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A discussion about the hormones and fertility throughout the month (cycle).

The first hormone to work in the cycle is FSH. FSH begins peak production at the beginning of the cycle – while the uterus is shedding its lining. FSH prompts the ovaries to produce about 15 to 20 mature eggs. Each of these eggs are encased in its own follicle. These follicles then produce estrogen.

Estrogen begins surging through the body about three or more days before ovulation. This causes the cervical fluid to be clear, thin and stretchy. This type of cervical fluid is referred to as “egg-white cervical mucus or EWCM”. EWCM offers the best mode of travel for the sperm to get to the egg.

The high levels of estrogen prompt the release of (LH). The surge of LH causes the egg to actually pop out of its follicle. The period from ovulation to menstruation is called the luteal phase (LP). It is this part of the cycle that seldom varies by a day or two each month. The average length is 12 to 16 days long.With the collapse of the follicle a “corpus luteum” forms.

The corpus luteum begins producing progesterone – the hormone that helps maintain the uterine lining long enough for a fertilized egg to implant.

Progesterone is responsible for raising the basil body temperature, also known as the warm hormone. If a woman is charting her temperatures, she could tell she had ovulated by an upward shift in her daily basil body temperature. A drop in progesterone signals the body to begin shedding the uterine lining, thus bringing on menstruation. The luteal phase – the time progesterone is being released lasts about 2 weeks.

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