What are 'hormones'?

Hormones are natural sustances produced in your body, that circulate through your bloodstream and have an effect in another part of your body. For example, oxytocin, produced in your brain, stimulates your breast ducts to contract and produce milk. Other hormones include oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone to name but a few.

Hormonal Increases
The arrows show the origin of the major pregnancy hormones. Progesterone and estrogen are produced by the ovaries and later by the placenta. Oxytocin and prolactin are produced by the pituitary gland, and thyroxine is controlled by the thyroid gland.

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