Hormones are chemicals, which transfer information and regulate many processes throughout the body. They serve many important functions in our lives. For women there are many specialized female hormones that affect them from the beginning of life right into old age so it is important to learn as much as possible about them.
As we grow up from childhood and begin to develop, hormones once held dormant, begin to be released and cause many changes in physical appearance. There are also many internal differences as well. Female hormones are responsible for all the specialized development that a girl goes through in becoming a woman. The process usually takes around four years and in this time varying hormone levels can be difficult to adapt to. As the process begins, the hypothalamus begins to release hormones that will in turn trigger another endocrine gland, the pituitary gland, to release two other hormones. These two hormones are luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). These are sent to the ovaries, which are then stimulated to create their own female hormones.
Female hormones are also necessary in regulating a women's menstrual cycle, allowing her to give birth. The main hormones produced by the ovaries are progesterone and estrogen. These along with LH and FSH have a large role in a women's natural cycle. Hormones take a drastic change when a woman becomes pregnant as well. Estrogen and Progesterone levels remain high in the body during this time. There are many different hormones as well. Each hormone involved in pregnancy serves a vital role in this complex cycle.
After a pregnancy, hormone levels yet again take another drastic change, reverting back to normal levels. This can be difficult for some women to adapt to and there are a number of negative symptoms that are believed to be caused by the many hormonal changes occurring in the body. Female hormones and their affect on emotional and psychological behavior are still not very well known however.
Women undergo another change in hormone levels at around the age of 45-50. At this point the ovaries become unable to produce normal amounts of female hormones. This is known as menopause. When the process begins there may be irregularities in the menstrual cycle until finally it ceases altogether. This can have a negative effect on many aspects of health as estrogen serves many functions including protecting the heart and bones. There are also various other negative side effects caused by menopause such as hot flashes and bone loss. There are however, a number of ways to treat the side effects including with hormone replacement therapy. Hormone replacement therapy may even be able to protect against osteoporosis and heart disease however this therapy requires a balance that should be discussed with your doctor.
From the very beginning of life, female hormones have a great effect on a woman's life. They shape appearances, make having children possible and are responsible for many important experiences for a women. Knowing all you can about these important parts of your body is important in keeping healthy.