Did you know that it takes 100 days for a follicle to fully mature?

Primordial follicles, the reproductive units of the ovary, compete to maturation before ovulation and one follicle wins the race and becomes the dominant follicle for that cycle. Then during ovulation, the follicle will release an egg.

These 100 days determine follicle, egg and corpus luteum quality. A follicle with suboptimal growth will hinder egg development and will not form a normally functioning corpus luteum.

The corpus luteum is a temporary endocrine gland that develops after ovulation from the ruptured follicle during the luteal phase. It remains a structure until menstruation. During this time, the corpus luteum is responsible for producing progesterone. 

Without a properly functioning corpus luteum, there will be a deficit of progesterone production for the remainder of that cycle. Typically leading to high estrogen because estrogen and progesterone are in balance with one another. Low progesterone generally means high estrogen.

Symptoms of High Estrogen, commonly known as Estrogen Dominance:

  • Low libido
  • Mood swings
  • Bloating
  • Hormonal acne
  • Irregular cycle
  • Tender breasts
  • Fatigue
  • Increased PMS symptoms
  • Heavy painful periods
  • Headaches/migraines
Things that negatively impact follicular development:
  • Low quality diet
  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals, toxins, heavy metals, pollution
  • Nutrient deficiencies/not enough food
  • Chronic stress
  • Toxin accumulation in the body

How to support follicular development:

  • Diet: Consume a nutrient-rich diet that is protein and fat focused with whole foods.
  • Support detox pathways: Prioritize pooping daily and eat liver-supporting foods like beets, dark leafy greens, garlic, onions, radishes and turmeric. Lower toxic load on the body.
  • Reduce alcohol and refined sugar consumption 
  • Minimize stress: Meditate, deep breathing, journaling, low impact exercise, talk to a loved one
  • Regulate circadian rhythm: Wake up and go to the bed the same time every day. Get early morning sun exposure. Hormones are time dependent.
April 03, 2024 — Maxine Nathan