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
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

Hormone Therapy for Menopause Linked to Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Risk of a type of colitis increased somewhat for current HRT users, study found

U.S. Breast Cancer Cases Could Rise 50 Percent by 2030

Elderly women will account for growing proportion of cases, study predicts

New Study Casts Doubt on Dangers of Hormone Therapy for Hot Flashes

But other experts warn it's too soon to say the treatment is safe

More Than Half of Women Have Hot Flashes for at Least 7 Years

Finding suggests need for better treatments for menopause-related symptoms, study author says

Study Ties Hormone Therapy to Increased Ovarian Cancer Risk

Overall increase is small, though, adding 1 cancer per 1,000 women treated

Coffee Linked to Possible Lower Endometrial Cancer Risk

Women benefited from drinking about 4 cups daily, study suggests

IUDs, Contraceptive Implants Work Longer Than Thought, Researchers Report

Ongoing study shows they prevent pregnancy at least one year beyond their approved use

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Linked to Early Menopause: CDC

Disorder also associated with other menstrual problems and pelvic pain, study finds

Female Hormone Disorder Linked to Numerous Health Conditions

Study found women with polycystic ovary syndrome more likely to be hospitalized for variety of reasons

Could Quitting Smoking Be Easier for Women Just After Ovulation?

Hormonal fluctuations might play a role in cravings, researchers say

Expectant Dads May Also Have Hormonal Changes, Study Suggests

Experts can't explain why testosterone levels of men declined early in partner's pregnancy

No Link Between Migraine, Breast Cancer Risk, Study Says

Since both involve hormone levels, researchers suspected a possible connection

Testosterone Plays Minor Role in Older Women's Sex Lives, Study Finds

Quality of relationships may have more impact on libido

Kids: An Rx for Menopause's Hot Flashes?

'Bonding' hormone may play a role in study's findings, researchers say

Estrogen Receptor May Play a Role in Autism

Researchers find lower levels of key sex hormones in small study

Early Hormone Therapy May Be Safe for Women's Hearts

Hormone replacement started soon after menopause wasn't linked to hardening of the arteries in study

Men With Prostate Cancer May Not Always Get Best Advice

Doctors suggest widely varying treatments; second opinion vital, experts say

PMS Not Linked to Hot Flashes Later, Study Finds

But, women with PMS are more likely to have memory, concentration issues after menopause

Antidepressant Eases Menopause-Related Symptoms, Study Finds

Effexor nearly as good as estrogen therapy for reducing hot flashes, night sweats, researchers report

Higher Dose of IVF Drug May Be Needed for Obese Women

Study suggests different regimen might improve chances of pregnancy

Obesity, 'The Pill' May Raise MS Risk, Research Suggests

Early studies hint that certain hormones might be tied to inflammation, increased odds for multiple sclerosis

Ovary Removal Might Raise Odds for Bone Loss, Heart Disease

Doctors should assess overall risks in premenopausal women, study suggests

Postmenopausal Estrogen Therapy Tied to Lower Glaucoma Risk

Effect seen for women on estrogen-only treatment in study, but experts say more research is needed

Ban on Chemicals Lowers Human Exposures, Study Finds

But exposure to similar phthalates that aren't banned has risen, researchers say

Breast-Feeding Might Reduce Moms' Odds of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Study in China finds risk cut nearly in half after nursing

Experts Lay Out Options for Menopause Symptoms

Evidence grows that antidepressants can help, new guidelines say

Could Water Near Fracking Sites Disrupt Hormones?

Study looked at samples from drilling areas in Colorado