Gonadotrophins are hormones secreted by the pituitary gland and placenta, which stimulate the production of sex hormones by the gonads: estrogen and progesterone in females and androgens in males. They control the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries and the development of sperm. Gonadotrophin secretion is controlled by gonadotrophin-releasing hormone which, in turn, is synthesized in and release by the hypothalamus.


The two main gonadotrophins in vertebrates are follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, although humans and primates produce a third called chorionic gonadotropin, which is synthesized by the placenta during pregnancy.