Estrogen and Your Ovaries

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

One of the many things estrogen and your ovaries have in common is that they both have many responsibilities. They are also intrinsically connected, because the ovaries are one of the organs that produce estrogen. The ovaries secrete estrogen and other hormones, and they are considered part of your endocrine system. There are other organs and glands that produce hormones like estrogen, but where a specific hormone is produced often depends on the phase of life you are in. To learn more about the production of estrogen in your ovaries scroll down the page and read the following questions and answers.

Do Girls have Estrogen before Puberty?

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Small amounts of estrogen exist in the female body prior to the first menstruation, but after a girl enters puberty her body will increase production of the hormone. When she reaches a certain age, a chemical is released into the bloodstream that tells the pituitary gland to secrete luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) which tell your ovaries to start producing estrogen. This change usually occurs sometime between ages of eight and thirteen.

Where Is Estrogen Produced in the Reproductive Years?

Estradiol is the most common form of estrogen that is produced during the time between puberty and menopause. During this time, the majority of a woman's estrogen is produced in the ovaries, though some production can be attributed to the fat cells, liver and adrenal glands. While a woman experiences menstrual cycles, one of estrogen's important jobs is to maintain a thick uterine lining that is able to support a fertilized egg in the event of a pregnancy. During pregnancy, estrogen is produced primarily by the placenta.

What Happens to Your Ovaries and Estrogen when You Enter Menopause?

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When a woman enters menopause, many changes occur in her body which stem from hormonal fluctuations, particularly estrogen. Estrogen levels drop significantly during menopause. The ovaries shrink and no longer produce such great levels of the hormone. The role of estrogen producer is usurped by the fatty tissue in the breasts, adrenal glands and liver.

Additional Information

If you are curious about the roles of estrogen and ovaries in your body, talk to your doctor. She or he can answer many of your questions and can administer tests if you are concerned that you may be either suffering from an estrogen imbalance or problem with your ovaries. For more information on estrogen follow the link below.

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