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Periods – but how?

It’s a complex process involving a number of hormones.
The pituitary gland produces FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and that starts the maturing of an egg (ovum) in a follicle in the ovaries.
The ovary then produces oestrogen, and that starts to rebuild the lining of the womb that was shed during the last period.
Back to the pituitary which now starts producing LH (Luteinising Hormone) which helps a mature egg (ovum) to leave the follicle and start travelling down the Fallopian tube. LH stimulates the empty follicle to produce progesterone.
Progesterone triggers the lining of the uterus (womb) to thicken, ready to receive a fertilised egg.
If the egg isn’t fertilised, production of both oestrogen and progesterone stop and the lining of the womb breaks down. Hey presto, a period starts.

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