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What is the Corpus Luteum?



The Corpus Luteum is the “yellow body” that is a temporary endocrine structure created every single cycle. How cool is that? Here’s how it happens.


In simple terms, there are four main hormones that direct the events of the ovulation cycle:


👉 Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) from the brain, stimulates follicular development in the ovary.


👉 The dominant growing follicle produces increasing estrogen.


👉 When the egg inside the follicle is fully mature, estrogen is at highest levels and stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone from the brain.


👉 LH triggers the follicle to rupture (ovulation) and the egg is released into fallopian tube.


👉 The empty follicle transforms into the "corpus luteum," by LH which produces progesterone (and some estrogen) during the second half of the cycle.


The delicate interplay of these hormones (and numerous others systemically throughout the body) facilitate the event of ovulation every cycle.


The greatest source of progesterone production in the body comes from the corpus luteum after ovulation. That’s why the transition to ovulating cycles during puberty and the decline of ovulatory cycles in peri-menopause causes some hormonal upheaval!


Without adequate progesterone, those bodily functions don’t operate well and may cause sleep disturbances, mood issues, increased PMS symptoms . . . OH MY! If women are intending on getting pregnant, progesterone levels must be adequate to sustain pregnancy through the first trimester.


So, regardless of health goals, a healthy corpus luteum that produces adequate progesterone is an important player in overall wellness.


Ovulation is a sign of health.


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