The Ayurveda Experience Blog

Oestrogen, Progesterone & Reproductive Health

Endocrine system plays a very important role in women’s reproductive system in terms of cycle regularity as well as hormonal imbalance that we might see with PMS.

The endocrine system is a system of glands in the body that produce chemical hormones. The hormones are responsible for governing physiological actions. Hormones have a very broad action in the body.  The hormones always stimulate cell that have the receptor sites for that hormone.

A hormone is released into the bloodstream and travels throughout the body until it reaches what is called target tissue. The target tissue is capable of responding to the hormones action and having some type of metabolic function because of this action.

The pituitary gland is the gland inside the brain which releases the hormones called LH and FSH. They are Luteinizing Hormone and Follicle Stimulating Hormone. These hormone have direct action on the ovaries. When ovaries receive the signals from Luteinizing Hormone and Follicle Stimulating Hormone, they begin to bring the egg to maturity. In order to do this they release oestrogen into the system. The oestrogen supports the egg being brought to maturity but also prepares the body for the release of the egg. The oestrogen access if this egg is going to become fertilized and so what you want to do is to make sure that you have prepared the body for this fertilized egg.

To that end the oestrogen drives the dhatu Agni, it prepares rasa dhatu by increasing the quality of fluids in the body. Rakta dhatu increases in the quantity of red blood cells. Mamsa dhatu strengthens the muscular tissue of the body, medo dhatu begins to increase medo dhatu in the omentum and Asthi dhatu begins to prepare the body for increase in the weight that is going to come with the pregnancy.

It doesn’t matter whether you are sexually active or not, this is what oestrogen is going to try to do for you. So the pituitary glands releases LH and FSH into the bloodstream. The ovaries that have receptors sites for LH and FSH receives this and begin producing oestrogen which brings an egg to maturity and begins the increase of the dhatus of the body.

The ovaries first begin producing oestrogen and after the egg ovulates it produces progesterone. Progesterone has more specific action in the body as it increases the endometrial lining to prepare the nest for this fertilized egg.

When we have too much oestrogen in the system and it’s said to be oestrogen dominant. If we have too much progesterone, it is progesterone dominant. When we become oestrogen dominant is when we begin to see symptoms of imbalance, if we look at hormonal imbalances.

If we have excess fat in the body we can also generate hormonal irregularities based on the high levels of fats we have. The large stores of fats that we have in the omentum produce oestrogens. Now they don’t produce it in response of LH and FSH, they simply produces it because that’s one of the many things these fat cells do. So if you have excess fats in the body you may end up going into oestrogen dominance.

Mary Thompson, C.A.S., P.K.S., is a founding member and former secretary of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. She graduated from the California College of Ayurveda in 1997 where she's also taught for the past 18 years. She is not only a Certified Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist but a Pancha Karma Specialist. In 2008 she received the Charaka Award for Excellence in Ayurvedic Teaching and was given the title 'Ayurvedacharya', respected teacher of Ayurveda.

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