Its All About Hormones

Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone…by now, these will be familiar words. While a lot of women will become pregnant without ever knowing a thing about the hormonal activities in their body, if you’re on the conception train, this information is the core of everything you’€™ll learn. And believe it or not, the reproductive hormones are pretty much the same for both men and women!! Crazy, huh?!

Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH): This is secreted by the pituitary gland and is the hormone that helps to mature ovarian follicles. For men, with the help of testosterone, FSH facilitates the maturity of sperm cells.

Estrogen: As the FSH matures ovarian follicles, these growing follicles secrete estrogen. Estrogen helps develop a healthy endometrial lining, in preparation for pregnancy. In good measure, estrogen is a great hormone. But when it takes over and becomes dominant, that is when issues arise. Some effects of estrogen dominance include increased body fat and weight gain, salt and fluid retention, depression, anxiety, headaches, migraines, poor sleep patterns, thyroid hormone function interference, impairment of blood sugar control, reduced libido, etc.

Luteinizing hormone (LH): As your estrogen levels rise, the pituitary gland stops producing FSH, and releases a surge of LH, which sends the signal to your ovaries to start using progesterone, already being secreted by the dominant ovary that month. For men, LH stimulates special cells in the testes to produce testosterone.

Progesterone: Progesterone is the hormone that sustains pregnancy from fertilization through delivery. In women, progesterone levels are quite low before ovulation, rise after it, and are elevated during the luteal phase. As a hormone, it is relatively low in children and postmenopausal women. The permanent levels in an adult male are similar to those in women from the beginning of their cycle up till ovulation.