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Health > Womens Health >Female Hormone

Female Hormone

A hormone is a chemical substance secreted by one tissue that travels by way of body fluids to effect another tissue in the body. In essence, hormones are "chemical messengers." Many hormones, especially those affecting growth and behavior, are significant to both men and women. Nevertheless, women are more often portrayed as being under the influence of their hormones, as being subject to hormonal "tides" or hormonal "storms."

Some hormones are of special concern to women. The sex hormones produced by the ovaries are not only involved in the growth, maintenance, and the repair of the reproductive tissues but they influence other body tissues and bone mass as well. This can be a problem for women who strive for lower body fat (e.g., athletes, models, and ballerinas) or for women with eating disorders. Women with low body fat often do not produce sufficient amounts of sex hormones. They can, therefore, experience a cessation of menstruation, osteoporosis (porous bones) and fractures from weakened bones, and other conditions similar to those faced by many post- menopausal women.

After menopause, a woman's body produces less of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Loss of estrogen increases a woman's risk for heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Many doctors prescribe hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) to ease menopausal symptoms and then to help a woman protect herself against heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis as she grows older.

Hormonal problems for women are not confined to those involving the sex hormones. For example, thyroid disease, both hyperthyroidism (over-activity of the thyroid gland) and hypothyroidism (under- activity of the thyroid), is far more common in women than in men.

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