What is Estrogen in Men?

What is Estrogen in Men?

Estrogen is often considered a female hormone but it plays an important role in male health as well. Estrogen in men is produced by an enzyme called aromatase. This enzyme converts testosterone into estradiol, a form of estrogen. This process can occur in fat cells, the brain, liver, and muscle cells.

Estrogen and weight have a cyclic relationship. The more fat a man has, the more estrogen his body will produce. And, high estrogen levels can, in turn, increase fat concentration in the body. The hormone levels are also related to age. As men get older, testosterone levels reduce and estrogen levels increase.
What is the Function of Estrogen in Men’s Health?

Estradiol, a dominant form estrogen, plays an important role in male sexual health. It is essential for maintaining an erection, modulating libido and spermatogenesis. It also enhances brain function and cardiovascular health.

How Much Estrogen do Men Need?

Men should ideally have a good balance between testosterone and estrogen in their bodies. Very low levels of estrogen can increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractured bones. On the other hand, high estrogen in men can increase a man’s risk of having a stroke or suffering from coronary artery disease.

High estrogen levels in men may also increase the risk of prostate cancer and an enlarged prostate. This risk is higher if the man has low free testosterone levels. Low testosterone and high estrogen levels can cause erectile dysfunction, weight gain, mood swings, fatigue and gynecomastia.

What is the Normal Estrogen Level in Men?

The following table will throw some insight into the normal estradiol and estrogen levels in men:

Category Estrogen Estradiol
Prepubescent Male Undetectable - 16 pg/ml Undetectable - 13 pg/ml
Pubescent Male Undetectable - 60 pg/ml Undetectable - 40 pg/ml
Adult Male 10 - 60 pg/ml 10 - 40 pg/ml

Managing Estrogen Levels

Unlike testosterone, estrogen cannot be replaced through hormone replacement therapy. Thus, its levels need to be controlled. Estrogen blockers may be prescribed to men with high estrogen levels. This helps suppress the conversion of testosterone into estradiol. The dosage of these estrogen blockers needed varies from person to person. Thus, self-medicating is not a good idea.