Normal Menstrual Cycle

Before discussing the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, it can be helpful to review the normal hormonal cycle of the healthy non-pregnant adult female. The following is a very simplified breakdown of the intricate concert of glandular interplay that constitute the menstrual cycle. Study the following steps and then apply what your knowledge to matching game below.

Test your knowledge with this matching game.

Move the blocks on the right to the numbered line on the left, in the correct order. Remember, this is the normal, non pregnant adult female. A yellow STAR will appear when you're correct!

Click here for an animated diagram of the menstrual cycle

You are not responsible for all of the details in this diagram, however you are responsible for the following Instant Feedback questions. Please note, the normal menstrual cycle starts on "day 28", and ends on "day 28." You can refer to the diagram anytime from the Table of Contents.

Instant Feedback:

Between days 28 and 7, estrogen and progesterone levels are low. The hypothalamus reacts by sending GnRH to the pituitary gland. Does it send it in a steady stream or does the delivery pulsate?

Steady Stream or Pulsates

Instant Feedback:

Between days 28 and 7, estrogen is produced by cells of the follicles, from what other hormones? (Hint: They usually are associated with male hormone development)?

Click here for answer

Instant Feedback:

Between days 7 and 14, there is an LH "surge." It is initiated by:

a. falling progesterone levels

b. rising progesterone levels

c. falling estrogen levels

d. rising estrogen levels

Instant Feedback:

Between days 14 and 21, the corpus luteum is formed by follicular cells that have multiplied.


Instant Feedback:

Between days 21 and 28, if fertilization does not occur, the corpus luteum involutes and estrogen and progesterone levels increase.


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