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Feminine matters

The menstrual cycle. The follicular phase and the luteal phase.

The beginning of the follicular phase coincides with the first day of menstruation. This phase is characterized by a decreased level of the following hormones: progesterone and oestrogen, lasts about 14 days and ends when the ovulation starts. Within the first days of the follicular phase, the uterus lining is the thinnest during the whole cycle and gradually thickens in order to prepare itself for a potential pregnancy.

The beginning of the follicular phase coincides with the first day of menstruation.This phase is characterized by a decreased level of the following hormones: progesterone and oestrogen, lasts about 14 days and ends when the ovulation starts. Within the first days of the follicular phase, the uterus lining is the thinnest during the whole cycle and gradually thickens in order to prepare itself for a potential pregnancy. Following the follicular phase, the luteal phase begins. It starts on the first day of ovulation and lasts until the first day of menstruation. During this phase, the levels of oestrogen and progesterone hormones increase whilst the uterus lining is changing preparing itself for receiving an embryo. If no impregnation takes place, the uterus peels off and this leads to the occurrence of menstruation. During the follicular phase, in a female body, between 5 and 7 Graafian follicles mature in one or both ovaries. Their growth is stimulated by the so-called follicle-stimulating hormone. The follicles become bigger and bigger and start producing the hormone - oestrogen which enters the blood system and pituitary gland reducing the excretion of the follicle-stimulating hormone. In the last phase of the follicles’ maturity, one or two assume a dominating function and excrete even more oestrogen into the blood system and start spurring the production of the follicle-stimulating hormone, then the pituitary gland dramatically reduces the hormone’s production. At this point, the dominating follicle bursts and the egg cell leaves the ovary. The luteal phase takes place, the first day of which is the beginning of ovulation. Ovulation can be recognized thanks to increased body temperature, pains which accompany some women and characteristic mucous. During ovulation we may also feel more attractive to our partner and be happier with our looks. During this phase, an increase in the luteinizing hormone takes place which can be detected using an ovulation test. 

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