List of Female Hormones

There are several hormones that are considered "female" hormones, though some of them are naturally produced in a man's body as well. What gives them the characteristic of being a female hormone is the role they play in a woman's fertility, and the fact that they are more predominant in women than in men.


Estrogen is probably the best known female"sex" hormone. According to the National Women's Health Resource Center, estrogen is made in the adrenal glands, fatty tissue and the ovaries. Its primary functions are to promote breast growth in puberty, assist with the growth of the uterus lining in the beginning of the menstrual cycle and maintain bone strength by working with calcium, vitamin D and other minerals to prevent bone loss. Small amounts of estrogen are present within a man's body, also.


Like estrogen, progesterone is also produced in the ovaries and adrenal tissue. While estrogen is busy at work at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, progesterone performs in the second half of the cycle. After ovulation, progesterone prepares the lining of the uterus for the egg to be implanted. Dr. Candace Lane, who specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement, notes that progesterone production begins to wane in a woman's 40s, and after menopause. Low progesterone levels can cause symptoms such as irritability, mood swings, weight gain, depression, pain and osteoporosis. If progesterone is low, estrogen becomes the primary sex hormone, leading to what is termed "estrogen dominance."


Testosterone is considered a male hormone, but just as a small amount of estrogen is produced in men, a small amount of testosterone is produced in women. The Alexander Foundation for Women's Health reports that testosterone is made by other hormones, DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) and DHEA-S (a type of DHEA), which are steroid hormones produced in the adrenal glands. Testosterone performs the same function in women as it does men, just to a lesser degree. It strengthens a woman's energy level, libido, bones, muscles and sexual responsiveness to stimulation. Some women have higher levels of testosterone than others. An article in the August 24, 2009 edition of "U.S. News and World Report" relays a study that found that women with higher testosterone levels are more likely to choose a career that involves bigger risks, especially financial ones.


Another hormone naturally produced in women is hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin.) HGC is produced in the cells that make up the placenta during pregnancy. It is this hormone that is detected in both blood and urine pregnancy tests. According to the American Pregnancy Foundation, upon conception, levels of hCG double every three days, but then level off after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The Geneva Foundation for Education and Research explains that the role of hCG in pregnancy is to maintain the production of progesterone, which warms the body and maintains the lining of the uterus in pregnancy.

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