Getting Pregnant <
Trying to conceive
10/10/2013 at 09:52
As the title says. I'm just wondering how you have a period if you haven't ovulated. My understanding is certain hormones (released from ovulation) basically kick-start your menstrual cycle, so if you aren't ovulating, and are therefore not producing those hormones, how does your body decide to have a menstrual bleed? Anyone know? Thanks.
10/10/2013 at 10:31
A quick google search tells me:
During a normal menstrual cycle, hormones from the brain stimulate the ovaries to prepare an egg and to release the hormone estrogen, which builds up the endometrium. Following ovulation, the ovary that released the egg secretes the hormone progesterone, which prepares the endometrium for conception. Progesterone secretion declines if pregnancy does not occur, and the menstrual phase of the cycle begins, with the sloughing off of the endometrium in menstrual blood. Periodic, monthly bleeding can only result following ovulation, since it is this event that promotes progesterone production and decline two weeks later, bringing on menses.
For many women, "the period" simply means vaginal bleeding without regard to the pattern of bleeding. In this sense, it is possible to bleed without ovulating, but the bleeding will be irregular. This is known as dysfunctional uterine bleeding or anovulatory bleeding. Anovulatory bleeding varies in flow, duration, and schedule, and often is mistaken for a menstrual period.
10/10/2013 at 11:39
Oooh, thanks PurpleStar. I google everything else so I don't know why I didn't google this before posting the question :-( Sorry!! But thanks again :)
10/10/2013 at 12:14
I wondered about this too... I was still wondering after PurpleStar's response why you actually bleed then, what causes that vaginal bleeding. Found this, which I don't understand all of but makes some sense to me: "The corpus luteum does not form in an anovulatory cycle, resulting in a failure of the cyclical secretion of progesterone. Without progesterone, there is continuous unopposed production of estradiol, which stimulates overgrowth of the endometrium. The endometrium grows thick until it outgrows its blood supply, resulting in necrosis and irregular bleeding"
10/10/2013 at 12:18
My understanding was that people who aren't ovulating, who have 'periods' - aren't actually having a period, its bleeding or similar but not the same. I don't think I understand WHY you would have bleeding (whether actually a 'period' or not) though.
Veecee - I can definitely make sense of what you have put! If you aren't producing progesterone (which you only produce after ovulation) then your body keeps producing estrogen until your lining becomes so thick it [insert own word here!] explodes. Still, that implies that if you are not ovulating you would have a heavy bleed.... to me anyway.
10/10/2013 at 12:21
Ya, that's what I take it as meaning. So that explains why you would have bleeding, no?
10/10/2013 at 20:47
I'm not really sure to be honest. Ducky might be one to ask as she knows everything womb related!
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