Life Cycle of the Female Menstrual Cycle

Life Cycle of the Female Menstrual Cycle
Life Cycle of the Female Menstrual Cycle

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Life Cycle of the Female Menstrual Cycle

1. Discuss the initiation of puberty and the role that hormones play during this period in the adolescent’s life span.

The puberty and adolescence are one of the fascinating transitions in human growth and development. It is during this period that sexual maturity occurs. The initiation age of puberty is normally between 8 and 15 years, but it is mainly influenced by person’s genetic composition and the environmental factors. During this period, more sex hormones are secreted by the gonads.

The hormones are responsible for the major physical and biological changes including acceleration of growth in height and weight, development of secondary sexual characteristics such as thelarche, voice changes and growth of public. The period lasts for two to three years but ends when the individual sexual reproduction matures (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 2011).

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2. Discuss the menstrual cycle and the phases involved in the menstrual cycle. What is the role of various hormones during each phase and what is the significance of each?

The two predominant hormones in menstrual cycles are oestrogen and progesterone which are secreted by the ovaries.  During the first days of the cycle, the levels of oestrogen and progesterone hormones are low. In day five (Follicular phase), one egg in the ovary is selected. The suppressed levels of oestrogen cause the secretion of follicle stimulating hormones by the pituitary gland. This hormone facilitates the formation of follicle.

The follicle stimulates the secretion of oestrogen which promotes the formation of the endometrial wall. Day 6 to day 14, the oestrogen levels rise progressively as it prepares for ovulation process. The 14th day of the menstruation cycle is the ovulation day. It is this day that the egg breaks free from the follicle, and migrates to the fallopian tube (luteal cycle).

During this cycle, the corpus luteum develops as a result of release of Luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland. This promotes the secretions of progesterone, which causes proliferation of endometrium for readiness of implantation.  If no fertilization takes place, the levels of the progesterone and oestrogen decreases, and endometrium is shed off (the menstrual phase). This marks the beginning of the next cycle (Blakemore et al., 2010).

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3. Compare and contrast the hormones relevant during the menstrual cycle and menopause. What changes occur in the woman’s body as she prepares to enter menopause?

The main changes observed as women prepare for menopause is irregular menstruation cycle is controlled by various hormones. This stage also involves mood swings, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, changes in their sex drive, and insomnia.  During menopause, the reproductive hormones levels become imbalanced which causes changes in menstruation cycle.  The few ovarian follicles develop and its responsiveness to follicle stimulating hormone reduces. 

Additionally, ovaries produce less estradiol, androgens and progesterone causing the production of follicle to stop. This is due to the low estrogen and progesterone levels, which makes the levels of the Follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone to remain high. This causes shortened and irregular menstruation cycles- the key indicators of onset of the menopause (Trickey, 2011). Eventually, these hormonal changes make menstruation to stop. 

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4. Tanner staging during puberty has been used for decades. Tanner staging also estimates when to expect to see these changes in boys and girls. Yet it seems that girls and boys are “maturing faster” today than in previous decades. Do you believe this is a true statement?that adolescents are maturing at an earlier age? If so, what do you believe is the cause of this? If you disagree with this statement, give rationale for why.

Yes, today’s adolescent’s maturity occurs faster than the average age. This fact is attributable to improved health environmental factors. However, there is no exact cause for this because each child’s development and growth is unique and is influenced by various factors such as environmental toxins, socioeconomic status, physical activity and presence or presence of disease. Healthy children with healthy lifestyle mature at a faster rate as compared to the malnourished (Trickey, 2011).

References

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2011). Guidelinesfor adolescent health care (2nd ed.). Retrieved from http://www.acog.org

Blakemore, S., Burnett, S., & Dahl, R. (2010). The role of puberty in the developing adolescent brain. Human Brain Mapping, 31(6), 926-933. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.21052

Trickey, R. (2011). Women, hormones & the menstrual cycle. Fairfield, Vic.: Ruth Trickey/Trickey Enterprises (Victoria).

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