EmpowHer: How do you explain estrogen and estrodyle?
Dr. Speroff: Estrogen refers to a class of female hormones. The principal estrogen made by a woman’s body is estrodyle, but a variety of estrogens function in exactly the same way. They differ a little bit in their potency. It is something that can be compensated for by adjusting doses, so on the market there is a variety of various estrogens including estrodyle, but estrogen as a class refers to the principal hormone made by the ovary that distinguishes women.
EmpowHer: And then progesterone. How do you explain that to a woman you know who is not a specialist?
Dr. Speroff: Progesterone is the hormone made by the ovary after a woman ovulates. Its mission is to go to the uterus and prepare the lining of the uterus to receive a fertilized egg and then if that egg implants, to maintain that pregnancy for the first few weeks until the placenta takes over hormone production. I should add that like estrogen refers to a class of female hormones, progestin refers to a class of progestational hormones. Progesterone is the natural progestational agent made by the ovary, but on the market there is a large collection of various synthetic progestational hormones and we call them progestins.
EmpowHer: Okay, you know that was very well explained. One of our goals here at EmpowHer is we like to take these big issues that are hard to understand and boil them down to a non-expert level. Well, I think you did an expert job at that.
Dr. Speroff: That is my job.
More From Dr. Speroff Coming Soon!
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After graduating Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Dr. Speroff completed his residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Ohio. Following fellowship training at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, he spent a number of progressive years at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut until he became a member of the OHSU faculty as professor and chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology in 1976. In 1983 he returned to his Alma Mater, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine as professor and chairman of the department of reproductive biology until returning to OHSU in 1989. He is the founder and recently stepped down as director for the Women's Health Research Unit at OHSU. Doctor Speroff has gained prominence in the area of women's health throughout his publications, national and international lectures and extensive work on clinical trials. Dr. Leon Speroff recently stepped down as director for the Women's Health Research Unit at Oregon Health & Science University.