#WednesdayWisdom Series // Oestrogen
🤓 Firstly, what is a hormone? A hormone is a chemical substance, produced by an organ, gland or special cells, that is carried through the bloodstream to regulate the activity of certain organs.
💁🏽 Oestrogen’s main function is to promote tissue growth and cell proliferation in specific areas in the body, specifically our inner reproductive organs, as well as fat distribution on our hips, breasts, abdomen, thighs, and buttocks (basically all our curvy bits).
🌷 There are three main types of estrogen produced in the female body - oestradiol, estrone and estriol. Oestradiol is secreted by the ovaries, oestrone is produced by the adrenal glands and oestriol is a by-product of both oestradial and estrone that is made primarily in the liver.
❤️ Oestrogen maintains the health of the endometrial lining of our uterus, prepares a follicle to release an egg once a month, controls changes in our cervical mucus, and makes our internal environment ideal for sperm, thus promoting fertility in the right circumstances.
💪🏻 Oestrogen also plays an important role in maintaining our bone mineral density by increasing and promoting the activity of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells). This is why post-menopausal women, who no longer have high oestrogen levels, are at higher risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis than younger women.
😚 Oestrogen is most dominant in the first part of the female menstrual cycle, known as the follicular phase. Low levels of oestrogen (and progesterone) trigger the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which promotes the maturation of a follicle in the ovaries.
🙇🏼♀️ This follicle releases oestrogen as it matures to prepare the uterus for pregnancy, and thus oestrogen levels steadily rise. On day 12-14, oestrogen reaches its peak, triggering a rise in luteinising hormone, which causes the release of an egg from the follicle.