estrogen: female sex hormone, produced chiefly by the ovary, but also in a small amount by the adrenal cortex and the testis, and named for its role in lower animals inducing heat or estrus in the female [from Greek, olstros, gadfly; from Latin, oestrus, vehement desire, that which drives one mad. From Latin, oestrus, gadfly; Greek, oistos, vehement desire, that which drives one mad.] In biochemical structure, there are several different but related steroid hormones that qualify as estrogens, some more closely chemically related than others, and some more biologically potent. They differ in biological strength and effectiveness. See also estrus; progesterone

Dictionary of Sexology Project: Main Index

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