What Is Estrogen?

What Is Estrogen?

The hormones that are responsible for the development of sex organs are known as sex hormones. Estrogen is the major sex hormone found in a female body. It plays a big role in maintaining the female characteristics in a human body. For this reason, it is generally referred to as the female hormone. However, men also produce estrogen, though the levels of estrogen for men aren't as much as they are for females.

Functions of Estrogen in Women

Estrogen for women is involved in carrying out several important functions, such as:

  • Sexual development: Estrogen is the hormone that is responsible for the growth and development of female reproductive organs, including uterus and vagina. It is also responsible for breast development and growth of pubic hair during puberty.
  • Menstrual cycle: Estrogen is involved in the development of the uterus lining inside a female body every month. This lining provides the appropriate environment needed for fertilizing, implanting, and providing nutrition to an early embryo. If a woman does not conceive, the lining gets discarded during the menstrual period.
  • Development of bones: Estrogen plays a crucial role in the development of strong and healthy bones. It is also responsible for protecting against bone loss.
  • Heart health: In premenopausal women, estrogen offers protection against heart diseases. The hormone helps to keep the blood vessels healthy and controls cholesterol levels.
  • Mood management: Estrogen plays an important role in mood management by promoting the production serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is the chemical responsible for mood balancing in the human brain.

Impact of Estrogen Imbalance in Women

An imbalance of estrogen in the female body can cause varied health problems and bring about unwanted physical changes.
High estrogen levels in women can cause the following:

  • Weight gain
  • Irregular periods
  • Heavy bleeding during periods
  • Light spotting

Low estrogen levels in women can cause the following:

  • Infertility
  • Irregular periods
  • Weak bones
  • Painful intercourse
  • Depression
  • Hot flashes
  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)

Since imbalance in estrogen levels can create a lot of problems lead to certain medical conditions as well, it is important to consult a doctor when faced with any issue regarding this hormone.