prolactin
The pituitary gland in your brain secretes this hormone in response to eating, mating and ovulation, with its main function being its role in lactation, helping the breasts grow and produce milk for after a baby is born (“Lact” is Latin for milk). FACTS: Both women AND MEN have small amounts of prolactin in their blood. Has over 300 functions within the body including reproductive metabolism, immune system and fluid regulation and some behavioural functions.Also produced in the uterus, immune cells, brain, breasts, prostate gland and fat cells.Dopamine and oestrogen regulate prolactin (so stress can play a role!)Too little prolactin is...
progesterone
The “mother of life’ steroid hormone from the progestogen group, secreted during the second half of a woman’s menstrual cycle and is important in the early stages of pregnancy by enriching the endometrial lining of the uterus. It’s the big female sex hormone along with oestrogen. FACTS: The happiness hormone! Most associated with positive effects on mood, however changes can regulate your appetite and sleep cycle by influencing serotonin levels. Low levels can lead to irritability, insomnia, low libido, breast tenderness, headaches, weight gain and food cravings - yes often those symptoms of PMS.Stimulates the growth of blood vessels that...
Derived from cholesterol, it is produced in the testes and ovaries, as well as in the adrenal glands, playing a big role in producing LH and FSH hormones (which we’ll get to later). In females, testosterone plays a role in fertility, libido, menstruation and bone mass, including the stimulation of new red blood cells, hence why it’s often associated with our sex drive (and aggressive behaviour). We often see that long-term use of Oral Contractive Pills (OCPs) can attribute to low testosterone levels. When we think of testosterone we think of the more masculine attributes, i.e. body hair, deep voice,...