The endocrine system works hand in hand with the nervous system, although both work independently of each other, they complement each other making the organs function properly and the distribution of hormones is done in a balanced way.
The glands that make up the endocrine system are distributed in the head, neck, and trunk, and are the following: hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, adrenals, and gonads; the latter being the ones that produce sexual hormones which are different in men and women.
Each gland is responsible for producing different hormones in different parts of the body, each fulfilling a specific task according to its location, although they generally have to do with three primary functions:
- Homeostasis: maintains the chemical balance of the organism, since it inhibits or stimulates the cellular process.
- Body growth: induces and controls the development of the human being from the very moment of conception until reaching maturity.
- Reproduction: favors the production of sperm in men and stimulates the maturation of the ovum in women, in addition to preparing the uterus for gestation, it participates in the induction of labor and mediates breastfeeding.
This last function is the one that marks the big difference between the male and female endocrine system, since with the rest of the glands it works almost in the same way in the body of both sexes.
How does the Endocrine System in Man work?
In men, the endocrine system works in a similar way to that of women with the exception of the male gonads, which refers to the testicles, which are two and are located inside the scrotum. They produce the hormone called androgen, the most important being testosterone, which is what influences the body changes that begin when you reach puberty.
The man experiences changes in his voice that becomes considerably deeper, the appearance of facial and pubic hair also begins, his strength and muscle mass increase, developing especially in the chest and back, there is a notable growth in height and in the penis .
Testosterone, along with other hormones released by the pituitary gland, are responsible for the production of semen, and it is also testosterone that is responsible for awakening and maintaining the sexual drive in men. Oxytocin and luteinizing hormone are also produced in men, however the former facilitates ejaculation, while the latter synthesizes testosterone.
How does the endocrine system in women work?
The endocrine system in women acts in a different way from a very early age, and it is that the reproductive glands called ovaries are located on both sides of the pelvis, being in them the Graafian follicle that secretes estrogen and the corpus luteum that produces progesterone and estrogen, the hormones responsible for the physical changes that differentiate a woman from a man entering puberty, such as widening of her pelvis, development of her breasts, growth of body hair, her high-pitched voice, and the onset of her menstrual cycle .
Likewise, the hypothalamus and the pituitary participate in the production of hormones in women, especially at the time of pregnancy, since they produce the luteinizing hormone and the follicle-stimulating hormone that are involved in ovulation and the maturation of the ovum, prolactin. It stimulates the secretion of milk by the mammary glands. Likewise, it generates oxytocin that is related to milk production, and when it comes time to give birth, it is the hormone responsible for producing contractions.
Endocrine Difference Between Men and Women
- In men, the endocrine gland is the testicle, which produces sperm, while in women, the gonads are the ovaries, which are the ones that produce the ovules. Both are the gametes necessary for human reproduction.
- Women produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone, whereas men produce androgens and testosterone.
- Oxytocin in women induces contractions during childbirth and helps the production of milk in the mammary glands. For its part, this same hormone in men has an effect that facilitates ejaculation.
- The luteinizing hormone in men favors the synthesis of testosterone, while in women it stimulates the ovulation process.