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Hormones and Your Body: 6 Surprising Effects

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Estrogen, progester-what? Use this quick definition guide.

Estrogen: An umbrella term for a class of hormones crucial to sexual development and a healthy reproductive system; it can also affect brain function, bone health, and cancer risk.

Oxytocin: This hormone causes contractions during labor, stimulates milk production during breastfeeding, and promotes the mother/child bond. Its feel-good power could even strengthen your relationship with your partner and other close contacts.

Progesterone: Produced in the ovaries, especially during the second half of your menstrual cycle, it stimulates the thickening of the uterine lining in anticipation of a possible pregnancy.

Testosterone: Typically thought of as a male hormone, testosterone is also produced in women's bodies to promote sexual desire, and it plays a role in hair growth and energy levels.

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