Lexicon of female hormones

Have you ever wondered how the female menstrual cycle works in your body? How the organs communicate with each other and how they are connected to the brain? The magic word is 'hormones.' These messengers control metabolism in a very complex way. This guide gives you an overview of the world of hormones and helps you understand and categorize menstrual cycle-related complaints correctly.

What are hormones?

So-called endocrine glands such as the thyroid, ovaries, or pituitary gland are responsible for hormone production in the body. The messenger substances are released from the cells into the blood and circulate throughout the body to their destination. They help regulate metabolism, circulatory functions, and the female reproductive cycle. From a biochemical perspective, hormones consist of fats or proteins.

The Most Important Female Hormones

Main Estrogen Estradiol: Your Happiness Hormone

Estradiol performs tasks throughout the body. Its level in the blood rises and falls with your monthly cycle. Around ovulation, you have the highest level of happiness hormone in your blood, while during your period, it decreases significantly. You may have noticed this in your mood. Men also need estradiol. The hormone keeps the skin and blood vessels elastic, supports the heart, and plays important roles in fat and sugar metabolism. Decreased levels can negatively affect the blood vessels and may lead to developing diabetes mellitus. In menopause, estrogen deficiency is responsible for typical symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and irritability. If your gynecologist replaces estradiol under strict blood level monitoring, side effects are extremely unlikely.

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Oestrone: The Team Player Among Happiness Hormones

Oestrone is also part of the happiness hormone group called estrogens. Its effects are closely related to those of estradiol. If you are still premenopausal, your body produces the hormone in your ovaries, subcutaneous fat tissue, and adrenal glands. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and overweight women almost always have high levels of oestrone in their blood. The high concentration of the hormone can interfere with the function of the pituitary gland. During menopause, it can cause menstrual irregularities and breast pain.

17-Hydroxyprogesterone: a calming hormone

From the group of calming hormones comes 17-hydroxyprogesterone. It is produced in the adrenal glands and ovaries during the first half of the menstrual cycle. It reaches its highest concentration after ovulation. Medical professionals use this hormone to diagnose sleep disorders, memory problems, and a male pattern of hair growth in women.

Corpus luteum hormone or progesterone: the balancing hormone

Progesterone is produced in the ovaries after ovulation and determines the second half of the menstrual cycle. It prepares the uterine lining for the implantation of a fertilized egg and stabilizes pregnancy if it occurs. Outside of pregnancy, it is responsible for a regular menstrual cycle and performs functions in the nervous system. Progesterone deficiency can lead to miscarriages or spotting. Your gynecologist can prescribe it to you as a medication if necessary. Other functions of the calming hormone include:

  • Increased urine production
  • Delayed skin aging
  • Tightening of connective tissue
  • Supporting bone metabolism
  • Emotional relaxation
  • Promotion of sleep

The power team: testosterone and DHEA

The male power hormone testosterone is also involved in muscle building, libido, mental well-being, and physical fitness in women. Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA for short, is often referred to as the fountain of youth hormone. It contributes to muscle building and is responsible for concentration and memory performance. If it is deficient, you may notice deficits in these areas. The level of DHEA significantly decreases with age, which is associated with physical and psychological signs of aging. An endocrinologist (specialist in hormonal disorders) can prescribe this hormone if needed.

Androstenedione: A power hormone

The male hormone is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and fatty tissue of women from the precursor form DHEA. If androstenedione is elevated in the blood, possibly in combination with other male hormones, affected women may experience male body hair growth. Patients with PCOS may also have elevated androstenedione levels.

Hormones during the female cycle

The days before your period can be challenging. Irritability and mood swings are attributed by scientists to a lack of the calming hormone progesterone. Many happiness hormones or estrogens around ovulation lift your mood. You feel attractive and motivated. Even mental highs can regularly occur in the middle of the cycle. Are you using birth control pills? They can be responsible for a testosterone deficiency that leaves you feeling tired, and your libido may decline. Talk to your doctor about your observations and alternative contraceptive methods.

You can do something for yourself

Exercise is said to help with mood swings because physical activity increases testosterone levels and, as a natural consequence, estrogen levels. The happiness hormone boosts your mood! You can also support your well-being with regular sleep, healthy eating, and moderate alcohol consumption. But of course, balance is key, and pleasure should not be neglected.

Even when your hormones are acting up and PMS is bothering you, femtis period underwear makes your period and the days leading up to it easier. Just put them on, feel comfortable, and no longer have to worry about being surprised by your menstruation.

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Leidenberger, F. A., Strowitzki, T., Ortmann O. (Hrsg.), Klinische Endokrinologie für Frauenärzte. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg 2014 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Endokrinologie, Hormone und Stoffwechsel (https://www.endokrinologie.net)