estrogen side effects in females

Beyond Reproduction: What Role Does Estrogen Play in the Body

Estrogen is a group of hormones that can be found in both men and women. However, due to women’s ability to produce more estrogen throughout their lives, many people will often refer to it as a dominantly female hormone. 

Women mostly depend on estrogen for regulating and maintaining their reproductive system, although estrogen does more than simply help women conceive children. From the start of a woman's adolescence, usually around puberty, they will begin to produce estrogen, which helps to maintain a healthy and strong metabolic system, and further regulates specific bodily functions. 

Understanding Estrogen's Impact on Women's Health

Estrogen is produced by the ovaries, and in addition to this, some adrenal glands and fat cells may produce smaller amounts of estrogen, according to experts from the Johns Hopkins Medicine facility. 

Outside of keeping women’s reproductive systems healthy, and regulating their menstrual 

cycles, estrogen plays an important role in maintaining the urinary tract, blood vessels, and the heart.

More than this, estrogen can help to promote and maintain breast, skin, and hair health, increase the production of mucous membranes, and support the pelvic muscles. 

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, estrogen carries secondary sexual characteristics and can help to promote the growth of body hair, including pubic and armpit hair, which tends to increase over time as more estrogen is produced. 

There’s a lot that estrogen can do, and does for females, protecting their organs, keeping them healthy, and regulating their menstrual cycles for a healthy reproductive system.

Three Types of Estrogen

Three different types of estrogen steroids help to make up the building blocks of this vital hormone. 


Considered to be the primary form of estrogen present in a woman’s body during her reproductive years. It’s considered to be the major estrogen hormone, as this helps to regulate menstrual cycles and the reproductive system. 


Another estrogen steroid hormone that is commonly produced following or after menopause, and is considered to be the weakest of all three types. This hormone acts as a sex hormone, however, fluctuating levels thereof can cause mood swings, irregular bleeding, or fatigue.


Thirdly, estriol is an estrogen hormone most commonly produced during pregnancy. This hormone is in charge of helping the female uterus grow and maintains the overall well-being of the uterus during pregnancy. More than this, estriol helps to prepare the body for childbirth, including breastfeeding, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

facts about function of estrogen

Puberty and Sexual Development: Estrogen's Role

Estrogen production naturally accelerates after a woman’s first menstrual period. From then they will continue to produce estrogen until their mid-life or when they enter menopause. 

However, during puberty years, estrogen is responsible for the development of secondary female sexual characteristics. During this time, estrogen helps with the development of breasts, regulating the menstrual cycle and developing the endometrium. 

Experts believe that estrogen may help to decrease height increase in some females during puberty. Furthermore, there is also the fact that estrogen helps to increase the ability to burn body fat, and helps women reduce muscle bulk. 

Menstrual Cycle: How Estrogen Builds and Sheds Uterine Lining

The female menstrual cycle is a highly complex and delicate process, and estrogen plays an important role in building and shedding the uterus lining throughout a woman’s reproductive years. 

For starters, estrogen helps to stimulate the growth of the uterus lining, also known as the endometrium. This usually takes place during the menstrual cycle, and over time increases uterine growth. 

According to research, estrogen promotes the growth of the endometrium throughout normal cycles, until a point where it becomes thick enough to break down. This usually occurs around the time bleeding begins, which falls within the regular 28 days from the previous menstrual period.

Furthermore, estrogen helps regulate natural female lubrication in the vagina, helping to thicken the vaginal wall. This is followed by the increase of blood vessels to the skin, helping to maintain a healthy vagina. 

Estrogen and Bone Health: Protecting Against Osteoporosis

New bone cells are produced through the absorption of old bone cells by cells known as osteoclasts. This process occurs naturally and is called the bone remodeling process. This process ensures the production of new bone cells and replaces older, porous cells that are no longer sufficient. 

Researchers believe that estrogen may help to signal and bind bone cells, and further encourage the transportation of stem cells to osteoblasts. There’s another theory that suggests estrogen could potentially be responsible for an immune response that typically involves T-cell activation. 

As women age and levels of estrogen decline, they often run an increased risk of osteoporosis. This may pose a long-term health threat to people and can further decrease the structure and overall strength of the bones as women become older. 

Estrogen's Influence on Heart Health: Maintaining Cardiovascular Well-being

Throughout much of a woman’s lifetime estrogen will help maintain cardiovascular health, and undertake a protective role in cardiovascular diseases that tend to be associated with fibrosis, according to one recent study

In the same study, however, researchers found that estrogen can take another protective role in stimulating angiogenesis and vasodilation, enhance mitochondrial function, and further reduce oxidative stress. 

There is evidence that shows estrogen has protective properties against cardiovascular disease. This is considered in the positive effect on plasma lipids, and the various antioxidant properties estrogen inhibits. 

Mood Regulation: The Connection Between Estrogen and Serotonin

There is significant evidence that highlights the neurobiological underpinning of estrogen. This is because the hormone is responsive across various neurological receptors including different mechanisms across the regions of the brain. 

One research study has found that interactions between estrogen receptors and neurotransmitters can play a direct role in having beneficial effects on women’s mood. Not only this, researchers in the same study believe that hormone therapy could be considered a viable treatment for women who have never struggled with previous mood disorders. 

Take A Look At How Does Estrogen Affect Brain Function?: 

Hormone Balance: Ensuring Optimal Health and Well-being

Hormone imbalance typically occurs in women around the age of menopause as both estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate. This may result in symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, insomnia, dry skin, mood swings, vaginal dryness and decreased sexual arousal. These symptoms may be different for every person and require a visit to a medical professional or healthcare provider for further assistance. 

Nonetheless, hormone balance is important to ensure a healthy and strong body and further maintain metabolic and immune health. This may help to ensure mood regulation, memory, and alertness, and protect you against other health risks such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular problems. 

To maintain hormone balance, firstly ensure that you consult with an expert, and further follow a healthy balanced diet. This includes eating meals that are rich in natural vitamins and minerals and following an active exercise routine to maintain healthy bones, prevent heart disease, and control weight. 

Furthermore, a hormonal imbalance may be recognized through various changes present in and around your body. These may include mood swings, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, or increased feelings of anxiety and depression. Other things such as weak or painful muscles could be an indication of pain in the joints. 

Make sure to routinely visit your healthcare provider for regular check-ups and that you obtain an expert opinion on possible treatment options to improve hormonal balance. 


What Happens When Estrogen Levels Are Low?

For women that may have low estrogen due to menopause, symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia or difficulty falling asleep, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and decreased sexual desire could be among the most common symptoms. Other things such as dry or thinning hair, dry skin, and weight gain around the abdomen could be another indication of low estrogen levels. 

What Does Increase Estrogen Do to The Body?

An increase in estrogen levels may result in weight gain around parts of the hips, thighs, and waist. Other things such as irregular periods, either a heavy or light flow and severe premenstrual syndrome. Some women might experience a lack of sexual desire, feelings of depression, anxiety, and an overwhelming sensation of fatigue. 

Final Thoughts

Estrogen plays a vital role in the maintenance of women’s bodies, helping to keep them healthy and strong. More than this, estrogen ensures the overall well-being of the female reproductive system, helps to regulate menstrual periods, and promotes overall health, such as protection against cardiovascular disease and promotes healthy bone cell remodeling. 

Women who may be in perimenopause, or have started menopause might need to consider consulting with their healthcare provider for possible treatment options. Decreased estrogen can cause several discomforting symptoms, including night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, among other things. Try and speak to an expert about possible remedies, or starting a hormone replacement therapy treatment. 

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