A Lady’s Guide to Hormones

Your body is a wonderful symphony of hormones, all working constantly every day for your wellbeing. While many women are familiar with the hormones estrogen and progesterone, there are many more hormones that are significant to our health. Like traffic controllers, hormones direct numerous important processes in the human body.

Here is a brief introduction to some of the hormones present in your body, what they do, and the health effects they may have.

Estrogen

Perhaps the most famous female hormone, estrogen is responsible for many of the physical processes we associate with having a uterus, from menstruation to pregnancy. However, men have estrogen too!

Your estrogen levels are responsible for:

* Regulating the menstrual cycle
* Optimizing bone health
* Controlling cholesterol
* Stimulating puberty, including growth spurts, hair growth, and breast growth

You also have three types of estrogen: estradiol, estrial, and estrone. Say that five times!

Progesterone

Progesterone is another famous hormone associated with women. It plays a crucial role in menstruation, stimulating the uterine lining to thicken, and readying it for the implantation of a fertilized egg. Low levels of progesterone can cause irregular or heavy periods.

FSH

The third cornerstone hormone to the menstrual cycle, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) does just that – stimulating ovarian follicle growth before an egg is released.

FSH also:

* Contributes to the growth process during puberty
* Increases the production of estradiol
* Stimulates the Sertoli cells in men’s testes to produce sperm

LH

Lutenizing hormone (LH) is also commonly associated with menstruation, but both sexes have it. In females, LH stimulates the production of estradiol in the ovaries and causes an egg to be released during ovulation. After fertilization, LH will continue stimulating the production of progesterone, which in turn works to maintain the pregnancy.

In men, LH stimulates the production of testosterone in the testes.

Testosterone

Yes, women have testosterone too!

It plays a number of important roles in our bodies, including:

* Maintaining bone and muscle strength
* Increasing sex drive
* Regulating levels of LH and FSH

In women, most testosterone is converted into estradiol.

Oxytocin

Often nicknamed the “love hormone,” we secrete larger amounts of oxytocin during activities like hugging, cuddling, and sex.

Oxytocin also:

* Stimulates contractions in the uterus during childbirth
* Stimulates the production of milk for breastfeeding
* Affects the movement and production of sperm in men

Studies also suggest that oxytocin is linked to social interaction and bonding, as well as stress and addiction.

Hormones and Your Health

Your body is chock full of hormones, but too much or too little of a hormone can have negative health consequences.

Medical conditions related to excessively high or low hormone levels include:

* Polycystic ovary syndrome, acne, and facial hair due to an excess of testosterone

* Irregular and heavy menstruation caused by a lack of progesterone

* Lower sex drive, lack of periods, mood swings, and other negative effects can come with lower than normal estrogen levels

Sometimes, medication is required to regulate your hormones. In fact, only 42% of women use birth control pills exclusively for contraception. Because medication in the United States is often very expensive, many American women are now looking abroad towards international and Canadian pharmacies. A reputable online pharmacy referral service like Rx Connected can provide you access to affordable, high-quality drugs that have gone through a rigorous approval process by regulatory bodies.

Take care of your health and take care of your hormones! If you are concerned about your levels, consider visiting your general practitioner for a referral to an endocrinologist.

Information in this article is sourced from the Society for Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society’s Hormone Health Network.

Speak Your Mind

*

Copyright 2014 @ A Celebration of Women™ The World Hub for Women Leaders That Care