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The essentials everyone should know about their own body - PART 2

The essentials everyone should know about their own body - PART 2

June 17, 2023

The essentials everyone should know about their own body - PART 2

In part 1 of this series, we put together three things we believe every woman should know about her own menstrual cycle:

  1. There are 4 phases to the menstrual cycle.

  2. There are key hormonal changes that happen in each of these phases.

  3. You can personally use the signs your own body emits to know which phase you are in.

In this article, we will explore:

  1. The luteal phase in more detail. (Spoiler alert - what our bodies do is incredible.)

  2. The role of progesterone.

The luteal phase

The luteal phase is the final phase of your menstrual cycle and it occurs after ovulation. Once the egg is released during ovulation, the ruptured follicle (from which the egg was released) transforms into a temporary gland called the the corpus luteum, which secretes progesterone.

Progesterone helps thicken the uterine lining, creating a nourishing environment for a fertilized egg to implant - or if fertilization does not occur, the corpus luteum eventually breaks down, leading to a decrease in progesterone levels. This drop triggers the shedding of the uterine lining and the start of a new menstrual cycle. So is progesterone still needed if you don't want to conceive? Absolutely!

Progesterone

As we've already shared, progesterone is a hormone produced during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. It plays a crucial role in preparing the uterus for potential pregnancy.

  1. It helps to thicken the uterine lining, creating a nurturing environment for a fertilized egg to implant and develop.

  2. It inhibits further ovulation, preventing the release of additional eggs during the current cycle.

  3. If pregnancy occurs, progesterone continues to be produced to support the developing embryo and maintain the uterine lining.

 

However, beyond conception, maintaining adequate levels of progesterone during the luteal phase can have several benefits, including

  1. being a source for anti-anxiety,

  2. being an anti-inflammatory agent,

  3. helping to regulate sleep,

  4. reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and

  5. supporting overall hormonal balance in the body.

 

To summarize - we explored two key aspects of the menstrual cycle: the luteal phase and the role of progesterone. The luteal phase is the final phase of the menstrual cycle after ovulation, where the corpus luteum produces progesterone to thicken the uterine lining.

Progesterone plays a crucial role in preparing the uterus for pregnancy and has additional benefits like regulating sleep and reducing PMS symptoms. Understanding these aspects can empower you to understand your own body and make informed decisions about your reproductive health.

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