Estrogen is a type of sex hormone. They're mostly in females but are also produced by men in small amounts. Estrogen levels are dominant before ovulation.
Estrogen is made from androgens (male sex hormones) and are mainly produced by the ovaries before ovulation and also by other tissues (in the liver, adrenal glands, etc...) The body produces estrogens mainly from puberty to menopause. The secondary producing organs then take over when the ovaries are inactive.
At puberty, estrogen is involved in the development of secondary sexual characteristics. For example, they're responsible for the appearance of the breasts, the growth of pubic hair, and the feminization of the voice... Estrogens also participate in the preparation of pregnancy by developing the uterine mucous membrane to allow the implantation of the egg. The peak in estrogen leads to the onset of ovulation. Estrogens are also involved in increasing libido, and in the bones, estrogen stimulates the cells that create bones, ensuring their rigidity. For this reason, after menopause, bones can become more fragile.
Effects on the skin
Estrogen stimulates fibroblasts, which are cells in the skin that help make hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin. Hyaluronic acid is a macromolecule that acts by retaining water in the skin, while collagen and elastin tone and bring suppleness to the skin. Estrogens have a beneficial effect on skin hydration. In addition, researchers wanted to determine the impact of estrogen on the skin by comparing the feelings of postmenopausal women (when estrogen levels are low), and non-menopausal people. These studies showed that the skin tended to be more sensitive when estrogen levels were low, i.e. after menopause, but also during menstruation (the time of the cycle when estrogen levels are at their lowest).
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