Saturday, February 24, 2024

Effects Of Estrogen On The Body

What Happens When Estrogen Is Too Low

The effect of estrogen on the brain

Low estrogen levels can be caused by certain medical conditions, thyroid disorders, excessive exercise, and eating disorders that severely reduce body fat.

Low estrogen also comes with its own host of unpleasant symptoms:

  • Vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse

  • Irregular or absent periods, and resulting infertility

  • Severe mood swings

What Is High Or Low Estrogen Levels

Estrogen is a naturally occurring hormone that your body produces to aid in sexual development and other important body functions. Prior to menopause, women generate estrogen primarily from their ovaries. After that, most of their estrogen comes from fat cells and the adrenal glands found at the top of the kidneys. When estrogen levels get too high or too low, this can negatively affect the body.

Estrogen helps regulate the health of the following areas:

  • Mucous membranes

Estrogen plays an essential role in girls when they reach puberty, prompting changes like the growth of pubic hair and the start of menstruation. It also helps control cholesterol in the blood. Three of the most common types of estrogen produced in women include:


Estrone is the main estrogen hormone produced by women after they hit menopause.


Estradiol is the primary estrogen hormone produced by non-pregnant women.


Estriol is an estrogen hormone whose levels increase in pregnant women.

Causes Of High Estrogen

High levels of estrogen can develop naturally, but too much estrogen can also result from taking certain medications. For example, estrogen replacement therapy, a popular treatment for symptoms of menopause, may cause estrogen to reach problematic levels.

Your body may also develop low testosterone or low progesterone levels, which can upset your hormonal balance. If you have estrogen levels that are abnormally high relative to your progesterone levels, its known as estrogen dominance.

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When You Have Too Much Estrogen

Women can have too much estrogen. When this happens, the following can occur:

  • Weight gain, typically in your waist, hips, and thighs
  • Light or heavy bleeding during your periods
  • Intensified premenstrual syndrome symptoms
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Fibroids in the uterus
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Feeling depressed or anxious

When mens estrogen levels are too high, they can have enlarged breasts , infertility, and difficulty maintaining an erection.

Based on what your doctor determines is causing your high estrogen levels, he or she may prescribe a medication, suggest surgery, or recommend dietary changes to help lower your estrogen levels.

Causes Of High Estrogen In Men

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Heres what causes high estrogen in men.

#1. Aging

As you grow old, your body undergoes random hormonal changes.

So, with age, your testosterone level drops whereas estrogen level spikes up.

#2. Stress

High stress can increase cortisol hormone secretion.

In men, the hormone can affect your testosterone level. As your t-level drops, your female hormone level soars up.

Thus, it is important to reduce stress.

#3. Diet

Your diet has a direct impact on your overall health. A high-carb diet can increase body fat.

The nutrient encompasses the aromatase enzyme. Eventually, it triggers estrogen levels.

#4. Testosterone Conversion

Testosterone conversion to estrogen in males is a common phenomenon.

This enzyme works as a catalyst. It covers your free healthy testosterone into estrogen to spike up your female hormone.

Fat contains an aromatase enzyme. It can elevate testosterone conversion to estrogen in males.

Thus, it is better to avoid it in the first place.

In general, reduction in t-level causes low libido or erectile dysfunction.

However, taking Testosterone replacement therapy without examination of real triggers can cause health issues.

An excessive male hormone can cause an excess in aromatase enzyme.

Eventually, this elevates estrogen level which will affect your overall health.

#7. Xenoestrogens

The toxic chemicals present in heavy metals, plastics, cosmetic and body care products encompass xenoestrogens or endocrine disruptors.

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Estrogen And The Cardiovascular System

Scientists are still learning about the actions of estrogen in the body. Studies have shown that estrogen affects almost every tissue or organ system, including the heart and blood vessels. Estrogens known effects on the cardiovascular system include a mix of positive and negative:

  • Increases HDL cholesterol
  • Promotes blood clot formation, and also causes some changes that have the opposite effect
  • Relaxes, smooths and dilates blood vessels so blood flow increases
  • Soaks up free radicals, naturally occurring particles in the blood that can damage the arteries and other tissues.

Estrogen probably affects the cardiovascular system in other ways that are as yet undiscovered. New research continues to give scientists and physicians more information and raise more questions about this important and controversial hormone.

Over the years, evidence was accumulating that suggested estrogen also helped protect women against heart disease. With heart disease is the number one killer among women over age 65, this is an important issue. Women develop heart disease 10 years later than men, but by age 65, their risk is equal to that of men.

Here Are Some Questions You Can Ask Yourself And Discuss With Your Physician:

  • Am I experiencing difficult menopause symptoms?
  • Do I have any medical conditions or a family history of certain conditions that might make HRT beneficial for me?
  • Do I have any medical conditions or a family history of certain conditions that might make HRT riskier for me?
  • Have I considered alternatives to HRT?

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What Are The Side Effects Of Hrt

About 5 to 10 percent of women treated with HRT have side effects which may include breast tenderness, fluid retention and mood swings. In most cases, these side effects are mild and do not require the woman to stop HRT therapy.

If you have bothersome side effects from HRT, talk to your doctor. He or she can often reduce these side effects by changing the type and dosage of estrogen and/or progestin.

If you have a uterus and take progestin, monthly vaginal bleeding is likely to occur. If it will bother you to have your monthly menstrual cycle, discuss this with your health care provider.

Estrogen And Postmenopausal Depression

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At menopause, estrogen levels fall to very low levels. Interestingly, taking oral estrogen does not improve depression in women after menopause. In large trials evaluating hormone replacement therapy, women taking estrogen reported the same mental health as women taking placebo. After menopause, women’s rates of depression fall, becoming similar to men of the same age.

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What Are The Effects Of Estrogen On Womens Fertility

Progesterone and Estrogen, these two hormones, are the most common effective components of treatment for infertility issues. Women experience a fluctuating estrogen cycle during, before, and after ovulation. It, therefore, influences the thickness of the uterus lining, further affecting the fertilization of an egg and the uterine wall firmness.

Regulation Of Erectile Response

One of the most significant effects of estrogen in a male body is its role in regulating erectile response. First, it is useful to mention erectile function is multifaceted, where endocrine, nerve, and blood vessel actions work together to produce a strong and durable erection.

The exact role of estrogen on erectile response in men requires further research, but it could be due to its positive effect on penile vasculature and the brain.

Keep in mind excessive levels of estrogen in the male body could pave the way to erectile dysfunction and other problems. Therefore, ensuring you have a normal hormonal balance is vital for maintaining your sexual health.

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Stage : Luteal Phase = Lower Estrogen

In the second part of the cycle, the luteal phase, whenthe follicle has ruptured and the egg has been releasedâovulation has occurred. In the place where the follicle was, a new hormone producing structure forms from the walls of the follicle and is called the corpus luteum. The main function of the corpus luteum is to produce lots of progesterone, another sex hormone, but also some estradiol too .

If an egg is not fertilized and implanted, about four days before the start of the period, the corpus luteum stops producing progesterone and estradiol, and the levels of both hormones in the blood fall again. This triggers your period to start .

Hormone Balance And Tummy Trouble


Cells lining the gastrointestinal tract have receptors for both estrogen and progesterone. Levels of these hormones change throughout the course of a womans monthly menstrual cycle. When they do, they impact the function of the gastrointestinal system. Women often experience abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and nausea before or during their periods. These symptoms can also occur with many other conditions. If a woman experiences them along with mood changes and fatigue before or during her period, it may be more likely that the GI disturbances are occurring due to monthly hormonal fluctuations.

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Why Does Your Estrogen Level Matter

Estrogen is a hormone. Although present in the body in small amounts, hormones have big roles in maintaining your health.

Estrogen is commonly associated with the female body. Men also produce estrogen, but women produce it in higher levels.

The hormone estrogen:

  • is responsible for the sexual development of girls when they reach puberty
  • controls the growth of the uterine lining during the menstrual cycle and at the beginning of a pregnancy
  • causes breast changes in teenagers and women who are pregnant
  • is involved in bone and cholesterol metabolism
  • regulates food intake, body weight, glucose metabolism, and insulin sensitivity

Girls who havent reached puberty and women approaching menopause are most likely to experience low estrogen. Still, women of all ages can develop low estrogen.

Common symptoms of low estrogen include:

Hormone Replacement Therapy May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:

  • changes in sex drive or ability
  • brown or black skin patches
  • swelling of hands, feet, or lower legs
  • bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods
  • changes in menstrual flow
  • dark-colored urine
  • light-colored stool

Hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk of developing endometrial cancer and gallbladder disease. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.

Hormone replacement therapy may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .

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Estrogen Takes Part In Weight Regulation

Like testosterone, estrogen is also important for weight management. Insufficient levels of this hormone predispose a man to increased adiposity and metabolic dysregulation.

Excessively high estradiol levels are also associated with obesity. More precisely, both low and high estrogen levels in men can lead to problems with weight.

In men with low testosterone levels, doctors often recommend testosterone therapy to balance out this hormone and thereby aid weight regulation and other symptoms.

High Estrogen Level May Harm Prostate Gland

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Men require sufficient estrogen levels for good reproductive health and better sexual function. However, excessive estrogen level is not good for your health.

It can affect the prostate gland and may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. Thus, doctors examine estrogen levels before starting any hormone therapy for prostate-related conditions.

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What Are The Effects Of Estrogen On Womens Body

Estrogen is mainly produced from womens ovaries and is responsible for womens reproductive and normal sexual development. It helps regulate the menstrual cycles and affects the heart, urinary tract, reproductive tract, bones, skin, hair, membranes, brain, pelvic muscles, blood vessels, and breasts.

The hormone is also related to secondary sexual characteristics, including the armpit and public hair growth, the main estrogen high symptoms

Side Effects Of Oestrogen

The main side effects of taking oestrogen include:

  • swelling in other parts of the body

These side effects will often pass after a few weeks. To ease side effects, try:

  • taking your oestrogen dose with food, which may help feelings of sickness and indigestion
  • eating a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, which may reduce breast tenderness
  • doing regular exercise and stretching, to help leg cramps

If side effects persist, your GP may recommend switching to a different way of taking oestrogen , changing the medicine you’re taking, or lowering your dose.

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How Is Low Estrogen Treated

Women who have low levels of estrogen may benefit from hormonal treatment. Hormonal treatment is the standard for low estrogen. There are non-hormonal options to help relieve symptoms. Non-hormonal options are preferred for women at high risk for breast cancer, blood clots, stroke, or liver disease.

Who Is This Estrogen Thing You Speak Of

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Estrogen Dominance?

  • Exposure to Excessive Xeno-estrogens and Phyto-estrogens: These are artificial and plant based estrogens respectively, which mimic the way estrogen acts in our body and disrupts functions as such.
  • Excessive Bodyfat: This will promote production of estrogen since the process of aromatization occurs in fat cells. Then the cycle repeats faster, as estrogen begets more fat.
  • Stress: This is huge and nobody realizes it. Cortisol is indirectly produced via Progesterone, which is quickly used up under stressful conditions. The result? Greatly elevated estrogen levels

The Bad: Too Much Estrogen Will Make You Fat

  • Higher body fat levels lead to increased estrogen synthesis
  • The subsequently higher estrogen levels leads to decreased rates of lipolysis, and promotes storage of calories
  • The increased estrogen production is then likely to suppress natural testosterone and DHT synthesis, via the negative feedback loop mechanism.

The Good: Estrogen Helps Maintain Bone Density

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Perimenopause And Menopause Estrogen Levels

After menopause, estrogen levels drop dramatically, as there are few follicles in your ovaries. Additionally, these follicles are no longer growing and producing the estradiol spikes that occur during the menstrual cycle . The laboratory estradiol levels of postmenopausal women are generally less than 20 pg/mL .

During perimenopause, people may notice that their body changes in response to these lower levels of estrogen.

Symptoms of low estrogen during perimenopause and menopause

  • Vaginal dryness is common. Without enough estrogen, the walls of the are not able to maintain their thickness and are no longer as moist .

  • Hot flashes are associated with decreasing levels of estrogen, and can be treated using estrogen therapy . Phytoestrogens, or estrogens from food, may be moderately beneficial, but more research is needed .

  • Osteoporosis is a risk for post-menopausal people as estrogen levels decrease .

Reasons For Low Estrogen

There are times when your estrogen levels fluctuate, such as during your period or when youre pregnant. But as you get older and approach menopause, your estrogen levels decline. For some, it happens earlier. Any condition that impairs the ovaries can reduce estrogen production.

Low estrogen levels can have a serious impact on your life. Fortunately, there are ways to replenish your estrogen supply so you dont have to suffer from the many life-altering symptoms.

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What Are The Various Types Of Estrogen

But as we age and change, estrogen changes with us, which is why there are several types of estrogen to know about:

Estradiol :

This is the most common kind of estrogen . Its largely present in a womans reproductive years between puberty and menopause.

Estriol :

This form of estrogen is key for our Baby2Body audience! It takes priority during pregnancy as its released from the placenta. Its responsible for creating a healthy uterine environment for your baby to grow in and readies the female body for childbirth.

Estrone :

This form of estrogen takes over in the post-menopausal years and is a weaker form of estrogen.

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The hypothalamus is the portion of the brain that lies near the pituitary gland. It helps regulate hormone secretion in various parts of the body, controlling functions like body temperature, mood, hunger, thirst, sleep, fatigue, sex drive, and circadian rhythms. Dysfunction of the hypothalamus may produce many symptoms depending on which hormone systems are affected. Supplementing hormone levels that are low may help relieve symptoms. If the hypothalamus is malfunctioning due to the presence of a tumor, treating the tumor may provide relief.

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What Happens When Estrogen Is Too High

When it comes to hormones its all about balance. When one hormone is too high, or too low, it can lead to uncomfortable and unhealthy symptoms that are important to be aware of. High estrogen can be caused by things like hormonal contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, certain medications, and even some herbal remedies are thought to increase estrogen levels.

These are the most common symptoms of high estrogen in women:

  • Weight gain and bloating, especially around the midsection

  • Irregular periods and heavy bleeding

  • More severe PMS

  • Uterine fibroids and endometriosis

Where Is Estrogen Located In The Body

Your ovaries make most of your estrogen during your reproductive years. Your adrenal glands and adipose tissue secrete estrogen, too. The placenta secretes estrogen during pregnancy.

Once its released, estrogen travels through the bloodstream until it reaches the part of your body that needs to be spurred into action. There, estrogen binds to a protein, called an estrogen receptor, that gets the process moving. Estrogen receptors are located throughout your body.

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