Natural hormones are biological chemicals that are produced within the body’s endocrine glands. They are transported throughout the blood stream and act as chemical messengers, effectively controlling different functions in a person’s systems.
Natural hormones have a massive impact on women’s bodies and subsequently their daily lives. Therefore, hormonal imbalance, which is commonly experienced during periods of major changes such as puberty or menopause, can lead to a whole host of problems. This is why it is essential that every woman is aware of the roles of the different hormones circulating around the body.
Body’s Communication System
Natural hormones play a role in just about every biological process within the body and are sophisticated chemical messengers. They form the body’s major communication network system, allowing for different parts of the body to communicate with each other.
Keep reading to find out more about the different types of natural hormones and the effects they have on the female body.
Types of Hormones
The endocrine system is a complex network made up of various different hormone-producing glands. However there are two main types of hormones within the female body known as peptides and sex hormones. The majority of hormones will fall under the classification of peptides, – which are hormones produced by the pituitary, thyroid, placenta, and pancreas – and sex - hormones, which include hormones produced by the adrenal glands and ovaries -.
It is the latter type of hormones that have the greatest impact on a woman going through menopause or other periods of hormonal changes. Sex hormones are steroids, or fat soluble compounds, that control sexual growth and reproduction.
In order to better manage hormonal imbalance, it is useful to be well acquainted with the primary hormones within the body. The main female hormones associated with menopause and other periods of hormonal imbalance are estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA. Keep reading to find out more about these different female sex hormones, in order to be able to manage their effects during the difficult time of menopause and other periods of hormonal change.
Estrogens are the primary female sex hormones. This group of hormones is essential to the sexual and reproductive development of women. Estrogen hormones are primarily produced in the ovaries, although the adrenal glands also play a small role in producing estrogen hormones.
Estrogen plays an important role in the regulation of the menstrual cycle, but also affects the running of the heart, blood vessels, bones, breasts, skin, hair, mucous membranes, pelvic muscles, and the brain.
Similar to estrogen, progesterone is also a female sex hormone and is vital for the regulation of various bodily functions. Progesterone is produced in the ovaries, the placenta during pregnancy, and the adrenal glands.
Progesterone controls a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle and prepares the body for pregnancy. It is also a hormone which boosts a woman’s libido and sexual desire.
Progesterone plays an important role in balancing out the effects of estrogen in a woman’s body. For example a common female hormonal imbalance is caused by an increase in estrogen levels and insufficient progesterone levels. This imbalance often occurs during menopause and can lead to symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, vaginal dryness, irritability and a decreased sex drive.
Testosterone is commonly stereotyped as being a male hormone. However testosterone is also one of the six hormones produced by the female reproductive organs.
In both men and women, testosterone has an important function in the health, well-being, and sexual functioning of the body. Although the physical effects of testosterone are more demonstrable in men they are still vitally important for women.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a natural steroid hormone that is derived from cholesterol and is mainly produced in the adrenal glands. DHEA is similar in its chemical composition to testosterone and estrogen and is easily converted into these hormones by the body. After production, the bloodstream carries DHEA to tissues and cells.
The exact effect and function that this hormone has on the female body is uncertain. What is certain is that this hormone is changed into testosterone and estrogen and so can have a dramatic effect on the levels of sex hormones within the female body. Consequently, it affects a woman’s sex drive and energy levels. It is also believed to help in building muscle and burning fat. The production of DHEA within a woman’s body usually decreases with age.
Having understood the varying functions of each of the individual hormones, continue reading to understand the role and effects of hormones in the body.
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