The menstrual cycle is a complex physiological process involving the harmonious interaction of several hormones in the female body. Any disturbance in the balance of these hormones can lead to menstrual disorders. Barza introduces you to the hormones that cause menstrual disorders and how they affect menstruation.
Estrogen is one of the key hormones responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle. It is mainly produced by the ovaries and performs multiple functions in a woman’s body.
Estrogen controls the growth and development of the endometrium (uterine lining), which is shed during menstruation. High levels of oestrogen can lead to increased endometrial thickness, causing heavy bleeding and prolonged menstrual periods.
Progesterone is another essential hormone in regulating the menstrual cycle and helps the body prepare for conception and pregnancy. It is produced by the ovaries, the placenta (when you are pregnant) and the adrenal glands.
Progesterone also influences libido. If you don’t have enough progesterone, you may have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant.
This hormone prepares the endometrium for implantation of a fertilised egg and maintains pregnancy during the first weeks. If the egg is not fertilised, progesterone levels drop and this is a signal for the onset of menstruation.
The hypothalamus and pituitary gland (hypophysis) play a crucial role in regulating the menstrual cycle through the hormones they produce. The hypothalamus secretes gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) by the pituitary gland.
Increased LH levels trigger the release of the egg from the ovary, a process known as ovulation. If ovulation does not occur, this may indicate hormonal dysregulation.
FSH stimulates the development of ovarian follicles and the production of estrogen. Abnormal FSH levels may indicate ovarian dysfunction or problems related to the pituitary gland.
It is a condition in which the ovaries produce too many eggs, but they do not fully mature and are not released regularly. This can lead to hormonal imbalances, including high levels of oestrogen and low levels of progesterone, which can cause irregular periods, heavy bleeding and missed periods.
The thyroid gland plays an important role in regulating the menstrual cycle through thyroid hormones. A low level of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism) can cause menstrual disorders, including irregular cycles, heavy bleeding or no periods.
Chronic stress, poor diet, excessive exercise or significant weight loss can affect hormonal balance and lead to menstrual disorders.
Menstrual disorders can be caused by a wide range of factors, and hormones play a crucial role in this process. Hormonal imbalances, such as high or low levels of oestrogen and progesterone, or dysfunction of the pituitary or thyroid glands can affect the menstrual cycle. It is important to pay attention to the signs of menstrual dysregulation and consult a doctor for evaluation and appropriate treatment.
Understanding how hormones work in the menstrual cycle can help women monitor their health and improve their quality of life.