Oestrogen hormone plays a vital role in healthy growth of the fetus during pregnancy. Without oestrogen, the liver, adrenal glands, kidneys and lungs would never function well. Lower levels of oestrogen in the body put women at great chances of certain disease like osteoporosis, which may cause fractures. Estrogen therapy, also known as hormone replacement therapy, is a treatment for alleviating the symptoms caused by menopausal transition (when a woman’s ovaries reduce or stop producing estrogen and progesterone. Menopause is when a woman has no periods for one year.
Estrogen therapy is also used for protecting menopausal women against potential diseases that low estrogen levels may cause.
3 types of Estrogen
Depending on your season of life, your body produces different types and amounts of estrogen in an effort to maintain balance. The types of estrogen and their primary function are:
• Estradiol: Also known as E3, it’s present in women between puberty and the onset of menopause. The amount your ovaries produces can go up or down, depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle.
• Estrone: Also known as E1, it’s present in its greatest amounts during those same childbearing years as estradiol. During that time, it’s second only to E3 in amount produced. Although production diminishes after menopause shuts down your ovaries, it’s still produced by your body to a small degree.
• Estriol: The pregnancy estrogen, it’s produced to support placenta and fetal development.
Benefits of Oestrogen
Estrogen plays an important role in the development and regulation of the sexual and reproductive system. Estrogen also stimulates egg production (ovulation) by the ovaries. Apart from the reproductive system, estrogen has effects on almost the entire body including:
1. Prevents the risk of heart complications:
Before menopause, women have lower chances of developing heart disease compared to men. However, women are at a greater risk of heart complications when they reach menopause as compared to men. which cause plaque of the arteries and increased risk of arteriosclerosis and heart attack.
2. Improves vaginal issues:
Estrogen can help maintain vaginal health. When estrogen levels decline, you may experience changes to the tissue, lining, and pH balance of your vagina. That can cause several vaginal health issues, including:
• vaginal dryness
• vulvar atrophy, a condition that causes dryness, soreness, and urinary incontinence
• atrophic vaginitis, or inflammation of vaginal tissues that is frequently caused by dryness and irritation
3. Eliminates hot flashes:
Oestrogen also help to treat hot flashes, osteoporosis and vagina dryness. Hot flashes refer to sudden heat wave in your chest spreading to your face and neck. They are always reduced by oestrogen hormonal replacement.
4. Helps ovary issues:
The ovaries are responsible for producing estrogen. If they fail to produce the hormone or if they are affected by any other condition, hormone therapy may be necessary.
These issues may require supplemental estrogen:
• female hypogonadism, or decreased function of the ovaries
• failure of both ovaries
• removal of both ovaries, or an oophorectomy
5. Reduces the risk of osteoporosis:
Oestrogen replacement therapy also prevents the chances of developing osteoporosis in women. According to recent studies, women who undergo oestrogen replacement therapy after menopause have fewer bone fissures.
6. Protects your bones:
Estrogen may help decrease bone loss after menopause. However, new medications are better able to stop and reverse bone loss, so most doctors rely on those now. Those medications aren’t always effective or their side effects may be too severe. In those cases, your doctor may recommend using estrogen to treat bone loss, or osteoporosis.
7. Increases Libido:
Libido has big role in maintaining sexual relation with our loved ones. Lack of estrogen can cause lack of libido. Moreover, lack of libido plus dryness in vagina can affect a woman’s sexual relation with her spouse.
8. Prevents Pre-menopause Syndrome:
Pre-menopause syndrome includes hot flushes, excessive sweating, and mood swings. These will affect social and work life. Taking estrogen after menopause can prevent the syndrome, making a woman feel more comfortable, especially during working.
9. Prevents Psychological Problems:
Psychological problems that often happen during menopause is hysteria. Hysteria is a psychological condition involving illusion, paranoidism and anxiety. For example, a menopaused woman may have symptoms like dryness of vagina and lack of libido, so she feels insecure about her sexual performance. Therefore, she becomes paranoid every time her husband dresses nicely, coming back home late, etc.
10. Reverse urinary tract complications:
Urinary tract infection can cause itching, burning, frequent urinary and bladder infections. Both the bladder and the vagina are delicate to oestogen replacement therapy, and some of these signs are inevitable. However, you can opt to take oestrogen orally by use of oestrogen creams or by mouth. Oestrogen hormone replacement stimulates the production of natural lubricants in the vagina, which makes intercourse more enjoyable.
11. Sexual Development:
Estrogen is responsible for the growth and continued development of your reproductive anatomy including your vagina and uterus. It also is responsible for the development of your breasts and the growth of your pubic and armpit hair during puberty.4 Together, these changes signal the upcoming arrival of your first menstrual period, which marks the beginning of your childbearing years.
12. Your Menstrual Cycle:
The underlying purpose of your menstrual cycle is to prepare your body for pregnancy. When you don’t get pregnant during a monthly cycle, your uterus sheds its lining and you get your period. Estrogen is the hormone responsible for building up the lining of your uterus every month in preparation for pregnancy.
13. Eliminates moods swings:
According to recent studies, oestrogen help to enhance common mood complaints like crying spells, irritability, and sadness that often appear during menopause. Also, oestrogen boosts the efficiency of antidepressant medications. Possible side effects of oestrogen therapy may include chronic headaches, bloating, breast tenderness, drowsiness, and nausea.
14. Mood Management:
Estrogen has a pretty significant effect on your brain. It is thought that estrogen affects how your brain structures are connected, how your brain cells communicate, and even the shape of your brain. Additionally, estrogen plays a big role in your mood because it has a very strong effect on a brain chemical called serotonin. Serotonin is a mood-balancing chemical and estrogen promotes its production.
High estrogen levels can affect both men and women. Estrogen is the main female sex hormone, but it is present in everyone. Females tend to have higher levels of estrogen, while males have more testosterone, which is the main male sex hormone. In females, estrogen plays a role in the menstrual cycle and reproductive system.
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