Estrogen: Functions, uses, and imbalances

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The hormone estrogen plays different roles in our bodies. For women, estrogen promotes and maintains the reproductive system and female characteristics like pubic hair and breasts.

It also aids in bone health, cognitive health, cardiovascular functions, and other important bodily processes.

But estrogen is known to many for its role in women’s sexual and reproductive health.

In our body, estrogen is produced by the ovaries, fat tissues, and adrenal glands. It is present in both men and women, but the latter produces more of it.

Let us now see estrogen in a more detailed way to understand how it works and why we need to maintain it at certain levels.

Estrogen Types

  • Estrone – This particular type of estrogen is present in our body after the menopause stage. It is not as strong as estrogen and can be converted by the body to other estrogen forms if necessary.
  • Estradiol – This is the most common type of estrogen in women during the reproductive years. It is also the type of estrogen that men produce. If the body has too much estradiol, it can cause depression, acne, osteoporosis, or sex drive loss. Excessive levels of this kind of estrogen can also increase uterine and breast cancer risks. On the other hand, very low levels may cause cardiovascular disease or weight gain.
  • Estriol – This estrogen type rises in the women’s body during pregnancy. It functions as an aid to the uterus in preparing the body for delivery. Estriol levels are the highest just before birth.

Functions

Estrogen helps the following organs in different ways.

  • Ovaries – The female hormone aids in stimulating the growth of the egg follicle.
  • Vagina – Estrogen promotes the vaginal wall thickness and helps in lubrication.
  • Uterus – It helps in enhancing the mucous membrane that lines the uterus and regulating the density and movement of uterine mucus secretions.
  • Breasts – Estrogen assists the body in breast tissue formation. It also aids in stopping the flow of milk after weaning.

Estrogen Levels

Every individual has varying estrogen levels. During the menstrual cycle and through the women’s lives, this hormone also fluctuates differently. The increase and decrease of estrogen may be the cause of mood changes before menstruation or hot flashes during the menopausal stage.

Some of the factors that can affect the estrogen levels in the body are pregnancy, puberty, menopause, older age, obesity, extreme diets, high blood pressure, and many others.

Estrogen Imbalance

When the body experiences an imbalance of estrogen, the following conditions may occur:

  • irregular or no menstruation at all
  • light or too much bleeding during menstruation
  • severe menopausal or premenstrual symptoms
  • hot flashes and night sweats
  • sleeping problems
  • low sexual desire
  • vaginal dryness
  • depression

Sources and Uses of Estrogen

A physician may recommend estrogen supplements or medication for people who have a low level of estrogen.

Estrogen Therapy

Managing menopausal symptoms is possible through estrogen therapy or hormone replacement therapy. This treatment is available in various forms like pills, patches, skin gels, injections, etc. Hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood changes, and anxiety are the symptoms that can be addressed by hormone therapy. Esrosmart product best for estrogen issues such as heavy periods and hormonal acne.

Male to female transition

For those wishing to transition to female, a doctor can prescribe estrogen. It is better to consult a healthcare professional to know the broader treatment approach in doing the transition with the help of estrogen therapy.

Birth Control

The birth control pills available in the market have synthetic estrogen or progestin, or both. Some pills prevent pregnancy by ensuring that the estrogen levels do not fluctuate throughout the ovulation period, while some make the cervix mucus thick so that no sperm can reach the egg.

Estrogen indeed plays a vital role in the body, especially for women. That’s why it is important to keep producing them at certain levels and finding ways to replace them in case of a sudden decrease due to old age or other health and medical conditions.

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