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Assignment #4

Graphing Hormones

Sarah Campbell
NBCC
Biology 112
April 10, 2020
1. a. During which days of the cycle does the level of FSH increase?

The level of FSH increases slightly around day 6, then peaks at its highest level around days 13 and 14.

b. During this period, what is happening to the follicle?

During this period several follicles may begin to develop, with only one fully maturing (ovulating). The
support cells produce estrogen while the primary follicle matures, causing blood to gather in the uterus
and creating another endometrium that will continue to grow for around seven or eight days.

2. a. On which day is the level of LH in the bloodstream the highest?

The level of LH in the bloodstream is the highest at day 13

b. What event occurs just after the level of LH peaks in the bloodstream?

Just after the level of LH in the bloodstream peaks, it causes the follicle to burst and release the ovum.
The follicle then begins to develop into a corpus luteum (ovulation) as the luteal phase begins.

c. What occurs as the level of LH decreases after peaking?

The luteal phase begins as the level of LH decreases after peaking with the follicle-stimulating hormone
levels decreasing as well. The ruptured follicle then closes after releasing the egg, forming a corpus
luteum, producing progesterone and estrogen.
3. a. During which days of the cycle does the level of estrogen increase significantly?

As the follicle grows, blood levels of estrogen rise significantly by cycle day six. The increase in estrogen
peaks at day 12, and begins to inhibit the secretion of FSH.

b. What is happening to the endometrium during this period?

Because the endometrium changes throughout the menstrual cycle in response to the hormones
secreted, it is during this period, that the estrogen and progesterone levels are heightened, thus
stimulating the endometrium to thicken. Estrogen causes the lining to grow and thicken to prepare the
uterus for pregnancy, and if pregnancy does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease.

4. a. During which days of the cycle does the level of progesterone increase significantly?

We can see the level of progesterone increasing steadily from days 10 through 20, with it peaking
around day 22.

b. What is happening to the endometrium during this period?

During this period, the significant increase in progesterone prepares the endometrium for the potential
of pregnancy after ovulation, and triggers the lining to thicken in order to accept and then nourish a
fertilized egg. Progesterone is what would stimulate the endometrium to secrete the nutrients that
would nourish the early embryo. If pregnancy does not occur then the progesterone (and estrogen)
levels decrease.

5. a. During which days of the cycle are the levels of estrogen and progesterone at their lowest?

The levels of estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest during days 1 & 2.

b. What is happening to the endometrium during this period?

As a result of the low levels of estrogen and progesterone, the top layers of the endometrium are shed
and flushed from the body, and menstrual bleeding begins to occur.

c. What is this period called?

This period is called menstruation or menstrual cycle. This occasion that occurs during flow phase marks
the beginning of the menstrual cycle, and is day one of a woman’s period/cycle.

6. Which hormones are at their highest levels in the blood when the uterine lining is the thickest?

The levels of progesterone share a very similar relation to the thickening of the endometrium. When
progesterone is at its highest levels in the bloodstream, the uterine lining is the thickest.
7. How do increased levels of estrogen and progesterone appear to affect the level of FSH?

The hypothalamus secretes GnRH, which stimulates the pituitary gland to produce the FHS needed to
commence follicle (egg) development. This is what causes the levels of estrogen and progesterone to
rise.

8. Does the name of FSH correspond to its function? Explain.

Yes, the name of FSH corresponds to its function – Follicle stimulating hormone was named for its
function, which is to stimulate ovarian follicles to grow and mature.

9. Does the name of LH correspond to its function? Explain.

Yes, the name of LH corresponds to its function - Luteinizing hormone was named for its function, which
is to stimulate the development of the corpus luteum. LH aids in egg maturation and provides the
hormonal trigger to cause ovulation and the release of the eggs from the ovary.

10. Summarize the effects of estrogen and progesterone on the endometrium.

When it comes to the endometrium, it could be said that both estrogen and progesterone have similar
functions, in that both are what nurtures the endometrium, causing it to grow. The Corpus Luteum
creates estrogen and progesterone – these hormones preform their “menstrual cycle tasks” while
instructing the hypothalamus to reduce the levels of GNRH, and telling the anterior pituitary to slow
down its hormone production. Throughout the menstrual cycle, the endometrium changes in response
to hormones. The hormone estrogen is made by the ovaries during the first part of the cycle, causing the
uterine lining to grow and thicken to prepare the uterus for pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur then
the estrogen and progesterone levels decrease. With the help of the hormone progesterone, the
endometrium is prepared for the potential of pregnancy after ovulation. This hormone triggers the
uterine lining to thicken to accept the fertilized egg (while also helping prepare the breasts for milk
production, if pregnant).

11. What would you expect the relative levels of the hormones to be on day 29?

I would expect the relative levels of hormones on day 29 to continue to follow their natural curves as
shown in the lines on the graph above, with all the hormone levels being similar to those occurring on
day one. LH would be somewhere between 7 and 8, FSH levels would be somewhere between 1 and 2,
the estrogen would be somewhere between 7 and 9, and Progesterone is a hard one to determine, as it
could fall anywhere between 1 and 8.