Role of Hormones in Reproduction
The primary hormones that regulate
reproduction are the steroids such as androgens, estrogens and progesterone
which have masculinizing, feminizing and gestational effects respectively.
These hormones are secreted from the gonads which are regulated by the anterior
pituitary (adenohypophysis). In male and female, reproductive behaviour and
reproduction are mainly under the control of LH (Luteinizing Hormone) and FSH
(Follicle Stimulating Hormone). LH stimulates the testes to produce androgens,
the male sex hormone. Sperms are then actively produced. In man sperm
production starts at sexual puberty and may continue throughout his life.
Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
FSH in the female influences the
development of the Graafian follicle and secretion of estrogens. In the male it
is necessary for the development of seminiferous tubules, and for
In the female, it is the hormone
necessary for ovulation, and the secretion of the luteal hormone progesterone,
and for the final maturation of the Graafian follicle. In the male it
stimulates the interstitial (Leydig) cells of testes and the secretion of
testosterone, and is referred to as the Interstitial Cell Stimulating Hormone
Estrogen is not a
single hormone but a collection of related steroid hormones.
(PRL) or Lactogenic Hormone
The main function of this hormone is
milk secretion during lactation.
Oxytocin causes expulsion of milk
from the breast and it is also involved in the contraction of smooth muscles of
uterus during child birth.