Know Cyclical “Fluctuations” Of Female Hormones For Good Relationship
Women live with female hormones for about 40 years, from menarche to menopause. The functions of female hormones are truly diverse. Not only does it support women's unique functions such as childbirth, but it is also deeply involved in physical, and mental health, and beauty. Taking full advantage of the benefits of female hormones during this time will lead to a healthy life in the latter half of life.
In today's era of “100-year lifespans,” it is becoming increasingly important to have the correct knowledge about female hormones and to manage relationships effectively. It is important that not only the woman herself but also those close to her, such as her family and partner, have the necessary knowledge and understanding. Read me and share it with your close ones.
What are female hormones?
The ovaries secrete two hormones that are specific to women: progesterone (also known as progesterone) and oestrogen (also known as follicular hormone).
Estrogen is a hormone that creates "femininity" so to speak. It plays a significant role in the growth and beauty of women, contributing to things like the formation of the breasts and reproductive organs, the growth of the uterine lining, menstruation, pregnancy, a round feminine figure, and the firmness and moisture content of the skin. It also helps to maintain general health by shielding blood vessels and bones.
The hands (also known as "receptors") that receive oestrogen signals are found throughout the body, from the top of the head to the toes, in blood arteries, bones, the brain, and organs specific to women, like the uterus and breasts. In other words, oestrogen acts on all bodily systems and promotes women's health internally.
On the other hand, the second hormone- progesterone is involved in "giving birth and raising children." Progesterone prepares the endometrial lining, which has grown due to estrogen, to make it easier for a fertilized egg to implant, and once pregnancy occurs, it works to maintain this state.
The roles of progesterone and oestrogen, the two female hormones, are as follows:
Estrogen (follicular hormone): The hormone responsible for "femininity". It is a hormone released from the egg's surrounding "ovarian follicle". It supports
- Encourages the growth of the genitalia and breasts
- Give a rounded, feminine body shape.
- Preparing for pregnancy by growing the endometrium
- Preserves the health of blood vessels, bones, and joints
- Maintain cognitive function
- Hydrates the mucous membranes and skin
- Exacerbates conditions like breast cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and endometrial cancer.
Progesterone (luteal hormone): It is a hormone necessary for "childbirth and raising a child". A hormone secreted from the “corpus luteum” in which the follicle changes after ovulation.
The endometrium grown by estrogen matures, making it easier for a fertilized egg to implant.
- Help in maintaining pregnancy when it first appears
- Increase body temperature
- Stimulates appetite
- Retain water
- Inhibit digestive function
- Induce drowsiness and make you sleepy
The menstrual cycle created by "Monthly waves" of female hormones
Menstruation is also caused by the action of female hormones. The menstrual cycle is divided into four stages, depending on changes in female hormones: the follicular phase, the ovulatory phase, the luteal phase, and the menstrual phase.
During the "follicular phase," the ovaries increasingly release more oestrogen which also sees a steady proliferation of endometrium in the uterus. Ovulation, the release of the egg from the ovary follicle, happens when the brain sends a signal when the amount of oestrogen secreted reaches its maximum. The "ovulation period" is at this time. The follicle empties after the egg is expelled and changes into a tissue known as the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum secretes progesterone. Progesterone matures the endometrium and gets the uterus ready for pregnancy during this luteal phase. If pregnancy develops at this point, a portion of the endometrium helps the placenta develop the foetus; in the absence of pregnancy, the endometrium is eliminated from the body and the uterus is reset. This is known as "menstruation," and the "follicular phase" repeats itself after every menstrual period. This is how a complete menstrual cycle works.
During the first half of the menstrual cycle, a large amount of estrogen is secreted, and in the second half, progesterone increases. This kind of dynamic monthly variation in hormones happens in the body of a woman. This is preparation, but on the other hand, many women become unwell due to the "waves" of these hormones. The "premenstrual condition," which is characterised by irritability, emotional instability, and headaches before menstruation, is a common example of this. the fact that female hormones work and menstruation occurs is in itself a sign of good health, but if this continues to happen every month for a long period, it will not only increase the number of times you suffer from PMS or menstrual pain. Additionally, it raises the chance of developing diseases or illnesses like endometriosis, etc.
In recent years, the average age of pregnancy and childbirth has increased due to the diversification of lifestyles, the number of births has been decreasing, and the number of menstrual periods has increased accordingly. As per one report, women experience 10 times more menstruation in their lifetime than women in the past. Excessive menstruation has become a major problem that threatens women's health.
Women's maturation and ageing
The waves caused by fluctuations in female hormones include not only the "monthly waves" associated with the menstrual cycle but also "lifelong waves," which are large waves over a long period of time that change depending on the stage of life. This is a change in oestrogen secretion that happens during the phases from puberty to sexual maturity, pre-menopause to menopause. There are physical and psychological changes, especially throughout puberty and when menopause begins. This can produce a "big wave" that can disturb your balance.
Puberty and Teenage years: Estrogen starts to be secreted gradually around the age of 8 or 9, and menarche happens around the age of 12. Well, this is not a fixed age, it varies with individual differences. Adolescence is marked by significant physical and mental changes, irregular menstruation, and a tendency for the body-mind balance to become unstable. It can be said that this is the time in a woman's life when she first receives a large wave of female hormones.
Sexual Maturity & Development: Then, as we approach sexual maturity in our late teens and early 20s, the secretion of estrogen levels stabilises and reaches its peaks. This creates an internal environment suitable for pregnancy and childbirth. Life is full of life events such as love, marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, and child-rearing, and it can be said that this is the time when women receive the most benefits from female hormones. However, because female hormones are secreted in large quantities, disorders like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and dysmenorrhea also become more common during this time.
Pre-menopause: What comes after that is "pre-menopause," which can be said to be the stage before full-fledged menopause. "Pre-menopause" is not medically defined, but it is the period from the second half of "sexual maturity" to the transition to "menopause." Although the amount of estrogen secreted is still maintained, it is a transitional period in which the body begins to respond to fluctuations in female hormones that gradually decrease, and there are also many changes in life events such as major changes at work and home. A lot of people experience health problems at some point. Additionally, this is the period when conditions like uterine fibroids and endometriosis worsen.
Menopause: Generally speaking, estrogen starts to decline at about the age of 45, and menopause (the cessation of ovarian secretion) happens around the age of 50. The period of about 10 years, 5 years before and after menopause, is called menopause. As estrogen, which has supported a woman's body and mind for many years, disappears, she is more likely to experience various mental and physical ailments such as hot flashes, irritability, and joint pain. Estrogen secretion becomes unstable during menopause, fluctuating and decreasing by increasing and reducing repeatedly. This "fluctuation" is what causes menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, sweating, and insomnia. Menopause is when the mind and body are shaken by a wave of changes in hormone levels. To have a healthy menopause, it is important to have your family and those around you understand that you are in a period where you are being shaken by such large waves.
After 40 years of female hormones is the foundation of the second half
A time when life is said to be 100 years. It's more crucial than ever to learn how to live a healthy second half of life. Women typically believe that their remaining years are unaffected by their female hormones since they bid farewell to the hormones they have been living with for approximately 40 years when they enter menopause. The benefits of the female hormones that we have gained over the years are significant.
To walk energetically on your own even when you're 80 or 90 years old, you need strong bones that won't break. Estrogen can strengthen bones, and It is said that the strength of menstruation is determined by bone density around the age of 17 or 18. For example, if you go on an excessive diet when you are a teenager, the secretion of estrogen from your ovaries is suppressed, and your menstruation stops. "Bone density decreases, and this increases the risk of developing osteoporosis as you get older. This is not limited to bones, but the same can be said for blood vessel health.
Identifying the stage of female hormone fluctuations that you and your family are experiencing will enable you to empathise with your painful symptoms and consider seeking medical attention early on to determine the root cause of your agony. Yes, it seems to be an important thing.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on Female hormones
What are the main stages of female hormonal development?
Female hormonal development typically involves three main stages: puberty, the menstrual cycle, and menopause.
When does puberty usually begin in girls?
Puberty in girls usually starts between the ages of 8 and 13. During this stage, the body undergoes physical and hormonal changes, leading to the development of secondary sexual characteristics.
What is the menstrual cycle, and how long does it last?
The menstrual cycle is a monthly hormonal cycle that involves the preparation of the uterus for a potential pregnancy. On average, it lasts about 28 days, although variations are common.
What hormones are involved in the menstrual cycle?
The menstrual cycle is regulated by hormones, primarily estrogen and progesterone. These hormones play crucial roles in the maturation of eggs, preparation of the uterine lining, and ovulation.
What are the five female hormones?
The five primary female hormones are estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and prolactin. Estrogen, encompassing estradiol, estrone, and estriol, is vital for the development of secondary sexual characteristics and menstrual cycle regulation. Progesterone supports uterine lining preparation and early pregnancy. LH and FSH, produced by the pituitary gland, regulate ovulation and follicle maturation. Prolactin, associated with lactation, also influences the menstrual cycle.