The Secret Powers of Ovulation (It’s Not Just for Making a Baby)

benefits of ovulationOvarian hormones estrogen and progesterone are beneficial for health. That means natural ovulatory menstrual cycles are beneficial for health because ovulation is how women make hormones.

Does that surprise you? Men make testosterone every day, so you might think women do something similar, but we don’t. Instead, women make hormones as a surge of estradiol leading up to ovulation and an even bigger surge of progesterone after ovulation.

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Do Women Need Periods?

do women need periods

With the news that women don’t need pill-bleeds came the headlines “women don’t need periods,” which is completely wrong.

It’s true that women don’t need pill-bleeds because pill-bleeds are not periods. But women do need natural menstrual cycles, and here’s why.

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Why Progesterone Is Just as Important as Estrogen

It’s time to bring progesterone into the conversation about women’s health. That’s according to Canadian endocrinology professor Jerilynn Prior in her paper “Women’s reproductive system as balanced estradiol and progesterone actions—a revolutionary, paradigm-shifting concept in women’s health.” In the paper, Professor Prior makes the case that historically there has been a “cultural over-emphasis on estrogen” while “progesterone tends to be ignored or associated with negative effects.”

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Ovulation Is the Main Event of the Menstrual Cycle

Anovulatory cycles and pill bleeds.A menstrual cycle is, by definition, an ovulatory cycle in which ovulation is the main event and progesterone is made.

Any other kind of bleed is either an anovulatory bleed or a pill-bleed — neither of which are real menstrual cycles. Ovulatory cycles are the only way to make progesterone which is important for general health, not just for making a baby.  

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