cells from menstrual blood.