Coordination and Control - Control of the Menstrual Cycle

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Coordination and Control
Hormones
Menstrual Cycle
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 The Menstrual Cycle

The monthly release of an egg from a woman's ovaries and the changes in the thickness of the lining of her womb are controlled by hormones secreted by the pituitary gland and by the ovaries.  Several hormones are involved in controlling the menstrual cycle.  These include:

FSH which is secreted by the pituitary gland and causes eggs to mature in the ovaries.  FSH also stimulates the ovaries to produce hormones including Oestrogen.

Oestrogen which is secreted by the ovaries and stops the the production of FSH.  Oestrogen also stimulates the lining of the uterus to build up/thicken ready for pregnancy.  Oestrogen stimulates the pituitary gland to produce another hormone called LH.

LH is secreted by the pituitary gland.  It stimulates the release of a mature egg from one of the ovaries in the middle of the menstrual cycle. 

FSH is produced by the pituitary gland and it's target organs are the ovaries.

Oestrogen is produced by the ovaries and it's target organs are the pituitary gland (blocks production of FSH) and the uterus (causes lining to thicken).

LH is produced by the pituitary gland and it's target organs are the ovaries. 

How the levels of the hormones change during the menstrual cycle are show in the diagram below.  Day one of the menstrual cycle is the first day of menstruation (your period).  Duing the first five days of the cycle the lining of the uterus is gradually shed.  Changes in the thickness of the uterus lining are also shown in the diagram below.

menstrual

 



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