Estrogen, Progesterone & Mucus, Oh, My! Shining Light on the Fertility Cycle

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Back to school happened in August here in Texas, but I know some of you are starting school this September.

Back to school usually means review of past information taught before diving into new information.

I thought this would be a good time to get back to basics with you regarding fertility health.

Many women tell me after attending an Introductory Session with the Creighton Model; where we review the science behind a woman’s fertility cycle and the role of fertility hormones; that they are shocked at how little they knew about their fertility cycle.  

They are shocked because they have never heard this basic information about fertility that is presented in the Intro Session.

I was there!  I even have a degree in Health and Preventative Medicine and I still did not learn this basic information about my fertility.

It still boggles my mind why this basic fertility information; a fundamental system in a woman; is shrouded in secrecy. 

We are told in our modern culture that having a period is a curse and our fertility must be suppressed  to be empowered women. 

This is false!  Our fertility is not only a gift, but so important to our overall physical, emotional and psychological health as women. 

Our fertility health is a big part of who we are as women.  It is a gift to be a woman.  We must learn to love our bodies, and that includes our fertility health. 

Let’s answer some basic questions I get frequently about women’s fertility:

What are the main hormones involved in our fertility cycle?

The main two hormones involved in our fertility cycle are estrogen and progesterone.  These hormones counterbalance each other.   

Let’s break down the two hormones.  Remember, this is a basic overview.

Role of Estrogen

Estrogen is produced in the first half of our fertility cycle, or what we call the follicular or pre-ovulatory phase.  It is known as your happy hormone.  It is responsible for libido and mood.

Estrogen also has other benefits for bones, sleep, muscles, heart, skin, and metabolism.

The two primary roles of estrogen are to stimulate the buildup of the uterine lining and to stimulate the production of cervical mucus.

You need a thick uterine lining to prepare for baby.  You need good, quality cervical mucus to aid in achieving a pregnancy.  We will talk more about cervical mucus in a moment.

Role of Progesterone

Progesterone is produced in the second half of the cycle, or what we call the luteal or post-ovulatory phase.   It counterbalances estrogen. 

Progesterone is produced in the developing corpus luteum in the ovary.  Progesterone is a key hormone for period health. 

Progesterone’s biggest job is to maintain and nourish a pregnancy.  It thins the lining of the uterus and stimulates the uterus to secrete a nutritious fluid that helps the newly conceived life implant successfully into the side of the uterus.

Progesterone known as the calming hormone because it makes it easier to cope with stress.

Other benefits include reducing inflammation, promoting better sleep, protecting against breast cancer and heart disease and building muscles.

Progesterone has other benefits, which I will not go into detail here. 

According to Lara Briden, ND, “When it comes to period health, it is mostly about progesterone.”

What is the role of cervical mucus?

Many women are confused by the sight of discharge in their underwear and/or on the toilet paper.   They think they have an infection and rush to their doctor to only be told it is normal.  But, that is it.  No other information given.

What is this discharge? 

It is cervical mucus.  Cervical mucus is typically seen 5-8 days every monthly fertility cycle.  There are exceptions to this, of course. 

Cervical mucus is produced in the cervix (the opening of the uterus).  It is usually produced when estrogen levels are rising. 

The role of cervical mucus is to keep the sperm alive.  You see, the vagina is naturally acidic, which makes it hostile to sperm.  Without cervical mucus, the sperm die within minutes or hours in the vagina.

The cervical mucus keeps the sperm alive and ready to go if an egg is released.  In fact, sperm can live 3 to 5 days waiting around in the cervical mucus for the egg to be released.  That is why we produce 5 to 8 days of mucus.  It is meant to aid in conception.

Cervical mucus also helps to protect against bacteria and viruses. 

In the Creighton Model FertilityCare System, cervical mucus is the key biomarker.  We look at cervical mucus in a standardized way to not only know when we are fertile and infertile, but also look at how our hormones are doing.

The quality of cervical mucus can tell us a lot about our fertility hormones and if something maybe off in the ovary; an ovulation defect.  It is an important vital sign for our fertility health.

Can I use this information to plan my family without devices or artificial hormones?

YES!  This information important so we can become better in tune with our bodies, and it can also be used for family planning.

You can learn to chart your fertility signs so that you not only know when you are fertile or infertile, but also to use the information as a medical health record.  Your fertility chart can be used as a report card of how your fertility hormones are functioning. 

I highly recommend learning to chart your fertility using a highly researched, standardized System and also from a trained Practitioner.  I am bias and love the Creighton Model FertilityCare System.  The Creighton Model is 99.5% effective to avoid a pregnancy with perfect use.  It is also effective to achieve a pregnancy and to treat fertility health issues such as infertility.

Do you want to dive deeper into learning more about your fertility cycle and learning what is normal and abnormal? 

Check out my FREE Webinar: Fertility 101: Learn the Basics About Fertility Health

You will learn:

·       More in depth science behind your fertility cycle

·       What is normal and abnormal in your fertility cycle

·       How to chart your fertility signs for family planning

·       How you can use your fertility chart as a medical health record

·       When to seek treatment for a fertility health issue and where to go

·       And much more…

The best part about the webinar is that it is pre-recorded so you can watch it at your own convenience.

It is time to shine the light on the fertility cycle. 

Knowledge is power.  The more you become in tune with your body, the more empowered and confident you become.

The more you can see that your monthly cycle is not a curse.  Your fertility is not a disease to be suppressed, but a gift to be cherished.