So-called "female" hormones
Jess, Clem and the girls of Collectif Junon thrill Paris with their program of feminist and eclectic events, their eponymous blog since 2015 deconstructs the preconceived patterns of sexuality of our time. If you open your eyes, you may have seen Clem on his blue Pussyclette delivering their brilliant magazine Hysterique to the four corners of Paris. Gapianne joins forces with Juno to present you with a selection of subjects that have been cut through with a scalpel by the collective, and of course the number 2 of Hysterique isavailable for sale here , good reading!
How well do you know the Big Brother of your body? The one who throws you a cycle at the wrong time, who puts you in a bad mood when your period arrives, the one who controls your ovaries and your fertility? Well known as “hormones”, it can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Let's come back to this phenomenon that governs your cycle.
First of all, what is a hormone?
It's a chemical message that will allow the cells of your body to communicate with each other. They are secreted by glands and released into the blood in order to carry a message to target cells equipped with hormonal sensors. These cells will, after having received the message, trigger the action required by the hormone. There are lots of different hormones, but “female hormones” are the ones we're interested in for this topic.
During a cycle, 4 main hormones come into play. First, there are two hormones, controlled by the brain:
- Folliculostimulin (which we will call FSH), which will send a message to the ovaries.
- Luteinizing (which we will call LH), which will, for its part, send a message to the eggs.
- Estrogens, which will participate in the development of the reproductive organs at the time of puberty, act on the brain, help the consolidation of bones, change the voice, affect the quality of the skin and hair, are responsible for the distribution of the fat on the hips and thighs and during the cycle, they will allow the creation of the egg.
- Progesterone which, produced by the ovaries after ovulation, completes and controls the effects of estrogen, allows the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus, ensures the smooth running of a pregnancy and also manages body temperature .
But how does a hormonal/menstrual cycle go, then?
at the beginning of the next ones). On the first day, the brain secretes its hormone, FSH, which has the message of stimulating the ovaries. During the first 14 days of the cycle, FSH will promote the stimulation of the ovary and allow the secretion of estrogens. The released estrogens then have the message for the ovary to create an egg before the 14th day.
During this period, the brain secretes its second hormone, LH, which will allow ovulation. On the 14th day, when ovulation occurs, the ovary will secrete progesterone which aims to thicken the inner lining of the uterus (what is called endometrium) and must prepare the body for the reception of the egg in the event of fertilization. If fertilization is not done, the level of progesterone and estrogen will drop, which will give the brain the agreement to lower the level of FSH and LH.
This strong depression of hormones will manifest itself by triggering menstrual bleeding, but also other syndromes called PMS (premenstrual syndromes), but if that's all you feel before your period, back pain, pain in your breasts, mood swings, hypersensitivity, lack of energy, etc.
They are actually there to help us, they allow us to be able to have children (if we want to of course) and to regulate many levels in our body to make it work properly.
However, they can work against us and be our worst enemy when we have breast cancer. Indeed, estrogen and progesterone act on breast development and lactation. They act, like any other hormone, by binding to sensors or hormone receptors present on the surface of the cells (here the cells constituting the breast). Breast cancer is a cell that has become diseased. Even cancerous, it retains its hormonal sensors, which will therefore continue to be stimulated by hormones throughout the cycle.
In 80% of cases, cancer is "hormone-dependent", which means that cancer cells will feed and grow because of hormones.
That's what hormone therapy is for. It is a treatment that acts and stops the hormones to prevent cancer cells from growing further.
You will have understood it well, the Big Brother of your body can quickly pass on the dark side of the force, but most of the time, it is someone rather nice, I assure you. You “just” have to learn to understand it and detect when it seems a little out of order.
Listen to your body and own your hormones!
Article written by the Junon collective and relayed by Gapianne as part of a collaboration