Hormones affect every woman in different ways, and we all have them. We don't often directly feel the influence they have on our bodies, but sometimes we do – most notably during puberty when the sex hormones are produced in larger amounts. These hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, enable and influence the menstrual cycle.
Hormones and The Menstrual Cycle
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Oestrogen
At the beginning of your cycle your brain produces a hormone called FSH which causes the ovary to produce an egg. This process also results in the production of another hormone, oestrogen, which thickens the lining of your womb so that it can support the egg in case of a pregnancy.
Luteinising Hormone (LH)
As the egg develops in the ovaries, oestrogen levels will continue to rise. When they are high enough, the brain produces the hormone LH which causes the egg to be released from your ovary. This is known as ovulation. When the egg is released it travels down your fallopian tube to get to your womb.
After ovulation, your body will produce another hormone called progesterone which works with oestrogen to prepare your womb in case an egg is fertilised. If the egg is not fertilised the levels of this hormone drop, and this leads to the loss of the lining of your womb which has been building up. This is the first day of your period.
ALTERNATIVE CONTRACEPTION METHODS
Learn more about methods of contraception that may suit you and your lifestyle here::
THE HORMONAL COIL
The Hormonal Coil is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestogen hormone for up to 3 - 5 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.
THE COPPER COIL
The Copper Coil is a small, T-shaped plastic frame that has a copper wire. It is available with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse, where it prevents pregnancy for up to 5 - 10 years.
THE CONTRACEPTIVE IMPLANT
A small, flexible silicone rod that releases hormones for up to 3 years. It is given with a prescription and placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor or nurse.
THE CONTRACEPTIVE INJECTION
An injection containing a hormone that is given with a prescription and administered by a doctor or nurse every 12-13 weeks.
NEED ADVICE? SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL
Seek out an appointment with your doctor or nurse for further support that meets your needs.