That’s right. How well do you know your hormones? Or are you the person who’s forgotten what hormones are? It’s okay. A lot of people do tend to forget, except for the names, estrogen and testosterone.
So, let’s cover the most important thing first. Hormones are the chemical messengers, that serve to communicate between the organs and tissues. Secreted directly into your blood, the hormones are carried to the organs and tissues of the body to help them carry out their required functions. Every hormone in your body has a specific job to do, both physiological and behavioral. Some of these things are digestion, metabolism, respiration, stress induction, growth and development, movement, reproduction, and mood manipulation.
Now, do you see how much in control of your body, behavior, mood and motions hormones are? Hormones can literally affect cell function and influence them to behave a certain way.
Now, where all do these hormones get secreted from? You probably already know this, but for the sake of clarity, we’re talking about the Endocrine System of the body. The ductless endocrine glands secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream, which helps carry them to their required direction. Some of the major endocrine glands in the system are the pituitary gland, thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, testes, and ovaries.
While the amount of hormone secretion is minuscule, it takes a very small amount of the hormones in your bloodstream to bring about massive changes in your body and behavior. Even the slightest excess or deficiency of hormone secretion can lead to problems, as seen quite often with Thyroid.
Now that we’ve cleared all that up, let’s come to the female hormones! The major ones you need to keep track of are estrogen, testosterone, inhibin, and progesterone. When the ovaries, and by ovaries we mean you, reach full maturity, aka when you start menstruating, the ovaries end up releasing these hormones into your bloodstream.
You might be thinking, ‘But Testosterone is a male hormone!’
It’s true, it is, but at the same time it’s not just exclusive to men. Women also have certain amounts of testosterone and about 50 % of that is secreted directly from your ovaries and adrenal glands into your bloodstream. In fact, it plays a key role in your body’s estrogen production, helps keep your libido active and maintains bone and muscle mass!
Estrogen, on the other hand, is responsible for the appearance of secondary sex characteristics in women when they hit puberty. It is also responsible for the maturation and maintenance of your reproductive organs, hello periods! On a lighter note, the estrogen in your body helps stimulate breast tissue growth, maintains vaginal blood flow and lubrication and keeps the vaginal lining elastic. It is also responsible for the thickening of the lining in your uterus during your menstrual cycle. Bonus! It also helps preserve your bone density.
Progesterone is another important hormone in the female body and is directly involved in the reproductive aspects of the same. Progesterone helps prepare your uterus for pregnancy, and the mammary glands (breasts) for lactation (milk production). Progesterone functions with estrogen by promoting menstrual cycle changes in the endometrium aka the lining of the uterus where the fertilized egg attaches itself. We hope you found are answers and explanations helpful, if you have any questions please put them up in the comments section of our social media and we’ll be sure to write about them!