Of the numerous hormones that regulate body function, two steroid hormones are extremely important: estradiol, a female sex hormone and testosterone, a male sex hormone. Present in the body in insignificant amounts, they regulate sexual differentiation and reproduction as well as affect the performance of many other physiological systems. Despite the great similarity in chemical structure, they are very different in terms of physiological action.
The two primary classes of female sexual hormones are estrogens and progestins, which are formed in the ovaries, to a lesser degree in the adrenal cortex, and in the placenta during pregnancy. Together they carry out a very important function in the development of secondary female sex organs, controlling pregnancy, controlling ovulation and menstrual cycles, and modulating a large number of metabolic processes.
One of the most important areas of synthetic estrogens and progestins are their use as oral contraceptives, for hormone replacement therapy, and as drugs for menstrual disorders.
These drugs can be a fixed composition containing a constant amount of estrogen (for example, ethinyl estradiol) and progestin (for example, norethindrone), a composition that contains a constant amount of estrogen with varying doses of progestin, or pills that contain only progestin in constant doses.
Natural or synthetic compounds that coordinate systemic regulation during the ovula-tory cycle, including the reproductive tract, breasts, mucous membranes, and other tissues are called estrogens. They also play an important role in the development of some tumors, estrogen in particular, and antiestrogens are also used to treat breast and h3c oh estradiol testosterone h3c oh estradiol testosterone
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