Hormones & their effects on the Female body

Did you know that your hormones are one of the main reasons for your mood swings and behavioral changes? Hormones are chemical substances produced by glands (like the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, testes, and pancreas) that are a part of the endocrine system. These glands release hormones into the blood. Hormones help to perform a variety of functions in the body which include:  

  •  Growth and development 
  •  Metabolism 
  • Controlling thirst and hunger cravings. 
  • Maintaining body temperature. 
  • Control the blood glucose levels 
  • Heart rate 
  • Sexual functions and reproduction 
  • Sleep and wake cycle 

This article gives you an insight into female hormones.  

  1. Estrogen: This is a major female hormone produced by the ovaries (a small amount is also produced by adrenal glands and fat cells). During pregnancy, the placenta also produces estrogen. It is also called the primary sex hormone because of its significant role in the reproductive cycle: puberty-menstruation-pregnancy-menopause. Estrogen imbalances can cause diseases like menstrual disturbances, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), infertility, endometriosis, osteoporosis, and ovarian cancer. Some crucial functions of estrogen are:  
    • Responsible for Puberty and associated changes in the female body 
    • Control of body fat distribution 
    • Breast development  
    • Bone health 
    • Body fluid level regulation and retention 
    • Cardiovascular health 
    • Growth of hair and nails 
    • Sleep and mood alterations 
    • Skin health.
  2. Progesterone: This hormone is produced by the ovaries at the time of ovulation and by the placenta during pregnancy. The major function of progesterone is to thicken the uterus lining (endometrium) to receive the fertilized egg for implantation. The other functions are:  
    •  Supports pregnancy 
    • Suppress estrogen production after ovulation 
    • Progesterone levels start to drop if pregnancy doesn’t occur, leading to endometrium being shed and eliminated through menstruation. Low progesterone levels can lead to an irregular menstrual cycle, heavy bleeding, weight gain, endometrial cancer, depression, etc. 
  3. Luteinizing hormone (LH):  This hormone is produced by the pituitary gland in your brain and helps bring about puberty and plays a primary role in your menstrual cycle by facilitating ovulation (by signaling the release of the egg from the follicle). The other functions of the LH are: 
    • It is responsible for the signals that stimulate the production of testosterone and estradiol during puberty (an extremely potent form of estrogen).  
    • It helps to control the menstrual cycle by signaling the production of estrogen before ovulation and progesterone after it. Having too much or too less of this hormone can cause lots of problems like lower sex drive, infertility, menstrual difficulties in women, and delayed puberty in children.  
  4. Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): This hormone is also produced by the pituitary gland and plays a vital role in the reproductive system. Its major function is to stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs and help manage the menstrual cycle during puberty. The FSH levels vary from high to low throughout in menstrual cycle and are highest in the times before the release of an egg.  Elevated levels of this hormone are associated with Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (PSI)-which is the loss of ovarian functions before the age of 40. Also, you can have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (POS), a common hormonal disorder that leads to infertility or ovarian tumors.  
  5. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG): It is produced by syncytiotrophoblastic cells which are found in the placenta and produced during pregnancy. Some small amount of this hormone is also produced by the pituitary gland, the liver, and the colon. The main function of this hormone is to stimulate the corpus luteum to produce the progesterone hormone during the times of early pregnancy. HCG levels increase after conception and continue to rise until 10 weeks (about 2 and a half months) into pregnancy. With the help of estrogen and progesterone, it helps to thicken the uterus lining and stop menstruation.  The diseases caused by imbalanced HCG levels are gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, miscarriage, etc. 
  6. Testosterone: Not only men but women also have testosterone in their bodies. It is produced by adrenal glands and ovaries (in smaller amounts). Higher testosterone levels can lead to diseases in women including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (POS), hirsutism, acne, and ovarian tumors.  The major functions this hormone does in women are given below: 
      • Controlling sexual desire 
      • Regulates the menstrual cycle 
      • Strengthen bones and muscles 

Want more detailed info about hormones? Contact our endocrinologists for a free consultation on how to prevent hormonal imbalances and take care of your hormonal health. What are you waiting for? 

At Doral Health and Wellness, we have doctors that can help you manage your condition. For more information, you can visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11212, or call us on 1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at https://doralhw.org or contact us at info@doralhw.org if you have any queries.