Search databaseBooksAll DatabasesAssemblyBiocollectionsBioProjectBioSampleBioSystemsBooksClinVarConoffered DomainsdbGaPdbVarGeneGenomeGEO DataSetsGEO ProfilesGTRHomoloGeneIdentical Protein Net CatalogNucleotideOMIMPMCPopSetProteinProtein ClustersProtein Family ModelsPubChem BioAssayPubChem CompoundPubChem SubstancePubMedSNPSRAStructureTaxonomyToolKitToolKitAllToolKitBookgh Bookshelf. A company of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

You are watching: The menstrual cycle depends on events within the female ovary

StatPearls . Treacertain Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-.


Menstrual Cycle Proliferative And Follicular Phase

Carol N. Monis; Maggie Tetrokalashvili.

Author Information


The follicular phase of the female menstrual cycle consists of the maturation of ovarian follicles to prepare one of them for release during ovulation. During the exact same duration, tright here are conexisting changes in the endometrium, which is why the follicular phase is likewise well-known as the proliferative phase. 

Issues of Concern

Follicular Phase

The duration of the menstrual cycle varies and occurs eextremely 21 to 35 days, through an average expectations of 28 days. Oligomenorrhea explains inregular menstrual durations and cycles lasting even more than 35 days. Polymenorrhea refers to frequent menstrual durations and also cycles lasting less than 21 days. It is crucial to note that the duration of the follicular phase have the right to differ depending on the length of the cycle, while the luteal phase is commonly steady and lasts 14 days. Based on a 28-day cycle, the follicular phase measures from the initially day of menstruation (day 0) until the start of ovulation (day 14). When the previous menstrual cycle completes, and the corpus luteum breaks down, the levels of estrogen, progesterone, and also inhibin A will decrease. This chain of events will certainly reason positive feedback to the hypothalamus and also anterior pituitary, and a succeeding pulsatile release of GnRH and also FSH into circulation. This increase in FSH will stimulate the granulosa cells of the ovaries to recruit a number of follicles from each ovary. These follicles will complete maturation, and just one Graafian follicle will go via ovulation in the time of that cycle. The rise in FSH additionally stimulates the secretion of Inhibin B by the granulosa cells. Inhibin B will certainly inevitably blunt the secretion of FSH toward the finish of the follicular phase. Inhibin B levels will certainly be greatest in the time of the LH surge prior to ovulation, and also will certainly easily taper off after.<1><2>

The level of FSH available deserve to vary based on the age of the female. The functioning of the ovaries weakens through increasing age, which reasons much less inhibin manufacturing in the previous luteal phase. The reduced inhibin levels stimulate a larger release of FSH compared to that of a younger female. These raising levels of FSH cause even more active recruitment of ovarian follicles, which can increase the event of even more than one ovulation per cycle. Because the follicles gain recruited at an raised price, the all at once duration of the follicular phase will decrease, and the follicle released for ovulation will be immature. Due to these age-connected alters in the early on follicular phase, medical professionals have the right to assess suspected infertility by checking serum FSH and also estradiol levels roughly day 3 of the cycle. Also, the ovarian reserve have the right to be predicted by surveillance serum levels of anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) made by the granulosa cells, as this hormone plays a vital role in folliculogenesis. AMH levels have the right to be monitored at any suggest in the time of the menstrual cycle.<3><4><5>

The mid-follicular phase will start through a climb in levels of estradiol and also inhibin B created by the ovarian follicles in response to a rise in FSH; this will lead to negative feedago that will decrease the levels of FSH. It is throughout this time that the selection of the follicle intended for ovulation takes location. This follicle is referred to as the dominant follicle. Different theories suggest how the leading follicle is determined. One principle is that the follicle expushing the highest amount of FSH receptors will certainly be the one to promote its growth and also ovulate, while the other follicles are suppressed and also undergo atresia. Another theory states that the anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) plays a duty in the selection of the leading follicle.<6><7><8><9>

As an answer to the rise in FSH levels throughout the early on follicular phase, there will certainly be a proliferation of granulosa cells. This increase in the number of granulosa cells will reason a concurrent climb in FSH receptors on the cells. The raised FSH levels allow the granulosa cells to create estradiol, which recruits LH receptors on granulosa cells as well. With LH receptors currently present, the granulosa cells will certainly create small amounts of progesterone and 17-hydroxyprogesterone. The progesterone released by the granulosa cells regulates granulosa cell proliferation and ultimately slows follicular development.<10> 

As the follicular phase comes to an end, estradiol levels will quickly rise. With this rise in estradiol, the negative feedago loop will switch to positive feedearlier. Tright here is no definitive answer as to why this switch in feedearlier happens, yet suggestions are that kisspeptin neurons play a role. The positive feedearlier from the estradiol will certainly stimulate the hypothalamus and the anterior pituitary, and also tright here will be a surge in LH, signaling the end of the follicular phase and the start of ovulation.<11>

Proliferative Phase

In enhancement to ovarian follicle maturation, transforms likewise take place in the endometrium in the time of the initially 14 days of the cycle, therefore the term ‘proliferative phase.’ The boosting concentrations of estradiol strongly affect the endometrial alters that happen before ovulation. The proliferative phase have the right to subdivide right into the early on, mid-, and also late proliferative phases. The at an early stage proliferative phase occurs appropriate after menses, generally approximately day 4 to day 7. The regenerating surchallenge of the endometrium develops a thin, linear, and also echogenic layer. The glands themselves will certainly be short, right, and narrowhead through microvilli and also cilia developing on the epithelial cells. Inactive glands that are still overcoming the last menstrual cycle might show up to have a cuboidal and also ragged appearance. Throughout this early on phase, the closely bunched stroma will certainly display some mitotic task, through its cells appearing spindle-shaped. The cellular nuclei will additionally undergo enlargement via minimal bordering cytoplasm. The endometrium will certainly then progression to the mid-proliferative phase, generally about day 8 to day 10 of the cycle. These glands will be composed of columnar epithelium and will be more elongated and also curved. Finally, the late proliferative phase occurs from approximately day 11 to day 14. Throughout the late proliferative phase, the glands will coil and also become carefully packed together. These glands will be undergoing active mitosis and nuclear pseudostratification. The stratum functionalis layer (also known as the inner lining) of the endometrium will reach its maximal thickness of roughly 0.5 to 5mm and also construct a trilaminar appearance. The trilaminar endometrium will certainly consist of a thin inner line and also an outer basil layer, both echogenic. In the middle layer will certainly be a darker rim. The spiral arteries will elongate to administer sufficient blood circulation to the endometrium, to compensate for this raised endometrial thickness.

See more: A Low Fat Diet Would Have The Most Impact On The Bioavailability Of Which Vitamin?


Throughout the proliferative phase, the cervix will conpresently go with alters in response to the boosting levels of estradiol. Tbelow are crypts or networks in the cervix that develop a watery, thin, mucoid discharge to make the vagina much less acidic. The cervical canal will certainly appear more dilated and distfinished on ultrasonography to accommoday the raising amounts of cervical discharge. Overall, these endometrial and also cervical transforms function to develop a much less hostile setting for entering sperm.<13>