What are Hormones?
Hormones are the chemicals that are responsible for controlling and regulating the activities of certain cells and organs. These hormones are secreted by ductless glands known as endocrine glands.
Hormones are made of either proteins or steroids, which function as messengers of the body and maintain internal balance and keeps the human body in a state of homeostasis. These secreted chemicals (Hormones) are distributed throughout the body along with the bloodstream.
There are numerous hormones synthesised by the respective glands that perform an immense number of functions for various purposes. Here, in this article let us learn about the female hormones along with its functions.
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There are several hormones in females which are naturally produced and secreted by the glands of the endocrine system. The female hormones, estrogen, and progesterone are secreted for the influence on a woman’s reproductive health and are termed as female hormones. Apart from these, testosterone hormones normally considered as the male hormone is also produced by the ovaries (female reproductive organ) in very small quantities.
Hormones have multiple important effects on women’s health as their role being played in women’s fertility along with the fact that female hormones are more dominant in women than men.
Although each sex hormone is identified with specific sex, but are found in both women and men.
Types of Female Hormones
Estrogen is the most well known female sex hormone. According to the National Women’s Health Resources Center, this sex hormone is produced in the adrenal glands, ovaries and fatty tissue. Its foremost function is to assist breast growth in puberty, help in the growth of uterus lining during the menstrual cycle and maintaining the bones strength by collaborating with vitamin D, calcium, and minerals. A little amount of estrogen is present in man’s body also.
Also Read: Menstrual Cycle
Similar to estrogen, progesterone is also produced in the adrenal tissue and ovaries. The progesterone hormone performs its function in the second half of the cycle. It forms the uterus lining for the eggs to be implanted after ovulation. Experts noted that the production of progesterone initiates to wane after menopause in women. Low levels of progesterone could be behind symptoms like mood swings, irritability, depression, weight gain, osteoporosis, and other joint pains. Estrogen rises to be the primary sex hormone when progesterone is low and leads to estrogen dominance.
Read more: Difference between Estrogen and Progesterone
Human chorionic gonadotrophin is another hormone that is produced naturally in women. HCG is made in the cells that make up the placenta at the time of pregnancy, This hormone is found in both urine and blood tests for pregnancy. Studies show that the levels of HCG double every third day and the reduce after the 12th week of pregnancy. The role of HCG in pregnancy is to maintain the production of progesterone that keeps the body warm and maintains the uterus lining in pregnancy.
Also Read: Human Pregnancy
Testosterone is typically considered to be a male hormone but similar to a small amount of estrogen is formed in men, a little amount of testosterone is also formed in women. This testosterone hormone is developed by other hormones namely DHEA and DHEA-S.
DHEA – Dehydroepiandrosterone is also kind of a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands. Testosterone performs similar functions as it performs in men but to a lesser extent. In females, it increases a woman’s energy level, bones, libido along with sexual responsiveness to stimulation. According to studies and surveys, women with higher levels of testosterone are likely to opt for a career that has higher risks mainly the economic ones.
Learn more in detail about the female hormones, types, functions and other related topics @ Byju’s Biology