How Estrogen Affects a Woman’s “Whole Health”
Most women have a general understanding that estrogen is a “female sex hormone” that plays a material role in menstrual cycles, fertility and sexuality. But few people truly understand how important estrogen is in affecting overall female health as a whole.
The hormone estrogen affects many aspects of a woman’s health and wellbeing – physically, mentally, and even cosmetically – throughout her entire life.
Depending on her season of life, a woman’s body produces different types and amounts of estrogen in an effort to maintain optimal balance for her current needs. In this article the hormone experts at SottoPelle explain the different types of estrogen and the primary functions and roles that these estrogens play in women’s health at different stages of life.
The Three Types of Estrogen
Many of our hormone therapy patients are surprised to learn that there are actually 3 different types of estrogen:
Estradiol – also called “E2” – is the most largely produced form of estrogen. Estradiol is present in women between puberty and into onset of menopause. Estradiol is produced by the ovaries, and the amount will fluctuate up or down, depending on where the woman is in her menstrual cycle.
Estrone – also called “E1” – is the second most produced form of estrogen. It is produced in its greatest amounts during the same childbearing years as estradiol. Production of Estrone declines significantly after menopause shuts down the ovaries, but it is still produced by the body to some degree after menopause – making it the most abundant form of estrogen in post-menopausal women.
Estriol – also called “E3” – is the estrogen that increases during pregnancy. It is specifically for supporting placenta and fetal development.
It is also important to note that Progesterone is a different type of female hormone and is NOT an estrogen. Progesterone is a steroid hormone belonging to a different class of hormones called progestogens. And progestin is a synthetic form of the body’s naturally occurring progesterone.
The Functions of Estrogen
Estrogen & Sexual Development (Puberty)
Estrogen is responsible for the development of a woman’s reproductive system. The anatomy and functioning of the vagina and uterus are all dependent upon sufficient estrogen levels. Similarly, pubic hair, the hair under your arms, and the development of your breasts are all dependent on estrogen as well.
Estrogen and the Menstrual Cycle (Reproduction)
Estrogen is the hormone that builds the lining of the uterus in preparation for possible egg implantation and pregnancy. And when no pregnancy occurs during a cycle it is the hormone estrogen that signals the uterus to shed its lining via one’s menstrual period.
Estrogen & Sexuality
A combination of factors affects a woman’s sex drive, including various psychological, emotional, and physical elements., But there is one element that universally impacts each and every woman’s libido: hormones. A woman’s ability to achieve both arousal and sexual climax is influenced in large part by the production of estrogen.
Similarly, estrogen production is what keeps the vaginal walls thick, elastic, and lubricated. Decreased estrogen due to menopause can lead to thinning, dryness, and laxity of the vagina – causing itching, lack of sensation and painful sex. Declining estrogen can also result in fewer and less intense orgasms, making sex far less satisfying
Estrogen & Appearance (Skin, Hair & Body Fat)
Estrogen and progesterone both help hair women’s both grow faster and stay on the head longer. But when the levels of these hormones decline during menopause, hair grows more slowly, falls out sooner, and becomes much thinner.
Similarly, estrogen supports the production of collagen and elastin – the proteins that form the ‘scaffolding’ that gives skin elasticity, tone, and firmness. Additionally, estrogen increases the production of Hyaluronic Acid, which helps maintain the skin’s moisture and “plumpness”. So, the estrogen declines of menopause result in collagen loss and moisture decline that is responsible for the wrinkles, lines and sagging skin that occurs with age.
Additionally, fluctuations in estrogen can lead to weight gain, loss of muscle mass and increased belly fat.
Estrogen & Healthy Bones (Osteoporosis Prevention)
One of estrogen’s many functions is to stimulate activity in certain cells – called “osteoblasts” – that produce bone. So, when a woman’s estrogen level drops due to menopause, these osteoblasts no longer produce new bone cells, and the bones become more “hollow” or porous and weaker. As the loss of bone mass progresses a woman becomes at-risk for osteoporosis, which can lead to fractures, severely impacting her quality of life.
The very first FDA treatment that was approved to prevent osteoporosis was actually estrogen replacement therapy, and it is still the preventative treatment preferred by enlightened women’s health experts to this day.
Estrogen & Healthy Hearts (Cardiovascular Health)
Estrogen helps keep blood vessels healthy and elastic, controls cholesterol, and prevents increased inflammation. But once menopause strikes and estrogen levels drop, a woman’s risk for heart disease goes up dramatically.
Women who have gone through menopause are two to three times more likely to develop heart disease. But results from a 1991 study indicated that after 15 years of estrogen replacement, risk of death by cardiovascular disease was reduced in women by almost 50 percent and overall deaths were reduced by 40 percent.
Estrogen & Mood (Brain Chemistry)
Estrogen also boosts the production of the important brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical messenger that acts as a mood stabilizer, as well as helping produce healthy sleep patterns. But when estrogen levels drop after pregnancy (postpartum) or due to menopause, many women suffer from mood swings or depression.
Estrogen Replacement Therapy
As you can see, estrogen is an extremely powerful and important hormone. Balanced estrogen levels are essential to keep a woman’s body and brain healthy and functioning properly – as well as to protect against many serious diseases.
If you suspect your estrogen levels may be low or out of balance, ask your physician about SottoPelle Method estrogen replacement pellet therapy. Or schedule an appointment with a certified SottoPelle physician in your area using our Physician Finder.
Restore your sex life, improve your appearance, and protect your health with SottoPelle Method estrogen replacement pellets today!
Estrogen Replacement Therapy: (323) 986-5100
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This article is provided as general information only and is not intended to be used as medical advice. While the benefits of hormone replacement are well documented through clinical research, we are not representing that hormone therapy is a “cure” for any disease. Only your treating physician can determine if hormone replacement may be a beneficial part of your healthcare regimen, based on your age, overall health, risk factors, and lifestyle.