The functioning of the hypophysis is altered during pregnancy. Since estrogen and progesterone levels remain elevated during the gestational period the production of GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) from the hypothalamus is inhibited. The lack of GnRH thus inhibits the secretion of FSH and LH from the hypophysis and a new menstrual cycle does not begin. If pregnancy does not occur the lowering of estrogen and progesterone levels stimulates the production of GnRH by the hypothalamus. This hormone then hastens the adenohypophyseal secretion of FHS and LH that in their turn stimulate the maturation of follicles and the beginning of a new menstrual cycle.