Estrogens and progestins are the female sex hormones. Through menopause change concentration and mode of action of hormones.
The sex hormones are used for development of male and female sexual characteristics, growth, physical and psychological maturation, and reproduction. These include, nucleation, pregnancy and milk production. Sex hormones are produced by both sexes, but in different proportions. The male sex hormones are grouped into the androgens, including testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. However, androgens are also produced in the ovaries and the adrenal glands of women. The main estrogen is 17-β-estradiol, while progesterone is an important hormone progesterone.
Influence of estrogen
Estrogens, including follicular hormones, are primarily formed in the ovaries. Also in the placenta, small amounts in the adrenal cortex and adipose tissue produces estrogen. Estrogens have many functions in the body. They exert a positive influence on the structure and the moisture content of the skin as well as the stability of the bone. Estrogens also prevent hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), brittle bones (osteoporosis) and joint wear and tear (osteoarthritis) before. They lower cholesterol and lead to increased water retention. The typical fat distribution of women, such wide hips and narrow waist is determined by estrogen.
Progestins and their effects
Progestins are familiar with the term luteal hormones. The concentration of progesterone in the body is cycle dependent. Thus, this hormone has a major role in the preparation of a possible pregnancy and in the second half of the cycle is the dominant hormone. It promotes, in addition to the structure of the corpus luteum, the growth of the mammary gland in pregnancy and results in an increased basal body temperature.
Hormones and Menopause
If a woman enter into menopause, the body produces less estrogen. A lack of estrogen can have serious physical consequences and the settlement for a woman. Therefore so-called substitution therapy should be initiated early.