Estrogen is produced by the ovaries and in smaller amounts by the adrenal cortex.
Estrogen during the menstrual cycle
Estrogen hormones play an essential role in the ovaries, stimulating egg follicle growth. Estrogen stimulates the growth of the vagina, thickening its wall, increasing its acidity to fight against bacterial infections. It also enhances and maintains the endometrium. It stimulates the muscles in the uterus to develop and contract and these contractions work towards removing dead tissue during menstruation. During the menstrual cycle, estrogen acts to produce an environment suitable for fertilisation.
What is menstruation?
Menstruation is a controlled bleeding, which allows the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to be shed. It occurs in approximately monthly cycles throughout a woman’s reproductive life, except during pregnancy.
Estrogen plays a key role during the menstrual cycle
In looking at the role of estrogen during the menstrual cycle we find estrogen hormones will rise and fall accordingly throughout the month and the menstrual process repeats itself every 28 days on average, with estrogen playing a key role. On day 1 of the period, estrogen levels will be low and come day 5 an egg is selected and becomes present within a follicle, which releases increased amounts of estrogen. For the next 7 to 8 days the estrogen levels will rise slowly at first becoming more rapid towards the day of ovulation. Around day 14 the follicle that has been surrounding the egg since day 5 breaks open and the egg is released into the fallopian tube where the sperm will fertilize it. Estrogen supports in the transfer of sperm to this area.
After ovulation, if the egg is released and not fertilised, then estrogen levels will drop after 2 weeks in preparation for the next menstrual cycle.
A healthy menstrual cycle is vital for success in falling pregnant. If you are experiencing an irregular menstrual period, increased acne or hair growth in regions like the upper lip, chin or between the breasts, then it is recommended you see a medical specialist in the area of Gynaecology. Leading Gynaecologist, Dr Gary Swift, is located on the Gold Coast and has a clinic located at Pindara hospital in Benowa. You can contact the clinic on the phone number 07 5564 6017 or through the contact us page by clicking here.