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Difference Between Estrogen and Progesterone


Out of several hormones in our body, estrogen and progesterone are the primary ones. These steroidal hormones play a vital part in the regulation of mammalian reproduction. Before finding the differences between estrogen and progesterone, just know that they both help in the better functioning and development of the uterus.

These steroidal hormones work synergistically, where estrogen controls the menstrual cycle and progesterone supports a pregnancy. Moreover, they are also responsible for all the changes occurring during pregnancy. Let’s check out a brief comparison table between estrogen and progesterone before moving further.

Comparison Table

Basis of ComparisonEstrogenProgesterone
DefinitionA steroidal hormone that develops the secondary sex characters and female reproductive cycleA steroidal hormone that helps during pregnancy
Regulated ByFollicle Stimulating HormoneLuteinizing Hormone
Secreted FromFrom the ovaries & adrenal glandsFrom corpus luteum & adrenal glands
Key RoleHandles the female reproductive system & secondary sex charactersHelps the uterus in pregnancy
Effect on LibidoDecreases libidoRestores libido
Effect on CancerIncrease in estrogen has increased chances of breast cancerIts secretion reduces the risk of breast cancer
Amount of SecretionDecreases in pregnancyIncreases in pregnancy
Effect on WeightWeight is gained and also an increase in body fatsDecreases the overall body fats
OvulationReleased before ovulationReleased after ovulation

Brief Explanation of Estrogen

Estrogen is an essential female sex hormone, functioning for the growth of the female reproductive system, and regulating its secondary sex characters. Despite being present in both males and females, estrogen primarily has a higher level in females. The morphological differences between both genders are mainly influenced by estrogen.

Moreover, this hormone is required to strengthen the bones and helps the cholesterol levels of the body. It has the ability to interact directly with body cells and tissues to perform its actions. Scientists are nowadays synthesizing it artificially to regulate the effects of menopause.

Brief Explanation of Progesterone

Progesterone is a well-known endogenous sex/steroidal hormone that regulates the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. It maintains the elasticity of a woman’s reproductive system and prepares the uterus for implantation. After ovulation or during the second half of the menstrual cycle, a female body produces a temporal endocrine gland (corpus luteum) that is responsible to secrete progesterone. Moreover, it is also subjected to provide nutrition to an embryo.

Find Out the Similarities Between Estrogen & Progesterone

Steroidal Hormones:

Both estrogen and progesterone are essential steroidal hormones.

Sex Hormones:

Both plays a vital part in regulating female sex hormones.

Time of Secretion:

Either estrogen or progesterone, both are secreted during the menstruation period.

Vital in Pregnancy:

Both steroidal hormones play a vital part in pregnancy.

Used in Birth Control Pills:

These hormones are also utilized in the contraceptive mix of birth control medicines.

Discover the Dissimilarities Between Estrogen & Progesterone

1.   Major Function


Estrogen is a type of female hormone that assists in the development and functioning of secondary sex characters. These include the uterus, mammary glands, etc.


This hormone particularly helps in pregnancy and alters the formation of the placenta. Progesterone further attaches an embryo to the uterine wall and provide nutrition.

2.   Production & Regulation of Hormones


There are Graffian follicles present in our body, which produces estrogen. These are further regulated by the FSH – Follicle Stimulating Hormone.


On the other hand, Progesterone is produced by the Corpus luteum, a temporal endocrine gland, and is regulated by LH – Luteinizing Hormone.

3.   Time of Release

Despite both hormones releasing during pregnancy and providing nutrition, there is still a slight difference, as mentioned below.


Estrogen is released before the time of ovulation by ovaries.


Whereas progesterone is released after the time of ovulation by ovaries.

4.   Role of Steroidal Hormones


Estrogen plays an important part in breast enlargement and the uterus during pregnancy. Moreover, it also helps in developing secondary sexual characters in women.


Its key role is to handle the growth and functioning of mammary glands and uterus contraction. Progesterone also helps in maintaining the endometrium and uterus.

Final Verdict

After discussing the differences between estrogen and progesterone, we understood that both of these steroidal hormones hold their own significance. Estrogen helps to control the growth and development of the female reproductive cycle & its secondary sex characters.

While the other one maintains the uterus during pregnancy by implanting the embryo and nurturing it. All in all, both of these hormones work side by side to regulate the overall health of a body.

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