What Are the Effects of Estrogen?

Estrogen aids in ensuring that the brain receives the proper supply of blood.
Article Details
  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Estrogen is a group of hormones that are essential to sexual and reproductive systems in females. These hormones, however, have other positive effects such as helping the body to retain fluids and salts, and helping to prevent certain diseases. Negative effects of estrogen can occur when the body contains too little or too much. Examples of these include increased weight gain, increased chances of heart disease, and increased chances of breast cancer.

A woman needs estrogen for normal sexual development. These hormones allow the breasts and ovaries to grow. They are responsible for proper development of the vagina and for its lubrication. Estrogen also affects a woman’s libido.

The reproductive effects of estrogen include preparing the breasts for lactation. If a woman did not have estrogen, not only would her breasts not develop properly, but she also would not develop the glands that allow her to produce milk. Without estrogen, a woman’s reproductive system would not develop in a manner that allows her to successfully become pregnant and carry a child.

Estrogen is not only imperative to sexual and reproductive health, it is also essential to brain functions. The hormones are responsible for neural growth and repair. They are connected to the proper concentration of chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Furthermore, estrogen aids in ensuring that the brain receives the proper supply of blood.

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The effects of estrogen can become negative when a woman’s body does not produce enough of it. It is believed that low estrogen levels can increase a woman’s chances of developing a number of diseases. One common condition that has been linked to low levels of estrogen is osteoporosis. This is seen in women who are in or who have passed menopause. It is believed that osteoporosis occurs because the lack of sufficient estrogen causes a reduction of bone mass.

A woman’s chances of developing heart disease are also believed to increase when sufficient amounts of estrogen are lacking in her body. This is because estrogen has been found to play a role in controlling cholesterol. Low levels of the hormones appear to contribute to increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which allows plaque to build up in the arteries.

The effects of estrogen can also become negative when there is too much of these hormones in the body. Such a situation is believed to greatly increase a woman’s chances of both endometrial cancer and breast cancer. Additionally, a woman may suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding, migraines, and depression. If the situation is not corrected, there is also the possibility of a woman becoming infertile.

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Discuss this Article

anon927308
Post 4

I am worried because I am lactating and have been to a doctor, but they say my thyroid is fine. My mother has graves disease and breast cancer so with that alone you would think they would look into it further.

Sunny27
Post 3

Crispety-The effects of too much estrogen can easily be seen when a woman is pregnant. Often the side effects of high estrogen can make a woman weepy and extra sensitive and will allow her breasts to grow.

The side effects of high estrogen can lead to ovarian and breast cancer. If you feel that you might be experiencing high estrogen levels and you are not pregnant, it is best to see a doctor.

Crispety
Post 2

Cupcake15-The added estrogen can not only raise a women’s libido, but it will ease all of the other symptoms of hot flashes and bladder problems.

They also say that the added estrogen also elevates a woman’s mood. While hormone replacement therapy is suggested for many women, not all women would benefit from this treatment.

Women with a history of breast or ovarian cancer would actually raise their cancer risk and should avoid anything with added estrogen. Suzanne Sommers has written many books on this very subject and she is also a breast cancer survivor.

cupcake15
Post 1

The effects of low estrogen levels in women result in hot flashes, urinary and sleep problems. They can also lead to levels of depression and can begin to dry out the skin and thin out the hair.

There are hormone replacement therapies that can replace the level of estrogen that is lost due to aging.

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