Estrogen therapy is simply hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that can improve the lives of both women and men. Women tend to benefit the most, as their bodies produce higher amounts of it. In the past, it was primarily used to improve reproductive health, but now it is also given for other reasons, such as body image and skin protection. It can be administered in many ways, including through tablets, skin patches, injections, creams, or gels. At Androgenix, Advanced Health and Wellness Center, in North Palm Beach, FL, our specialists can find the perfect treatment to have you feeling your best.
What Is Estrogen?
Estrogen is a steroid sex hormone that is mostly produced by the ovaries in females and by the testes in males. This hormone is also produced in smaller amounts in other body tissues such as in the adrenal glands located at the top of the kidneys, as well as fat cells. It is produced in much higher amounts in women, than men, but has a crucial role for both genders. There are three forms of estrogen produced in the body which include:
- Estradiol: produced by the ovaries; most prominent in pre-menopausal women
- Estrone: produced from a chemical reaction of estradiol; more prominent in post-menopausal women
- Estriol: a metabolite (processed waste product) of estradiol and estrone; secreted during pregnancy by the placenta in the uterus
Estrogen’s main role is to both stimulate and regulate the sexual and reproductive systems. However, it can also have a significant impact on other bodily systems including:
- Blood vessels
- Gastrointestinal System
- Urinary Tract
- Sleep cycle
- Mood and well-being
10 Surprising Health Benefits of Estrogen Therapy
1. Improves Reproductive Health
Estrogen is found to play a crucial role in the development of breasts, hips, & reproductive organs of women. Along with progesterone, it is necessary to prepare the uterus for menstruation and to regulate the menstrual cycle. The release of these two hormones is triggered by the hypothalamus. During a pregnancy, the levels of estrogen increase towards the end, signaling the pituitary gland to release oxytocin, which initiates contractions of the uterus in preparation for the birth.
There are many benefits of estrogen for men as well, including improved sex drive and reduced risk of prostate cancer. It can help some men with low testosterone levels achieve their normal level of testosterone production. It can also be used to increase sperm count, improve erectile dysfunction, and overall quality for men with fertility problems caused by low testosterone levels.
2. Improves Cardiovascular Health
The first study on estrogen replacement therapy and cardiovascular outcomes was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1966. In the study, they observed that women who were given estrogen for at least 10 years had better cardiovascular health compared to those who were not. Two decades later, a second study confirmed this result. Women who were given estrogen for more than 10 years also had a significantly lower risk of stroke and death from heart disease.
Another major study found that women who are treated with estrogen replacement therapy have a 34% lower risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke than women who are not treated with estrogen. It improves cardiovascular health by triggering a reduction in LDL cholesterol of about 20% and an increase in HDL cholesterol of 10-15%. These findings suggest that estrogen may be an important factor in reducing the risk of adverse cardiovascular events.
3. Helps Prevent Gestational Diabetes, Premature Births, and Low Birth Weight Babies
Estrogen is naturally produced in the human body. However, as women age, the production of estrogen gradually decreases. This can lead to complications during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes and premature births. One way to help prevent these complications is by taking estrogen supplements.
Many women are hesitant to use estrogens due to potential side effects such as blood clots, breast cancer, and strokes. But research has shown that this treatment may not be linked with any of these risks. In some cases, doctors may try other treatments such as taking antibiotics or progesterone therapy before prescribing estrogen supplements for pregnant women.
4. Lowers Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence and Other Cancers
Estrogen is a naturally occurring hormone that is still not fully understood by science and its role in cancer cells. It is thought that estrogen might inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, but there are also other processes such as inflammation and immunity that it could be contributing to positively, which could be an underlying factor in reducing the risk of cancer recurrence.
The use of estrogen to lower the risk of breast cancer recurrence and other cancers has been supported by research that was published in 2016. This study looked at the effects of estrogen replacement therapy on 1,436 postmenopausal women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The results showed that the risk for breast cancer recurrence was reduced by 50%.
5. Lowers Risk of Endometrial Cancer Recurrence
There have been a number of studies revealing this benefit. For example, A study by Harvard researchers published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that estrogen therapy lowers the risk of endometrial cancer recurrence. The study examined the effect of estrogen-containing therapy on endometrial cancer recurrence and found that it has a protective effect against this condition.
6. Improves Mental Well-Being and Slows Age-Related Physical Decline
As we get older, our natural production of estrogen declines which can have a negative impact on our mood and overall physical health. As mentioned above, an estrogen deficiency can negatively affect many bodily systems, leaving you feeling unwell. Estrogen replacement therapy can not only lead to improvement in mental well-being, but it can also slow down the rate of age-related physical changes. It is especially recommended for women who have reached the stage of menopause.
By balancing and replacing the deficient hormone, you help the endocrinal system to self-regulate, which helps to achieve homeostasis. Homeostasis is a biological process that has been observed in all living organisms. It is a state of equilibrium or stability where all organs and systems are functioning as they should. When we are under the pressure of stress, our body starts reacting to it by releasing hormones, like cortisol and insulin. Any type of hormonal or chemical imbalance, including an estrogen deficiency, can throw the entire endocrinal system off balance.
7. Prevents Cognitive Decline
Estrogen has been shown to have significant effects on the brain, such as improving cognitive function and increasing neural connections. There is a correlation between estrogen therapy and the prevention of cognitive decline. This correlation is most likely because the hormone estrogen helps to maintain and prevent neurons in the brain from dying. It balances neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that are important for maintaining cognitive function, by modulating their release.
Furthermore, estrogen seems to be able to improve cognition by improving mood and memory. Recent medical studies have shown that with higher levels of estradiol, there is an improvement in spatial memory tasks as well as other tests of general cognition. In addition, they exhibited a slower decline in cognitive function altogether. Women who have been without estrogen for more than seven months are at greater risk for developing cognitive decline, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
8. Reduces Incidence of Hot Flashes, Night Sweats, and Vaginal Dryness in Menopausal Women
Estrogen therapy is the purposeful use of estrogens to either relieve or prevent symptoms of menopause. The goal is to maintain a woman’s hormone levels at a natural balance. It regulates the function of female reproductive and sexual organs and it also plays a role in the growth and development of bone density. Estrogen levels further decline during menopause which can lead to osteoporosis, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings among other symptoms.
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when they stop menstruating completely, and this can last anywhere from one to 10 years, with the average being somewhere around five years. This typically happens between the ages of 45-55. Estrogen replacement therapy is a treatment for menopausal symptoms that can be prescribed by a doctor or done without a prescription in some countries. The hormones estrogen and progesterone are often used together to control the changes that happen during menopause.
9. Helps Induce Weight Loss
Estrogen replacement therapy is a natural way to lose weight. For example, it helps to decrease blood sugar levels while at the same time, increasing the rate at which fats are burned for energy. Oral estrogens are often prescribed to help with weight loss, especially after women pass the menopause stage. It is not only effective but also safe for the body.
Estrogen helps to increase and regulate metabolism while reducing abdominal fat storage by lowering insulin levels and decreasing inflammation. It also works in part to suppress hunger and appetite by increasing the feeling of fullness, which thereby helps with weight loss. It works to suppress the appetite by altering the balance of brain chemicals associated with hunger signals and food cravings such as ghrelin (which increases when you are hungry) and serotonin (which decreases when you are satisfied).
10. Helps Prevent Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which bones become weaker and more fragile, which increases in risk with age. This condition is mostly found in women after menopause and is caused by low levels of estrogen called hypogonadism. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, women aged 50 and older are at increased risk for developing osteoporosis and should consider estrogen replacement therapy as a form of prevention.
Estrogen can prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone density, which makes bones stronger and less likely to break. It also makes bone tissue more flexible, which means it can better withstand bending pressure from jumping or running and it reduces the risk for stress fractures. In addition, women who have had their ovaries removed are at an increased risk for developing hip fractures, wrist fractures, dementia, and other health problems due to bone thinning.
How Can This Treatment Benefit You?
Have you have reached the end of this article and been left wondering if this type of therapy could benefit you? If so, please contact us at Androgenix, Advanced Health and Wellness Center, in North Palm Beach, FL to find out if you are a good candidate. We can assess your hormone levels to determine if estrogen replacement therapy could benefit you, putting you back on the road to your better self in no time.