A Personal Tale of Hormones


April 29, 2009

By: Clarita Milles

I thought I was going nuts. One day I woke up extremely happy, giddy even. I was on top of the world. But then I was watching the morning news, and a story came on about a mother who had abandoned her baby. I was extremely moved by this story and began to sob uncontrollably. This was very weird for me, as I consider myself a pretty cold person.

I thought I was going nuts, but really, it was my hormones. I had a hormonal imbalance that needed to be treated.

My estrogen and progesterone levels were alright. These two hormones have major roles in regulating the menstrual cycle. Estrogen is the main sex hormone in females. It’s responsible for sexual maturity, breast and hip development, and fat distribution in these areas. Progesterone is the hormone that maintains the thickened uterine wall after ovulation (or the releasing of a monthly egg.) This is so that the walls can grow stronger to accept a possible fertilized egg.

It turns out that I had a problem with the hormone, androgen. My levels were far beyond the norm for a woman. Androgens are the hormones in the body that promote male characteristics. However they are very important in the female body, as they can be converted by the ovaries into extra estrogen during a woman’s monthly cycle. They trigger hair growth, libido, kidney functions, and sebum (oil) secretion among other things.

All this time I wondered why I was so hairy, and why I had so many pimples at the age of 30. This also explained my sudden rises and falls of emotions, it was the hormonal imbalance caused by the over production of androgens that was throwing everything else off.



Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.