Irregular period causes can vary, however, hormones are usually the ones to blame. Why? How do they influence the cycle? Find out the answers.
There are several hormones that influence the menstrual cycle. Its main function is to make fertilization and gestation possible, so they cause important changes in the woman’s body.
Why are hormones among the main irregular period causes?
There are several hormones that influence the menstrual cycle and fulfill decisive functions so that it develops normally. Such hormones not only regulate reproductive processes, but also affect mood, skin appearance and many other aspects.
The hormones that influence the menstrual cycle basically guarantee that the ovule develops its own processes. That is, that all the necessary conditions are created for it to be fertilized; and if not, to be released from the body.
These processes are complex and are only possible by the action of hormones that influence the menstrual cycle. These are:
- FSH or Stimulating Follicle
- LH or Luteinizing hormone
- The menstrual cycle
The menstrual cycle
It comprises six internal cycles, and in each of them hormones have an important work. These cycles are as follows:
- Ovarian cycle: includes the processes that occur within the ovary and includes two phases: follicular maturation and corpus luteum phase. In the first one, the mature ovum produces and culminates with ovulation; in the second, the organic conditions for fertilization appear.
- Endometrial cycle: in the endometrium there is a cycle of thickening and vascularization during the first phase of the ovarian cycle. Then, if the egg is not fertilized, there is a detachment and the consequent expulsion through menstruation.
- Endocervical cycle: involves an increase in mucus secretion until ovulation to promote the rise of sperm to the uterus. Then, you lose those properties in the final phase of the cycle.
- Myometrial cycle: the myometrium is the muscular wall of the uterus. During ovulation presents contractions that favor the rise of sperm. Then, rest.
- Vaginal cycle: as in the endometrium, there is a thickening until ovulation and, if there is no fertilization, it flakes off.
- Breast cycle: there is an increase in volume and tension in the breasts until shortly before menstruation. It is inconstant and presents particularities in almost every woman.
The hypothalamus and hormones that influence the menstrual cycle
The hormones that influence the menstrual cycle begin their process in the hypothalamus. Gonadotropins (GnRH) are secreted there. Its main function is to stimulate the production of other hormones that are necessary for the uterine cavity and the endometrium to be suitable for conception.
In turn, hormones that influence the menstrual cycle are also produced in the pituitary gland or pituitary gland. The hypothalamus controls this gland which is responsible for secreting the hormones FSH and LH. Let’s see:
- FSH or Follicle Stimulating Hormone: it is secreted in the first part of the menstrual cycle and helps the egg to form and mature. It also stimulates the production of estrogens in the woman’s body.
- LH or Luteinizing Hormone: it contributes to the ovulation process, facilitates the secretion of progesterone and, if there is fertilization, protects the pregnancy during the first weeks.
In this way, the FSH hormone facilitates the formation of the ovum that can eventually be fertilized. In turn, LH occurs abruptly; between 9 and 12 hours after this occurs the release of the mature ovum -ovulation.
The ovaries and hormones
The ovaries also secrete some of the hormones during the menstrual cycle; basically estrogen and progesterone. Estrogens are female sex hormones that act primarily on the female genital tract. Among its many functions is to block another hormone, prolactin, which is responsible for producing milk until after delivery.
There are several types of estrogens, but the most important of them, from the point of view of the menstrual cycle, is estradiol. This hormone stimulates the thickening of the endometrium, as well as its vascularization, creating the conditions for conception.
On the other hand is progesterone, which plays an important role during the menstrual cycle. It is the one that affects the maturation of the endometrium and generates modifications throughout the reproductive system. Its main effects are:
- Adapt breasts for breastfeeding.
- Reduces the activity of the muscles of the endometrium so that there are no uterine contractions that prevent pregnancy.
- Raise body temperature to facilitate fertilization.
- Reduces the amount of cervical mucus to prevent the rise of other sperm when the egg has been fertilized.
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