Estrogen: An Essential Hormone for Women

September 25, 2019
The substances that our bodies produce are responsible for the proper functioning of certain organs. Estrogen is necessary for having a healthy and balanced body and mind.

Hormones are key for balancing our moods, especially for women. People’s moods, mental well-being, and overall health go hand-in-hand with hormones, and for women, estrogen is a very important hormone.

Estrogen

Estrogen is one of the most important substances that the female body produces. It is responsible for breast growth, menstruation, and the widening of the hips. During puberty, its production rises, stimulating the maturation of the uterus, the endometrium, the Fallopian tubes, and the vagina.

While both men and women produce estrogen naturally, women experience the effects of it during three fundamental stages: puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.

In general, this hormone’s main responsibility is to ensure the proper functioning of the body for ovulation and fertilization. It also has a role in other processes, such as controlling blood cholesterol levels and fat metabolism.

Types of estrogen

Estrogen is a steroid sex hormone that is derived from androgens. There are three types of estrogen found in the body, which all fulfill endocrine functions. All three types act on the nucleus of the cells that regulate protein synthesis.

  1. Estrone acquires the aromatase enzyme through the synthesis of progesterone. Its production takes place in fatty tissue and the ovaries.
  2. Estradiol obtains the enzyme aromatase from testosterone and is obtained in abundance in the body during fertile years.
  3. Finally, there’s estriol. It’s synthesized through androsterone and occurs in huge amounts during pregnancy.

One of the keys to a healthy mind

a healthy mind
Estrogen hormones have various important functions in the body, like promoting blood flow to the brain.

Estrogen helps regulate many vital functions of the body. For instance, it has a preventive effect on cerebrovascular diseases. Another one of its functions is that it acts as an integral part of the “command center” of the human body.

Estrogen produces these benefits by promoting the continuous flow of both blood and glucose to the brain. This is fundamental for the health and proper functioning of neurons and certain neurotransmitters.

Estradiol and the brain

Estradiol is the strongest estrogen hormone. It has a vital role in motor functions. Plus, it’s related to memory and learning processes, as well as pain sensitivity.

Some specialists even attribute estradiol with the ability to protect the brain against possible damage caused by diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Other benefits

Those are not the only benefits that this hormone provides. Female sex hormones, in addition to regulating the correct functioning of the reproductive cycle and working together with androgens to stimulate the libido, also support the development of secondary sexual organs.

This hormone also helps reduce blood pressure and protect bones due to calcium assimilation. Additionally, it also positively affects the functioning of the urinary system.

During menstruation, estrogen levels radically vary. This is what causes mood swings that are generally associated with menstruation. Some common characteristics caused by this include irritability, insomnia, loss of cognitive faculties, and anxiety without any apparent motives.

Found out more: The Benefits of Estrogen in Your Diet

Menopause and estrogen hormones

women with doctor
Due to decreasing estrogen levels, cardiovascular and osteoporosis risks increase during menopause.

When menopause happens, estrogen production abruptly reduces, which leads to major changes in the body.

Some common symptoms of menopause include vaginal dryness, radical variations in mood, extreme tiredness, excessive sweating, and osteoporosis. Also, the risks of suffering from cardiovascular diseases increase.

There is also evidence that menopause leads to a loss of collagen and calcium. That is why during this stage doctors often recommend certain treatments to counteract these symptoms.

Discover: Tips to Keep Your Skin Looking Young at 40

Overall, a healthy diet is the best way to regulate hormones. This, plus a personalized consistent exercise routine, is fundamental to leading a healthy and balanced life.

  • Dr. Alberto Calderón Zúñiga. 2009. ESTROGENOS EN TERAPIA DE SUSTITUCION HORMONAL. Extraído de: http://www.binasss.sa.cr/revistas/farmacos/especial2009/art4.pdf
  • Guillermo Bravo Prieto. 2016. Efecto de los Estrógenos en las Funciones cognitivas. Extraído de: https://uvadoc.uva.es/bitstream/10324/28474/1/TFG-M-L1050.pdf