“Estrogen or oestrogen, is the primary female sex hormone that plays a key role in the regulation and development of the female reproductive system as well as secondary sex characteristics. In men, estrogen is also present but in smaller amounts. During puberty, the ovaries start to release estrogen hormones and its levels rise significantly halfway through the menstrual cycle, which triggers the release of an egg. After ovulation, estrogen levels fall back to normal. Aside from the ovaries, estrogen is also produced in the adrenal glands and fat tissues. As a hormone, estrogen usually travels through the bloodstream and interacts with various body tissues to deliver a message.
The estrogen family includes any of a group of chemically similar hormones such as:
1. Estrone (E1)
E1 is considered as a weak form of estrogen and the only type found in postmenopausal women. It is present in lesser amounts in most body tissues, primarily in fats and muscles.
2. Estradiol (E2)
E2 is responsible for the development of female secondary sexual characteristics such as breast enlargement, erection of nipples, growth of body hair, widening of the hips, changes in genital structure, and feminine pattern of fat distribution. It also maintains female reproductive tissues such as uterus, vagina, and mammary glands.
3. Estriol (E3)
E3 is considered as the weakest of estrogens. The levels of E3 are almost undetectable in women who are not pregnant. However, significant amounts of E3 are produced by the placenta during pregnancy.
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