Fertility Hormones Explained

Fertility Hormones Explained

Sometimes falling and staying pregnant is difficult. It can take months or even years for some women but most don’t know that imbalances in their hormones may be the reason why.

The menstrual cycle relies on a series of four main hormones, namely FSH, LH, estrogen and progesterone. At the beginning of each cycle FSH or follicle stimulating hormone signals the ovaries to start follicle growth. Each follicle contains an egg. The growing follicle makes estrogen to prepare the uterus for pregnancy.

Increased estrogen causes a sudden rise in LH or luteinizing hormone. LH causes the follicle to rupture, releasing the egg to be fertilized.

The follicle then releases the final hormone called progesterone. Progesterone builds the uterine wall so it may house and protect the growing fetus. If the egg isn’t fertilized, progesterone and estrogen levels decrease and without progesterone the uterine wall breaks down.

Menstrual bleeding begins and the cycle starts all over. If the egg is fertilized, estrogen and progesterone levels remain high in order to support the growing fetus. Adequate progesterone levels are essential for both getting pregnant and supporting a healthy pregnancy.

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