Estrogen Hormone: What Exactly Are Its Functions?

Estrogen Hormone: What Exactly Is Its Functions?

Men and women’s bodies have different groups of hormones that are responsible for their reproductive functions and sexual development. While it is testosterone for men, it is estrogen hormone in women.

The hormone “estrogen” altogether refers to a number of chemically similar hormones such as estriol, estrone, and estradiol.  The function of the estrogen group of hormones is to keep ovaries, the main reproductive organ of females active.

The hormones are produced in the ovaries and need to be present in the body in an appropriate amount to make the menstrual cycle, development of female sexual characteristics, and sexual performance normal. At the stage of puberty, they help in the development of breasts, pubic hair, hips, and armpit hair, the key sex characteristics of the female.

While all these just sum up the role of estrogen in female bodies, there is more about it. Take a read.

Role of Estrogen Hormone in Females Explained

Estrogen Hormone Helps in Menstruating

Apart from the ovaries, the fat cells of the body and adrenal gland also produce estrogen.  They help in regulating the menstrual cycle. They control the development of tissues lining in the uterus at the first phase of the cycle. When the egg is not fertilized, the estrogen level drops suddenly and the menstruation process starts. 

However, if the egg gets fertilized, the hormone acts with another reproductive female hormone, progesterone to stop the woman from ovulating during her state of pregnancy.

Estrogen Hormone Develops Pregnancy Characteristics

During pregnancy and post-pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through a lot of changes due to estrogen hormones. The placenta produces more of the hormones, including estriol. They cause some indispensable changes in the breasts and result in lactation, which is important for breastfeeding the baby.

Bone Health Development

Little did anyone know about this but yes, it is true! Estrogen hormones aid in bone formation and enhance bone mass. It reacts with Vitamin D and calcium to effectively rebuild bones in a gradual process.

As a woman ages, her hormone level starts declining and so their bone rebuilding process slows down. This is quite a reason for most middle-aged women to have weaker bones. They tend to suffer more from osteoporosis in their post-menopause phase when estrogen level drops considerably. 

Maintains Vaginal Health

This female sex hormone is also responsible for blood clotting which keeps up the thickness of the vaginal wall as well as the lining of the uterus. It provides the strength needed to the vagina for expansion and contraction during sexual activities. Estrogen also maintains vaginal lubrication.

Affects Skin and Hair Growth

The level of estrogen hormones influences the skin and hair conditions in females.  They even affect the mucous membranes and muscles in different regions of the body including the pelvic area

Estrogen and progesterone hormones influence mainly the Skin color which the former makes the skin darker.  Reversely, progesterone makes the skin lighter.

Controls Brain Health

Estrogen level affects brain function to some extent and regulates mood in women. According to different researches, a lower level of the hormone is a reason for anxiety, stress, and other types of mood swings.

Estrogen also regulates the production of serotonin which is a chemical neurotransmitter that controls the parts of the brain that produces emotions. Mainly, an increase in the estrogen hormone results in the production of serotonin receptors in the brain and also other mood-enhancing chemical agents like endorphins.

Helps Treating Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts, a common problem seen in many women get treated or prevented with estrogen hormone. Many doctors recommend women who are prone to cysts to take estrogen-containing pills for contraception as that help in reducing the risks.

Regulates Metabolism

The most significant role played by the estrogen hormone is in controlling the metabolism of the body. An adequate hormone level keeps the metabolism rate normal and balances the body weight. When at menopause, the hormone level gradually falls, it reduces metabolism, and women can notice a weight gain.

However, researches also proved that both higher and lower levels can result in weight gain. In the pre-menopause phase, higher estrogen results in toxic weight gain, i.e. around abnormal regions like hips and thighs.

Key Takeaway!

Almost, the hormone controls all fundamental functions and characteristics in a female body are controlled beyond just menstruation and reproduction. From regulating mood swings to metabolism, it has a major role to play.

 It is for these reasons, women instruct to keep their hormone level balanced, regularly go through checkups, and try hormone therapy or estrogen balancing supplements if there is any inappropriateness in the level.

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