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How to work with the Menstrual Cycle

You will know from your science lessons how the menstrual cycle is controlled by hormones. The word hormones derives from the Greek “haumea”, meaning to excite. More then 80 hormones have been discovered in humans. They are a crucial part of how we grow, reproduce, behave and feel! Hormones are fascinating ,and can have many different effects in animals.

Thyroxine is a hormone which regulates metabolism. Scientists measured the levels of thyroxine in giant pandas, discovering that they only had around half as much thyroxine as you would find in other mammals of a similar body mass. They actually had less thyroxine than hibernating black bears!! That certainly goes some way to explaining why they are so lazy.

Cats are usually solitary animals. However, domestic cats often live together. Scientists completed a study to find out why, observing their behaviour, measuring hormone levels in urine, and looking at the microbes in their guts from faecal samples. They discovered that cats with low levels of the hormones cortisol and testosterone had more contact with other cats. Surprisingly, the cats with higher levels of the hormone oxytocin were not very social, and did not bond with others!

GCSE scientists – you need to be able to explain the stages of the menstrual cycle, and how hormones control it. For help with this, try our new guide “How to work with the Menstrual Cycle”.  It includes a description of the stages, and how hormones interact to control it. As always there are questions to try, and answers to check understanding.

How to work with the menstrual cycle
Come back and check our blog page for more resources to help you improve your understanding of different topics in various subjects.   New Maths and Science guides will be coming soon.

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