Female Sex Hormones

Estrogen, Progesterone, and testosterone - what do they do?

Estrogen

The primary female sex hormone plays a crucial role in reproductive and sexual development. 

Estrogen is produced mainly in the ovaries. It helps regulate the menstrual cycle, controlling the growth of the uterine lining during the first part of the cycle.

Progesterone 

A sex hormone produced by the ovaries and placenta that helps stabilize menstrual cycles and prepares the body for pregnancy.  

Its main job is to get your ovaries ready for pregnancy. After you ovulate each month, progesterone helps thicken the lining of the uterus to prepare for a fertilized egg. 

Testosterone

The main sex hormone in men, is also present with lower levels in women.  

It affects fertility, sexual desire, menstruation, tissue and bone mass as well as red blood cell production. 

Hormones are natural substances produced in the body. They help to send messages from cells and organs as well as relay when certain bodily functions should happen. For example they help regulate the menstrual cycle. This involves the monthly release of an egg from the ovary and the build-up and breakdown of the lining of the uterus 

Sex hormones are important for a range of bodily functions:

 

  • Puberty and sexual development 

  • Reproduction

  • Sexual desire

  • Regulating bone and muscle growth 

  • and more

Sex hormone levels fluctuate throughout a persons life. Factors that can affect these levels are:

  • Age 

  • Menstruation

  • Menopause

  • Stress

  • Pregnancy 

  • Medications 

  • Environment 

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