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Reproductive Hormones

Understanding the chemical messages of your body—the female sex hormones and their function in reproduction:

GnRH

  • Released by the hypothalamus, it stimulates the release of FSH and LH (gonadotropins)
  • During the first half of the woman’s menstrual cycle, it stimulates the release of FSH from the pituitary gland
  • During the second half of the cycle it stimulates the release of LH

FSH- Follicle Stimulating Hormone

  • Hormone produced by the Pituitary Gland
  • Stimulates the growth of follicles (the fluid filled sacs in the ovaries that house the developing egg)

LH- Lutenizing Hormone

  • Produced by the Pituitary Gland
  • Stimulates the follicle to release the egg and the testes to release sperm
  • During the menstrual cycle it stimulates the endometrium (the lining of the uterus), to grow and thicken
    Its presence causes cervical mucous to become thin, clear and watery at the time of ovulation so sperm can travel to the uterine cavity

Progesterone

  • Prepares the uterine lining to receive a fertilized egg
  • If implantation does not occur, production of progesterone falls, triggering menstruation

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