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Science

Hormones

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Hormones are chemical substances that help to regulate processes in the body. Hormones are secreted by glands and travel to their target organs in the bloodstream. Several hormones are involved in the female menstrual cycle. Hormones can be used to control human fertility and have advantages and disadvantages.

Hormones and glands

Hormones are chemicals secreted by glands in the body. Different hormones affect different target organs. The bloodstream transports hormones from the glands to the target organs.

Move the mouse over the different glands to see what they do.

Hormones regulate the functions of many cells and organs

The target organ and effects of glands and hormones

GlandHormoneTarget organsEffect
adrenal glandadrenalinvital organs, eg liver and heartPrepares body for action - 'fight or flight'.
ovaryoestrogenovaries, uterus, pituitary glandControls puberty and the menstrual cycle in females; stimulates production of LH and suppresses the production of FSH in the pituitary gland.
ovaryprogesteroneuterusMaintains the lining of the womb - suppresses FSH production in the pituitary gland.
pancreasinsulinliverControls blood sugar levels.
pituitary glandanti-diuretic hormone (ADH)kidneyControls blood water level by triggering uptake of water in kidneys.
pituitary glandfollicle stimulating hormone (FSH)ovariesTriggers egg ripening and oestrogen production in ovaries.
pituitary glandluteinising hormone (LH)ovariesTriggers egg release and progesterone production in ovaries.
testestestosteronemale reproductive organsControls puberty in males.

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