Anatomy & Physiology Reproductive #20


Which hormone, secreted by the cells of the ovarian follicles, promotes the development and maintenance of female sexual characteristics?


  1. Estrogen
    • Rationale:

      Estrogen, while it plays many roles in the body, is primarily responsible for developing and maintaining the female reproductive system. Specifically, estrogen is responsible for the development of female secondary sexual characteristics during puberty.

  2. Progesterone
    • Rationale:

      Progesterone is a pregnancy-promoting steroid hormone. It is secreted by the corpus luteum and maintains the lining of the uterus necessary for successful gestation.

  3. Luteinizing hormone
    • Rationale:

      Luteinizing hormone is produced by gonadotropic cells in the anterior pituitary gland. In females, an acute rise of this hormone triggers ovulation and development of the corpus luteum during pregnancy.

  4. Follicle stimulating hormone
    • Rationale:

      Follicle stimulating hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and regulates the function of the female gonads, or ovaries.


Hormones are chemicals that circulate throughout the blood sending signals to different organ systems to ensure adequate function.


Learning Outcomes

The two primary female sex hormones are estrogen and progesterone. The production of these hormones mainly occurs in the ovaries. Estrogen is secreted by the cells of the ovarian follicles thereby promoting the development and maintenance of female sexual characteristics.

Test Taking Tip

Think about the function of each hormone when choosing the correct answer choice for this question.

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