The Three Hormones
Have you ever realized how applicable fairy tales are to real life?
Cinderella was a good person whom others treated badly. But she ended up living happily ever after with the prince.
The slow, steady, methodical tortoise won the race against the inconsistent, impulsive hare.
The Wicked Witch of the West ended up melting to death when she tried to get pretty Dorothy and Toto.
One of my favorites is the story of The Three Bears.
As a nerdy gynecologist, that fairy tale warms my heart because it depicts the real life situation of hormones.
The great thing about that story is that every bear had his or her own thing.
Papa Bear had his own bed, his own chair, his own porridge.
Mama Bear had her own bed, chair, and porridge.
Even Baby Bear had his designated bed, chair, and porridge.
It all just seems so fitting that each bear had tailor-made furniture and bowls that were just the right size. And, obviously, no one else’s things would have sufficed for any of the other bears.
Papa Bear would not have fit in Baby Bear’s bed or chair. And he’d have been hungry with Baby Bear’s portion of porridge.
Mama Bear would not have been as comfortable in Papa Bear’s bed or chair. And she would have felt stuffed to the gills with Papa Bear’s porridge.
And Baby Bear wouldn’t have been as snug or happy in Mama Bear’s or Papa Bear’s bed or chair. Nor would he have liked their porridge.
So you might wonder why The Three Bears reminds me of hormones.
Well it’s because, when it comes to the sex hormones, there’s a hormone for every member of the family.
Papa Bear has testosterone. It’s the male hormone. It makes him strong, hairy, and masculine.
Mama Bear has estrogen. It’s the female hormone. It makes her soft, calm, and feminine.
But wait! Mama Bear has progesterone, also! Does that mean Mama Bear gets two hormones while Papa Bear gets only one?
That’s not fair!
The fact is that progesterone isn’t for Mama Bear. It’s for Baby Bear.
Mama Bear produces progesterone specifically and exclusively FOR Baby Bear.
“Progesterone” literally means “Hormone in support of pregnancy.” (Pro = in support of, Gest = pregnancy, One = hormone)
And the only reason Mama Bear produces progesterone is because she’s the one who gets pregnant with Baby Bear.
So, just like The Three Bears, each of whom had his or her own bed, chair, and porridge, everyone in the family has his or her own hormone.
Estrogen belongs to women. Testosterone belongs to men. Progesterone belongs to babies.
Ahh, fairy tales! There’s a reason they always end up happily ever after.