Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Follicular Phase

The follicular phase is the time before ovulation. A few days before a woman gets her period, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels begin to rise. This leads several ovarian follicles to begin to mature. These follicles compete to produce the one egg that is released. As the follicles mature, they release estrogen. Following menstruation, rising estrogen levels stimulate the lining of the uterus to develop. The high estrogen levels lower basal temperature slightly and leads to fertile mucus.

The follicular phase varies in length, and is sensitive to disruption. Stress, illness, poor nutrition, etc can lengthen the follicular phase, delaying ovulation.

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