The Power of Female Hormones:
A transgender Canadian beauty was disqualified from participating in the Miss Universe Canada pagent. Not because she wasn’t a good candidate, but because she was not a naturally born female.
Jenna Talackova, is a very tall and very feminine looking blonde who underwent gender reassignment surgery and hormone treatment at the age of 19. Her legal documents confirm her identity as a woman. After recruiting Gloria Allred, a prominent feminist lawyer and much publicity, Donald Trump reversed the decision and Jenna made it into the top 12 at the Miss Universe Canada pagent last Saturday night in Toronto.
Jenna was in the spotlight and was extensively interviewed by the media. Poised and articulate, Jenna discussed the importance of expressing individuality. Although she is very feminine, there is no denying that body shape is difficult to change after having been exposed to higher levels of testosterone for a number of years.
What was the outcome after all of the controversy? Sahar Biniaz took the crown and Jenna ended up winning one of the Miss Congeniality awards.
So what do Hormones actually do?
Estrogen is one of the most important hormones in the female body.
Functions of estrogen include:
• Female secondary sex characteristics –voice pitch, body hair distribution, fat deposition and development of breasts.
• Muscle mass. This is more or less the reason why adolescent and adult females generally have less muscle mass than males of the same age.
• Fat Metabolism. Estrogens increase access to body fat as an energy source, which is an important source during pregnancy.
• Growth of the uterus and vagina. Reproductive organ maturation depends on estrogen.
• Vaginal lubrication. Estrogens are involved in mucous production.
• Maintenance of blood vessels and skin. Estrogens keep your skin looking healthy and your blood vessels working properly.
• Protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is what makes it possible for muscles to develop. Proteins are also responsible for a variety of cellular functions.
• Reduced bone resorption and increase bone formation. Resorption occurs when bone is broken down and the minerals are released into the bloodstream –a process that serves to provide minerals when needed, but can weaken bones.
• Coagulation. Estrogen affects blood clotting.
• Fluid balance. Estrogen affects body salt (sodium) levels and the amount of water your body retains.
• Gastrointestinal tract. Estrogen reduces bowel motility so you need to “go” less. It also increases cholesterol in bile.
Progesterone prepares and regulates a woman’s body for pregnancy. Even if you are not pregnant, or have no intention of becoming pregnant, progesterone is still beneficial.
• Regulates mucus in the respiratory tract.
• Widens bronchi for easier breathing.
• Reduces inflammation.
• Normalizes blood levels of minerals like zinc and copper.
• Assists bone development.
Men require testosterone, but it turns out that women need testosterone too. Women naturally produce one-seventh of the amount of testosterone produced by healthy men. This testosterone is synthesized in the adrenal glands and also in the ovaries. It is only natural that the produced amounts are lower, since it is not the main function of the adrenal glands or the ovaries to produce testosterone. A healthy level of testosterone in women produces the same results in men, but to a lesser degree.
• Increases libido.
• Influences the amount of bone and muscle mass.
• Affects fat distribution and metabolism.
• May play a role in cognitive function and memory.
• Maintains vascular health. Improves energy levels and alertness.
Each woman is unique and each woman has different needs at different times in her lifetime. Hormone therapy may be a safe, short-term option for younger women in early menopause to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
If you are healthy and have no risk factors, low dose hormone replacement therapy use for a short period of time may be an option if you are having trouble coping with hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness.
Before starting hormone treatment, we suggest discussing the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor to determine what is right for you.