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. The two main gonadotrophins in vertebrates are follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) although humans and primates produce a third called chorionic gonadotropin, which is synthesized by the placenta during pregnancy. Gonadotrophin secretion is controlled by gonadotrophin-releasing hormone.
Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone is a peptide hormone that controls the release of both follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone from the anterior pituitary gland. Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone is synthesized and released by the hypothalamus.