Sign in to your account

Don't have an account?

Create an account
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more
Black medical doctor in a white coat and red stethoscope examining a patient on a ward. Our doctors on askawayhealth have years of clinical experience to provide top notch care.

Need to check your symptoms?

Use our symptom checker to help determine what your symptoms are and to ensure you get the help you need.

Check your symptoms


Request a reset

Don't have an account?

Create an account


Reset your password

Don't have an account?

Create an account


Women’s Hormone Secrets Unlocked / What You Must Know – Exclusive Video

March 25, 2020

Exactly what are hormones, and how do they work? This post unlocks women’s hormones’ secrets by exploring what they are and what they do.

We often refer to them as chemical materials which carry out important functions in the body, from helping to control blood pressure to breast milk production.

womens hormone secrets - picture of brain cells which work with hormones

Often, this is related to where they are made from different parts of the body.

Hormones come from special organs called glands or other organs that have additional jobs to do in the body.

However, both work in the same way in men and women, save for those that have the relevant reproductive functions and for childbearing activities.

Some Hormones and The Glands that Make Them

Understanding what hormones we have and how they work is key to uncovering women’s hormone secrets that will allow you to live and perform better.

So, here is a list of the major ones and what they do.

The Brain


Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) – Stimulates the release of gonadotropins (LH and FSH) from the anterior pituitary, regulating reproductive functions.

Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) – Stimulates the release of ACTH, which controls the adrenal cortex’s production of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) – Stimulates the release of TSH, regulating thyroid hormone production.

Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) – Stimulates the release of growth hormone from the anterior pituitary, promoting growth and metabolism.

Somatostatin – Prevents the release of growth hormone and other hormones, regulating various physiological activities.

Pituitary Gland (Anterior Pituitary):

Growth hormone (GH) – Stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and regeneration.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) – Stimulates the adrenal cortex to produce cortisol, vital for stress response and metabolism.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) – Regulates the production of thyroid hormones, essential for metabolism and energy regulation.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) – In females, stimulates ovarian follicle development; in males, supports sperm production.

Luteinizing hormone (LH) – In females, triggers ovulation and corpus luteum formation; in males, stimulates testosterone production.

Prolactin (PRL) – Stimulates milk production in mammary glands following childbirth.

Pituitary Gland (Posterior Pituitary):

Oxytocin – Stimulates uterine contractions during labour and milk ejection during breastfeeding.

Antidiuretic hormone (ADH, vasopressin) – Regulates water balance by controlling kidney water reabsorption, thus affecting blood pressure and urine concentration.

Pineal Gland:

Melatonin – Regulates sleep-wake cycles (circadian rhythms) and influences reproductive hormone secretion.

The Neck

Thyroid Gland:

Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3) – Control metabolism, growth, and development of cells and tissues.

Calcitonin – Regulates calcium levels by inhibiting bone resorption, promoting calcium deposition.

Parathyroid Glands:

Parathyroid hormone (PTH) – Increases blood calcium levels by stimulating bone resorption, enhancing calcium absorption in the intestines, and reducing renal calcium excretion.


Thymosin – Aids in the development and maturation of T cells, important for immune response.



Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) – Regulate blood pressure and fluid balance by promoting vasodilation and reducing sodium reabsorption.

Abdomen, Loins

Adrenal Glands:

Adrenal Cortex:

Cortisol – Regulates metabolism, immune response, and stress adaptation.

Aldosterone – Controls electrolyte and fluid balance, primarily by increasing sodium reabsorption and potassium excretion.

Androgens – Contribute to sexual development and function.

Adrenal Medulla:

Epinephrine (adrenaline) and Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) – Induce “fight or flight” responses, increasing heart rate, dilating airways, and redirecting blood flow to vital organs.


Insulin – Lowers blood glucose levels by promoting glucose uptake into cells.

Glucagon – Raises blood glucose levels by stimulating the release of stored glucose.


Renin – Initiates the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, which regulates blood pressure and fluid balance.

Erythropoietin – Stimulates the production of red blood cells in response to low oxygen levels.

Stomach and Intestines:

Gastrin – Stimulates gastric acid secretion in the stomach.

Cholecystokinin (CCK) – Regulates pancreatic enzyme release and gallbladder contraction.

Secretin – Stimulates bicarbonate release from the pancreas to neutralize stomach acid.

Ghrelin – Stimulates appetite and food intake.


Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) – Promotes growth and development in various tissues.

The Pelvis

Ovaries (in females):

Estrogen (estradiol) – Promotes secondary sexual characteristics, regulates the menstrual cycle, and supports reproductive health.

Progesterone – Prepares and maintains the uterus for pregnancy.

Testes (in males):

Testosterone – Promotes male secondary sexual characteristics, supports spermatogenesis, and influences libido.

Adipose (Fatty) Tissue:

Leptin – Regulates appetite and energy balance by signalling satiety.

Placenta (during pregnancy):

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) – Maintains the corpus luteum and supports early pregnancy.

Estrogens and Progesterone – Support fetal development and pregnancy maintenance.

Click to Watch Video

The usual centre directing the activity of a hormone is located in the brain.

Women’s hormone secrets often centre around maintaining the balance between different hormone levels.

Otherwise, hormone imbalance can lead to both physical and mental ill health, damaging effects on the body’s function and loss of well-being.

In this video, we talk about how hormones engage with and act on specific organs. Using the example of Oxytocin, we describe how it affects different organs.

Watch to the end so you find out why it is called the ‘Cuddle Chemical’!

More Reading

Editing by AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising  Medical Practitioners on a wide range of healthcare conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality healthcare.

The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified healthcare practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner or reach us directly

Image Source – Canva

Share this blog article

On this page

Let us know what you think

Want to know how your comment data is processed? Learn more

Access over 600 resources & our monthly newsletter.

Askawayhealth 2023 grant recipient from European Union Development Fund

Askawayhealth, 2023 Award Recipient

Our educational content meets the standards set by the NHS in their Standard for Creating Health Content guidance.

Askawayhealth aims to deliver reliable and evidence based women's health, family health and sexual health information in a way that is easily relatable and easy for everyone to access.

Askawayhealth symptom Checker tool image

Utilize our complimentary symptom checker tool to gain more information about any uncertain symptoms you might have.