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The menstrual cycle and periods of fecundity. From the top to the bottom : ovarian cycle, uterine cycle and curve of temperature. The menstrual cycle is divided into three phases : the follicular phase (or proliferative), pre-ovulatory, the luteal phase (or secretory), post-ovulatory and the menstruation (menses). The follicular phase : Inside the ovary, the ovarian follicles, carrying the ovocytes, develop (primordial follicle, primary, secondary and tertiary). At the same time, the hypothalamic hormone GnRH provokes the cyclic secretion of two hypophyseal hormones, the gonadotrophins LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone). The FSH (in green) enables the evolution of the ovarian follicles and assures the maturation of a Graafian follicule by cycle. This follicle secretes estrogens, of which the rate will then progressively increase. On the fourteenth day of the cycle, the simultaneous release of a strong dose of FSH and LH (in light blue) into the blood trigger ovulation : a mature tertiary follicle (or Graafian follicle) ejects the ovocyte II it contains : it is ovulation. At the level of the uterus, the endometrium is preparing to receive a possible embryo : it thickens and the uterine glands develop. The corporal temperature is stable (between 36.5 and 37°C in general). The luteal phase : Dans l'ovaire, under the action of LH, the Graafian follicle emptyied of its content, or dehiscent follicle, degenerates into corpus luteum ; it is follicular atresia. The combined action of LH and FSH is responsible for the secretion of estrogen and progesterone by the corpus luteum. The progesterone acts indirectly on the centers of the hypothalamus thermic regulation, causing an increase of a few dozen of degrees of the body temperature. This elevation pursues during 12 to 14 days, it is the thermal plate. Within the uterus, the endometrium pursues its maturation, and the uterine glands secrete glycogen for the possible nutrition of the futur em...


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