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StatPearls . Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-.


Physiology, term Cycle

Dhanalakshmi K. Thiyagarajan; Hajira Basit; Rebecca Jeanmonod.

Author Information


The reproductive device of a female, uneven men, shows constant cyclic transforms that teleologically might be regarded as routine preparation because that pregnancy and fertilization. In primates and humans, the bicycle is a menstrual cycle, and also its most conspicuous function is the routine vaginal bleeding the occurs through the shedding the uterine mucose (menstruation). The size of the bike is notoriously variable, however an average number is 28 days from the begin of one menstrual period to the begin of next. By typical usage, the work of the bike are determined by number starting with the very first days the menstruation. It begins at puberty, ranging from the ages of 10 come 16, and also ends in ~ menopause in ~ an average age of 51.<1><2><3>


Hormones are secreted in a an adverse and optimistic feedback manner to control the expression cycle. Hormone secretion starts in the hypothalamus where gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is secreted in an increased, pulsatile fashion once puberty starts. GnRH is then transported come the anterior pituitary, where it activates that is 7-transmembrane G-protein receptor. This offers a signal come the anterior pituitary come secrete stimulating follicle hormone (FSH) and also luteinizing hormone (LH). FSH and also LH administer input come the ovaries. In ~ the ovarian follicle, there room 2 cell species responsible because that hormone production, theca cells and granulosa cells. LH stimulates theca cells to produce progesterone and also androstenedione by activating the enzyme, cholesterol desmolase. When androstenedione is secreted, the hormone diffuses come the adjacent granulosa cells. Here, FSH stimulates the granulosa cell to transform androstenedione to testosterone then 17-beta-estradiol by activating the enzyme, aromatase. Together levels the 17-beta-estradiol or progesterone increase based upon the phases of the menstrual cycle, over there is an unfavorable feedback back to the anterior pituitary to lower the levels of FSH and also LH being produced and also subsequently, the levels of 17-beta-estradiol and progesterone produced. An exception to this is throughout ovulation. In this case, as soon as a vital amount that 17-beta-estradiol is produced, it offers positive feedback to the anterior pituitary to produce increased quantities of FSH and also LH. This feedback system is stood for in figure 1. Additionally, in ~ the feedback system, the granulosa cells create inhibin and also activin, i m sorry inhibit and also stimulate FSH relax from the anterior pituitary, respectively. This feedback device is managed by upregulating, to increase hormone production, or downregulating come decrease hormone production, the GnRH receptor on the anterior pituitary.<4><5><6>


Phase 1: The Follicular, or Proliferative Phase

The first phase the the menstrual cycle is the follicular or proliferative phase. It wake up from job zero to day 14 that the menstrual cycle, based upon the median duration the 28 days. The variability in length of the menstrual bicycle occurs due to variations in the length of the follicular phase. The key hormone during this phase is estrogen, particularly 17-beta-estradiol. The boost in this hormone wake up by the upregulation the the FSH receptors in ~ the follicle at the start of the cycle. However, as the follicular phase progresses to the end, the increased quantities of 17-beta-estradiol will certainly provide an adverse feedback to the anterior pituitary. The purpose of this phase is to grow the endometrial great of the uterus. 17-beta-estradiol achieves this by enhancing the expansion of the endometrial class of the uterus, stimulating increased quantities of stroma and glands, and increasing the depth that the arteries the supply the endometrium, the spiral arteries.

Additionally, this phase is also essential to develop an atmosphere that is friendly and helpful to possible incoming sperm. 17-beta-estradiol achieves this through creating networks within the cervix, allowing for sperm entry.<7> The channels are made within the abundant, watery, and elasticity transforms of the cervical mucous. During this phase, a primordial follicle begins to mature into a Graafian follicle. The surrounding follicles start to degenerate, i m sorry is as soon as the Graafian follicle i do not care the tires follicle. This sets up the follicle because that ovulation, the next step.


Ovulation always occurs 14 days prior to menses; therefore, with an typical 28-day cycle, ovulation wake up on job 14. At the finish of the proliferative phase, 17-beta-estradiol levels space at a high due to the follicle maturation and increased manufacturing of the hormone. During this time only, 17-beta-estradiol offers positive feedback because that FSH and also LH production. This occurs as soon as a an essential level of 17-beta-estradiol is reached, at the very least 200 picograms every milliliter the plasma. The high level of FSH and LH current during this time is referred to as the LH surge. As a result, the maturation follicle breaks, and also an oocyte is released. The alters to the cervix together initiated throughout the follicular phase further increase, allowing for increased, waterier cervical mucous to much better accommodate the possible sperm—the levels of 17-beta-estradiol autumn at the end of ovulation. 

Phase 2: The Luteal or Secretory Phase

The next phase of the menstrual cycle is the luteal or secretory phase. This phase always occurs from day 14 come day 28 that the cycle. Progesterone engendered by LH is the leading hormone during this step to prepare the corpus luteum and also the endometrium for feasible fertilized ovum implantation. Together the luteal phase ends, progesterone will provide an adverse feedback to the anterior pituitary come decrease FSH and also LH levels and, subsequently, the 17-beta-estradiol and also progesterone levels. The body luteum is a structure formed in the ovary in ~ the site of the maturation follicle rupture to create 17-beta-estradiol and also progesterone, i beg your pardon is primary at the end of the phase due to the an adverse feedback system. The endometrium prepares by enhancing its vascular supply and stimulating more mucous secretions. This is completed by the progesterone stimulating the endometrium to slow-moving down endometrial proliferation, decrease lining thickness, build more complicated glands, accumulate energy sources in the form of glycogen, and provide an ext surface area in ~ the spiral arteries.

Contrary to the cervical mucous transforms seen during the proliferative phase and also ovulation, progesterone decreases and thickens the cervical mucous making that non-elastic due to the fact that the fertilization duration passed, and sperm entry is no longer a priority. Additionally, progesterone increases the hypothalamic temperature, so body temperature increases throughout the luteal phase. Near the finish of the secretory phase, plasma level of 17-beta-estradiol and also progesterone are produced by the body luteum. If pregnancy occurs, a fertilized ovum is implanted within the endometrium, and also the body luteum will certainly persist and maintain the hormone levels. However, if no fertilized ovum is implanted, then the corpus luteum regresses, and also the serum levels of 17-beta-estradiol and progesterone diminish rapidly.

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Normal Menstruation

When the hormone levels decrease, the endometrium layer, together it has been changed throughout the term cycle, is not able to be maintained. This is called menses, taken into consideration day 0 come day 5 that the next menstrual cycle. The duration of menses is variable. Expression blood is chiefly arterial, with only 25% that the blood being the venous blood. It contains prostaglandins, tissue debris, and also relatively large amounts that fibrinolysis native endometrial tissue. The fibrinolysis lyses clot so that menstrual blood does no contain clots frequently unless the flow is heavy. 

The usual duration the the menstrual circulation is 3-5 days, but flows together shorts as 1 day and as lengthy as 8 days can happen in a common female. The quantity of blood ns can selection from slim spotting come 80 mL and also the typical being 30 mL. Lose of much more than 80 mL of the blood is considered abnormal. Various determinants can affect the quantity of blood flow, consisting of medications, the thickness of the endometrium, blood disorders, and also disorders the blood clotting, etc.