Role Of Hormones In Female Reproductive Organs
Female reproductive organs are controlled by the brain. The hypothalamus work in this respect, is easy and straight-forward – secret hormones needed for the female’s reproductive system. This function starts during the development of the female fetus, through the girls’ initiation to puberty, inducement to childbearing ages, welcoming of pregnancies, all the way to the postmenopausal phase.
To work well, females’ reproductive organs are guided by hormones. As such we are going to discuss the different types of hormones and their respective roles in female reproductive life as below:
Types of female hormones
There are primarily five types of hormones that influence a woman’s reproduction, viz:
- Gonadotropin hormone. This is secreted by the pituitary section of the brain and is carried by the blood to the female reproductive organs.
- Follicle stimulating hormones (FSH): These are also produced by the pituitary glands. They are active during the menstruation process, creating a conducive atmosphere for the production of ovaries.
- Luteinizing hormones (LH)are also manufactured by the pituitary glands. They work by triggering the ovaries to secrete estrogen and progesterone hormones. They also facilitate the release of the female eggs from ovaries in readiness for ovulation.
- Estrogen is produced by ovaries when a woman is not pregnant. Its secretion is transferred to placenta after a woman gets pregnant.
- Progesterone’s main function is to thicken the lining of the uterus for receiving and containing fetus after fertilization of the ovum. It inhibits the secretion of estrogen after conception and it’s produced by corpus luteum.
What roles do they play?
These hormones work independently and in unison to define the reproductive system of women.
- Puberty begins with the first physical and psychological changes in a girl. The menarche is the first menstrual cycle of a girl, normally occurring at the age of between 10 to 15 years. During this period, the gonadotropin is released by the brain to facilitate changes to the reproductive organs. The pelvis is widened while the clitoris, ovaries and uterus are matured to adult size. Estrogen and progesterone are also released to facilitate the development of breast, soft skin and pubic hair.
- Menstruation process is also controlled by these hormones. This cycle divided into two sections each of about 15 days and occurs in both the ovaries and uterus. In ovaries, two stages are experienced. The first half is known as the follicle phase and takes place between the first and fourteenth day of the monthly cycle. During this phase, the ovaries release the eggs for fertilization through the signals from the FSH and LH. The other half known as luteal phase, occurring from day 15 to 28. Here, corpus luteum wall swells in anticipation of pregnancy through the secretion of progesterone and little quantity of estrogen – the earlier hormone stopping the production of the follicle and luteinizing hormones. Concurrently, changes also occur in the uterusdue to progesterone and estrogen release. If fertilization does not occur, progesterone quantity reduces leading to the disintegration of the corpus luteum that results in the collapse of the uterine wall. This causes collected bloody mucus, nutrients and unfertilized eggs to enter the vaginal cavity where they are expelled through the menstruation process. Immediately afterwards, the secretion of estrogen increases and prepares the ovaries for the release of eggs for the next cycle.
- In case fertilization takes place, the placenta develops and produces the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone which accelerates the release of progesterone hormones throughout pregnancy. Here progesterone is used to cement the development of the placenta as well as to inhibit the secretion of FSH and LH via the hypothalamus.
- Menstruation continues throughout the females’ lifespan up to about 50 years when menopause sets in. During this time, the release of eggs for fertilization and the secretion of estrogen ceases. It leads to numerous physical and psychological effectsthat includes the thinning of the bone mass and vaginal dryness.
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