The monthly dance of the menstrual cycle is governed by the interplay of various hormones in your body.
A hormone is a chemical substance, produced by an organ, gland or special cells, that is carried through the bloodstream to regulate the activity of certain organs.
There are four main hormones in your body that direct the menstrual cycle. They are:
What many people do not realise is that these hormones not only affect the way the menstrual cycle works but they have other important functions that help your body stay healthy.
Over the next few months we will examine each hormone and see what role it plays in your body.
What is the effect of Oestrogen or Estrogen
Estrogens main function is cause the tissue growth and cell proliferation in specific areas in the body. Estrogen
- Promotes the development and maintenance of female reproductive structures.
This includes the fat distribution on our hips, breasts, abdomen, thighs, buttocks in fact all those curvy bits that makes us female. It also maintains the health of our inner reproductive organs especially the endometrial lining of the uterus.
- Assists in the control of fluid and electrolyte balance within the body, ensuring that our skin retains moisture.
- Prepares the follicle for the release of an egg.
- Controls the changes in our cervical mucus.
- Prepares our internal environment for fertility making it more sperm friendly.
- Helps maintain our bone density by increasing osteoblasts - which are bone forming cells.
There are three main types of estrogen produced in the female body - estrodial, estrone and estriol. Estrodial is the main estrogen produced in the body and it is secreted by the ovaries. Estrone is produced by the adrenal glands (which becomes more important post menopause) and Estriol is a by product of both estrodial and estrone and is made primarily in the liver.
Written by Nadia MacLeod