Everything you need to know about estrogenEstrogen plays an important role in managing your reproductive system, but it estrogen hormone therapy protects your bones and helps your skin heal from bruises hormmone injury. This can happen for various reasons. For example, test booster and weight loss estrogen production slows down as you get older. Some conditions can also affect your estrogen levels. If your estrogen levels hor,one low, your doctor may prescribe hormone therapy to help replace your estrogen levels and ease symptoms. Some research suggests estrogen hormone therapy long-term hormone therapy use may increase your risk for complications, however, including severe ones like cancer. Talk with your doctor about this before you begin using hormone therapy.
Hormone Replacement Therapy: What Women Need to Know | Everyday Health
Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. They play an essential role in the growth and development of female secondary sexual characteristics, such as breasts, pubic and armpit hair, and the regulation of the menstrual cycle and reproductive system. During the menstrual cycle, estrogen produces an environment suitable for the fertilization, implantation, and nutrition of an early embryo.
An imbalance of these hormones can lead to a range of health problems and unwanted physical changes. This MNT Knowledge Center article will explain what estrogen is, how it works in the body, its range of medical uses, and the effects of estrogen imbalance.
During puberty , the ovaries begin releasing estrogen hormones in line with each monthly menstrual cycle. The estrogen level rises suddenly halfway through the cycle, which triggers the release of an egg. This level then quickly decreases after ovulation. Estrogens usually travel through the bloodstream in fluids, interact with cells in a variety of tissues in the body, and deliver a message or instruction.
It is one of the most important hormones for women, alongside progesterone. Progesterone helps to maintain pregnancies and implant an egg in the uterus.
Estrogen is responsible for the differences between male and female bodies. For example, in a female body:. Some foods contain phytoestrogens, which may affect levels of estrogen in the body. Some scientists consider phytoestrogens to be endocrine disruptors. They appear to have dual functions at times, able to increase and decrease estrogen activity.
It is a common misconception that phytoestrogens can negatively impact health, but some research confirms that the foods containing phytoestrogens listed above can lower cancer risk, reduce hot flashes, improve other menopausal symptoms, and provide other health benefits.
The effects of soy's phytoestrogens depend on the type of soy being studied at the time, and this has led to inconsistent findings. Soy protein isolate will have a different impact from whole soy foods.
Synthetic estrogen, bio-identical estrogen, and estrogens derived from pregnant mares Premarin are used for a range of medical purposes. The most common uses of estrogen are in birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy HRT and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy BHRT for menopause. The birth control pill is the most commonly used method of birth control in the United States.
Estrogen is included in combination oral birth control pills alongside the hormone progestin. Many women take low-dose birth control pills, which contain 20 to 50 micrograms mcg of estrogen. The estrogen in the combined pill sends feedback to the brain. This feedback causes a range of effects in the body, including:. Long-term use may also lead to a higher risk of breast cancer. Hormone replacement therapy HRT aims to relieve some symptoms of menopause by bringing the levels of female hormones back to normal.
The treatment can be provided as estrogen-only or as a combination of estrogen and progestin. For women who still have a uterus, the hormone progestin is used alongside estrogen to prevent the overgrowth of the uterine lining, which can lead to endometrial cancer.
HRT is available as a pill, nasal spray, patch, skin gel, injection, vaginal cream, or ring. Women who use or are considering using hormone therapy after menopause should discuss the possible benefits and health risks with their physicians. Hormone therapy is also used to help transgender people who wish to transition between genders, with estrogen often being prescribed to help transgender women who are looking to develop female secondary sexual characteristics.
Due to the risks posed by this type of therapy, it is vital that a course of hormone therapy is followed under supervision by a medical professional. Estrogen replacement therapy ERT is used to increase estrogen levels in women who have undergone menopause and have had their uterus removed.
This is because ERT is linked to uterine cancer but would not have this effect in women after removal of the uterus.
ERT can also treat a range of other conditions, such as delayed puberty, symptomatic vaginal atrophy , and breast atrophy.
Topical estriol application for vaginal atrophy has been shown to be effective with the least side effects compared to combination estrogen therapy. Normal estrogen levels can vary a great deal. Differences can typically be seen between the estrogen levels of two women on the same day of their cycles, for example, or in the same woman on different days.
Certain conditions, lifestyle choices, and processes can reduce the amount of estrogen in the body. Natural alternatives and supplements, such as black cohosh, are often touted as a treatment for the symptoms of menopause. Research findings have been inconsistent, but side effects from taking black cohosh are reported to be minor and infrequent. Estrogen is linked to a number of cancers and health risks, and so it is vital to consult with a doctor before taking any supplements.
In addition, the FDA cannot regulate or ensure the safety and effectiveness of herbal and non-medicinal supplements. As estrogen is linked to a number of cancers and health risks, it is vital to consult with a doctor before taking any supplements.
The effects of imbalanced estrogen levels can include the following:. High levels of estrogen in men can lead to infertility , erectile dysfunction , prostate cancer , and the development of larger breasts, also known as gynecomastia. It is important when taking medications that contain estrogen to keep track of symptoms and ensure that you are maintaining balanced estrogen levels. Article last updated by Yvette Brazier on Tue 2 January Visit our Endocrinology category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Endocrinology.
All references are available in the References tab. Distinct cognitive effects of estrogen and progesterone in menopausal women. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 59 , Black cohosh-fact sheet for health professionals.
Changes in the vagina and vulva. Contraceptive use in the United States. Estrogen hormone therapy inhibits Alzheimer's gene. Estrogens and health in males. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, , Iranian Journal of Public Health. Geburtshilfe Und Frauenheilkunde, 73 10 , — The pros and cons of phytoestrogens. Types of treatment for breast cancer. Dietary Isoflavones and Breast Cancer Risk.
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Register for a free account Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Register take the tour. Table of contents What is estrogen? Fast facts on estrogen The ovaries are the main location for estrogen production. Estrogen influences the structural differences between the male and female bodies, such as females having a wider pelvis and more permanent hair on the head.
Synthetic estrogen has a range of uses in medicine, including birth control and managing the effects of menopause. Estrogen is involved in the development of a range of health issues. Estrogen is a vital hormone in female development. What you need to know about HRT.
HRT is a common treatment for the symptoms of menopause. Click here to learn more. Strenuous exercise can impact estrogen levels. Everything you need to know about menopause.
Endocrinology What causes black gums? The gums come in many natural colors, including red, pink, brown, and black. However, changes in gum color can indicate an underlying health problem.