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What is menstruation
Menstruation is the process when a girl or women having a period within 14days . During a menstrual period, a woman bleeds from her uterus (womb) via the vagina. This lasts anything from three to seven days. Each period commences approximately every 28 days if the woman does not become pregnant during a given cycle.

Physiology of menstrual cycle

The endocrine function of the hypothalamus pituitaryovarian axis acts through a series of feedback loops to control the reproductive processes of the menstrual cycle . The menstrual cycle begins with the uterus shedding its . Following the shedding of the endometrium, a group of five to seven follicles in the ovary that have been growing for up to a year start to mature. This occurs under the influence of the gonadotropic hormone follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secreted from the anterior pituitary. The secretion of FSH starts during the menstrual phase and continues during the early follicular phase, and is a result of the low circulating concentration of oestrogen. Release of the gonadotropic hormones FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH) is controlled by pulsatile secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus . The small follicles produce gonadotropin surge-attenuating factor (GnSAF) that acts on the hypothalamus to inhibit GnRH release and prevent a rise in LH.

Phases of menstrual cycle

There are 4 phases for menstrual cycle which menstrual phase , follicular phase , ovulation phase and luteal phase .


Menstrual phase Day one of the menstrual phase is day one of your period and is the first day of your menstrual cycle. This menstrual blood (also known as menses) is shed from the lining of your uterus (known as the endometrium). A period usually lasts about three to seven days


Follicular phase The hormone estrogen causes the lining of the uterus to grow, or proliferate. The lining of your uterus begins to thicken in response to this increase in estrogen. Estrogen levels rise dramatically during the days before ovulation and peak about one day before ovulation.


Ovulation phase Ovulation is what happens when a mature egg (ovum) is released from your ovarian follicle to the nearest fallopian tube during your menstrual cycle . The increase in LH triggers ovulation .


Luteal phase After ovulation, the follicle becomes a hormone-producing structure called the corpus luteum . The loss of the corpus luteum can be prevented by fertilization of the egg. If you become pregnant during your period, fertilization will occur within 24 hours of ovulation . If you are not pregnant, the lining of the uterus is shed through the vaginal opening. Then, a new menstrual cycle begins.

Hormonal control of the female reproductive system

The menstrual cyle starts with menstruation Gonoadotropin-releasing hormone , released from the hypothalamus , acts on the anterior pituitary to release follicle stimulating hormone ( FSH ) and luteinising hormone (LH )

FSH and LH stimulate follice development in the ovary . FSH is the main hormone that stimulating releasing of oestrogen . LH the hormon that stimulates ovulation in mid cyle and the main hormone controlling subsequent progesterone secretion from the corpus luteum .

Oestrogen control proliferation phase of the endometrium and negative feedback to anterior pituitary

Progestrone control later secretion phase and negative feedback effects on both hypothalamus and anterior pituitary

If fertilization occur , corpus luteum secreate progrestrone After implantation , human chorionic gonadotropin from the chorion becomes important , and later in pregnancy progestrone and other hormones are secreated by placenta .


Admin , 2013 , Menstrual Cycle , available at Date of access : 23/4/2014

Rang and Dales , 2013 , Rang and Dales Pharmacology 7th Edition , ELSEVIER , United Kingdom

Derek G , Waller , 2013 , Medical Pharmacology and Therapeutics , ELSEVIER , United Kingdom