Hormones affect every woman in different ways, and we all have them. We don't often 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 oestrogen and progesterone, enable and influence the menstrual cycle.
Hormones and The Menstrual Cycle
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Oestrogen
At the beginning of your cycle your brain produces a hormone called FSH which causes the ovary to produce an egg. This process also results in the production of another hormone, oestrogen, which thickens the lining of your womb so that it can support the egg in case of a pregnancy.
Luteinising Hormone (LH)
As the egg develops in the ovaries, oestrogen levels will continue to rise. When they are high enough, the brain produces the hormone LH
which causes the egg to be released from your ovary. This is known as ovulation. When the egg is released it travels down your fallopian tube to get to your womb.
After ovulation, your body will produce another hormone called progesterone which works with oestrogen to prepare your womb in case an egg is fertilised. If the egg is not fertilised the levels of this hormone drop and this leads to the loss of the lining of your womb which has been building up. This is the first day of your period.
NEED ADVICE? SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL
Speak to a healthcare professional for advice and support on your contraceptive needs.