Female Hormones Health News

Hormones are substances that are produced by the body’s glands. Throughout the body, hormones perform a number of different functions, and they can control what happens in different bodily cells and organs. They travel throughout the body in the bloodstream.

Men and women share many of the same hormones that perform similar functions in both men and women. But there are also a number of distinctive hormones that are found only in women, or at least in much higher levels in women.

Sex Hormones

The primary hormones that are more important to women than men are the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are produced mainly by the ovaries, and they rise and fall at different points in the menstrual cycle, as well as when a women experiences menopause. Estrogen actually refers to three different hormones rather than just one. For example, estrone, or E1, rises in a woman after menopause. E2 is estradiol, and it is the main form of estrogen present throughout a woman’s reproductive years. And levels of estriol, or E3, increase throughout a woman’s pregnancy.

Other Female Hormones

There are other female hormones that play an important role in bodily functions unique to women, as well. Follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, for example, are both produced by the pituitary gland, and they play key roles in the menstrual cycle. For example, levels of follicle stimulating hormone rise at the time of a woman’s menstrual period. And luteinizing hormone levels increase as an egg is about to be released, or ovulation. Finally, when an egg is fertilized, a hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin is released as a signal of the fertilization and oncoming pregnancy.

Drops in female hormone levels are responsible for many of the bodily changes that occur after menopause. For this reason, some women consider hormone therapy to treat the symptoms of menopause.

SOURCES: National Cancer Institute; Women’s Health Foundation; U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Date Posted
Article Title
Opioid Use and Testosterone Levels

Long-term opioid use may cause hormone deficiencies.

Could Hormone Supplements for Menopause Make a Comeback?

New study suggests the therapy won't increase risk of early death

Could an Estrogen Patch Boost Women's Sex Lives in Menopause?

Study suggests that, given this way, short-term use of the hormone may help those who report symptoms

Estrogen May Influence Women's Depression Risk

Early menstruation, more frequent periods seem to make sad times less likely, researchers suggest

Concussion Can Spur Short-Term Change in Women's Periods

Odds of abnormal menstrual bleeding jump 6 times after serious head injury, study says

Hormone Therapy Not Advised for Preventing Disease After Menopause

Benefits of treatment don't outweigh the risks, U.S. task force reiterates

Timing of Menopause May Affect Heart Failure Risk

Women whose periods end early and those who never give birth seem at added risk, research suggests

Puberty's Onset May Depend on DNA

British researchers zero in on genetic links between early puberty and increased cancer risk

Another Menopause Side Effect: Shortness of Breath?

New research suggests lung function can decline significantly

Menopause Before 40? Risk of Broken Bones May Be Higher

And traditional preventive treatments don't erase added danger, new study suggests

'The Pill' May Raise Depression Risk

Study also ties hormonal patches, IUDs to greater antidepressant use, especially in teens

Are Birth Control Pills Tied to Decline in Ovarian Cancer Deaths?

Rates down 16 percent in U.S., 8 percent in Canada, and 10 percent in Europe over a decade: study

Frozen Embryos May Boost Pregnancy Odds for Some Women

Study finds they beat fresh embryos in polycystic ovary syndrome patients undergoing IVF

Vitamin D Levels May Fall When Women Stop Taking Birth Control

Expectant mothers or those trying to get pregnant should make sure they get enough of the nutrient, researchers say

Exploring the Link Between Estrogen and Migraines

Study sees big drop in levels of the female hormone in the days before menstruation

Female Pelvis Widens, Then Shrinks Over a Lifetime, Study Finds

Timing of shifts, at puberty and menopause, suggest that estrogen is steering changes, researcher says

Stroke Risk May Be Greater for Certain Migraine Sufferers: Studies

Patients having visual disturbances or taking estrogen face increased odds, researchers suggest

Migraines May Worsen as Menopause Approaches

Researchers say hormonal changes and painkiller overuse may be to blame

Women May Have Better Flu Defenses

Study might explain why men often seem harder hit by the virus

No Link Between 'the Pill' and Birth Defects: Study

Findings should reassure women and their doctors, experts say

Hormones Tied to Uterine Fibroid Risk in Study

High levels of testosterone, estrogen in middle age linked to raised odds of benign tumors in uterus

Ovarian Cyst Condition in Mom May Raise Odds for Autism in Child

Study suggests link for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, but can't prove cause-and-effect

Progesterone May Not Help Prevent Repeat Miscarriage, Study Finds

Findings likely to disappoint many couples, researcher says

Wielding Power May Spur Testosterone Surges: Study

Women see greater increase in levels of this 'male' hormone in competitive situations

Rare Condition Can 'Masculinize' Women

Case report details how ovarian hyperthecosis leads to balding, excess body hair

Hormone Replacement May Protect Women's Kidneys, Study Suggests

But the finding is considered preliminary and needs more study

Earlier Hormone Therapy May Pose Less Risk for Menopausal Women

Starting treatment around onset of menopause seems to lower threat to heart, study says

Acupuncture Best for Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Survivors: Study

Even 'sham' acupuncture beat one frequently used medication

Menopausal Women's Sleep May Suffer at Different Times of the Month

Hormonal fluctuations during menstrual cycle are to blame, study says

Hormone Therapy Doesn't Help Memory: Study

Researchers did see mood improvement in women on oral treatment