What is a hormone? This question is commonly questioned when someone talking about reproduction. Reproductive hormone is a steroid or fat soluble compounds that control sexual maturity and reproduction. The hormones are mainly produced by the endocrine glands. The endocrine glands in female are in ovaries and for male are in testes. Male and female actually have all types of hormones in their bodies.
Female commonly produce the two types of hormones, estrogens and progesterone, while male produce mainly androgens such as testosterone. The androgens hormone that is produced by female are converted to estrogens and some androgens in male are also converted to estrogens. Reproductive hormones are synthesized from cholesterol and other compounds and secreted during the life time at different levels. Normally, the production of reproductive hormones increases it puberty and decreases in old age.
The production of hormones themselves is a complex process. The hypothalamus gland produces gonadotropin-releasing hormone. Then, this hormone stimulates the pituitary gland to produce follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). After that, these hormones give signal to sex glands or gonads to produce reproductive hormones.
In female reproductive cycle, female will produce three types of estrogens: estradiol, estriol, and estrone. They stimulate growth of the ovaries and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. In the other hand, estrogens also have function to control the body’s secondary sex characteristics, such as breast and pelvic development and the distribution of fat and muscle.
Progesterone maintains the urine condition during the pregnancy and also act on the central nervous system, but the way it act is not yet understood. In the monthly reproductive cycle, FSH stimulates the growth of an ovarian body, the grafian follicle. LH aids in the rupture of the follicle and send the egg to fallopian tubes. LH also takes part of the growth of corpus luteum as the ovary prepares to release the egg to the uterus. In male, LH stimulates the development of the testes.
Testes produce the androgens, testosterone, and androsterone. At the time FSH activates the testes to form the cells; testosterone maintains the forming process of sperm. The androgens promote the secondary sex characteristics of male include muscle growth, lowered voice range, the Adam’s apple, and also increased body hair.
If there is a problem in the hormone producing process, the Growth Hormone Deficiency can occur. Growth hormone deficiency can occur as an isolated deficiency or in combination with other pituitary hormones. When hormone deficiency is diagnosed, make sure to know that the other pituitary hormones are in proper condition and function. The symptoms of hormone deficiency may not be apparent at birth, but by the age of 6 months growth retardation can be detected. In children, it may reveal short stature, delayed secondary tooth eruption, and delayed puberty.
Determination of none age from hand X-rays is important in detecting growth problems. In adults the hormone deficiency commonly complained by lethargy and decreased sense of well-being. This deficiency affected the function of heart and physical weakness on skeletal muscles. Female hormone pills usually used for hormone therapy such as contraception tools.