The pituitary gland controls the release of several hormones, including the gonadotropins FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). FSH and LH in turn control the release of sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone). In children, these hormones govern the onset of puberty and sexual development. After puberty and during adulthood, they control reproductive function.
Review Date 7/16/2019
Updated by: Brent Wisse, MD, board certified in Metabolism/Endocrinology, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.