Wednesday, July 23, 2008

And the Winner Is.....?

Ok, no nobody even responded. But that's OK.

Estrogen is produced by the Graafian follicle (which I always misspell). The Graafian follicle is the "mature" ovum ready to leave the ovary at ovulation. So technically, the ovaries produce estrogen. Estrogen repairs and replaces the endometrial lining - which you shed during menses. Something has to regrow it each month, and that something is estrogen. It also promotes linear bone growth.

As a side note, and one of the reasons I posted that particular quiz and questions, is that it does kinda make you crazy. Especially when you are pregnant. But we'll get to that in a minute.

Progesterone is produced by the Corpus Luteum (another one I frequently misspell). The Corpus Luteum, which means "yellow body" is what is left once the graafian follicle expells the ovum towards the fallopian tube. If you can imagine your ovary....there is this little cyst that "pops" and lets out an egg...then you have this little yellow "wound" leftover. Progesterone supports and maintains the pregnancy. So, if you become pregnant after ovulation, the Corpus Luteum will ensure your uterus and body are well prepared to support your growing baby with a nice, think lining and other fun stuff. If you do not become pregnant, the Corpus Luteum disappears.

Progesterone also makes you crazy. It can make you nauseous. It can make other "normal" functions in your body abnormal. For instance, your digestive track slows down so as to absorb as much nutrients as possible from everything you ingest. Great! There will be more available for the baby!! Woo Hoo!! But, this can make you gassy (ask any husband of a pregnant mama), crampy, constipated, and all around irritable. It also causes vaso-dialation. Which means that your veins get bigger. Since your blood supply doesn't get up to its peak until around 20 weeks, this can make you dizzy, weak feeling, and tired in early pregnancy.

Relaxin is produced by the placenta. It helps to relax the ligaments and joints in your pelvis so your body has an easier time allowing your baby to squeeze his way out. Of course, this can't be "directed" to just one area of your body - just like when you take antibiotics you can't tell them to just kill the strep throat. They kill all the bacteria, good and bad, you have causing diarrhea and sometimes yeast infections. Yuck. Well, the relaxin relaxes ALL your joints and ligaments. I have gained a shoe size with each child. My hands seem bigger. And, once you gain all that weight towards the end of pregnancy AND your pelvis is loosening up it makes you pretty clumsy even when all your trying to do is walk. Fun, fun, fun.

Testosterone is obviously made in the adrenal glands in females, as we have no testicles. Most of us anyway. In pregnancy, you can blame or boast, depending on how you feel about it, all the skin, hair, and sex drive changes to testosterone.

So the combo "estrogen/progesterone/relaxin/testosterone" hormone cocktail put me in a rather interesting mood the other night. I was crying for no apparent reason, mad at my husband (again, no reason), wanting him to *wink* "pay attention" to me at the same time (if you can figure out what I mean: at our house we refer to that subject as "mowing the lawn"), and simultaneously waddling around the house running into every corner and wall I could find.

I feel sorry for my husband.


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