Estrogen is a steroid hormone that plays an important role in regulating mammalian reproduction.
What is Estrogen Hormone?
Estrogen is the female sex hormone produced in the adrenal glands, ovaries and fatty tissue, which is mainly responsible for the development of breasts in puberty and the growth of uterus lining during the menstrual cycle. In females, the estrogen hormone prepares the uterus and other reproductive organs for pregnancy. It also regulates the menstrual cycle, growth of pubic and underarm hair and also maintains bone strength by collaborating with calcium, vitamin D, and other essential vitamin and minerals.
Like other sex hormones, a little amount of estrogen is also present in man’s body, which protects bone health. These hormones also act by regulating the transcription of certain genes in the uterus.
Also Read: Sex Hormones and its Reproductive Functions
Synthesis of Estrogen Hormone
Estrogen is widely secreted and released by a pair of ovaries in the female gonad and only a small amount of estrogen is released by the adrenal glands and fat cells, which is responsible for sexual and reproductive development during puberty.
Estrogen hormones produced by the ovaries promote the development of reproductive organs by maintaining the proper uterine cycle and by developing female secondary sex characteristics. Menopause usually occurs between age 45 and 55, when both uterine cycles and the ovaries stop functioning and there is no longer production of estrogen hormones.
Every phase of the menstrual cycle is influenced by estrogen hormones and other female sex hormones.
Our body produces three main types of estrogen:
- Estradiol (E2): the most common type in women of childbearing age
- Estriol (E3): the main estrogen produced during pregnancy.
- Estrone (E1): produced after menopause – when menstrual periods stop.
Also Read: Puberty
Functions of Estrogen Hormone
Estrogens are a group of hormones that play an important role in the normal sexual and reproductive development in women during puberty. Other functions include:
- It keeps cholesterol in control.
- Regulation of the menstrual cycle.
- Regulates the development and functioning of the uterus.
- It is mainly responsible for the changes that take place during pregnancy.
- It is also responsible for secondary sexual characteristics and reproductive development during puberty.
- It plays a vital role in the growth and development of the uterus, changes in the uterus during the menstrual cycle, widening of the pelvis, breast, increasing growth of vagina and hair on the body.
Estrogen is a steroid hormone that plays an important role in regulating mammalian reproduction. They act by regulating the transcription of certain genes in the uterus.
Estrogen level changes during menopause because of which women experience many uncomfortable symptoms.
Estrogen hormonal levels vary depending upon the age of individuals. In some rare cases, they fluctuate during the menstrual cycle, and a few symptoms of mood swings are caused before menstruation or hot flashes in menopause.
Pregnancy, menstrual cycle, and menopause are the main factors, which affect the estrogen levels in the body. Other factors include:
- Older age.
- Anorexia nervosa.
- Turner’s syndrome.
- High blood pressure.
- Parturition and breastfeeding.
- Primary ovarian insufficiency.
- Strenuous exercise or training.
- An underactive pituitary gland.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- Tumours in the ovaries or adrenal glands.
- Use of medications, including steroids, ampicillin, estrogen-containing drugs, phenothiazines and tetracyclines.
Low-level Estrogen Hormone
The most common reason for low estrogen in women is menopause or surgical removal of the ovaries. Symptoms of low estrogen include:
- Dry skin.
- Mood swings.
- Loss of libido.
- Hot flashes or night sweats.
- Dryness and thinning of the vagina.
- Irregular or absent menstrual periods.
- Menstrual migraine, right before their menstrual period, because of the drop in estrogen.
The under secretion of estrogen hormone even affects males. The symptoms include: Men with low estrogen hormones can suffer from excess belly fat and low sexual desire.
High-level Estrogen Hormone
Women with higher estrogen hormone level can lead to the following symptoms:
- Loss of sex drive.
- Fibrocystic breasts.
- Fibroids in the uterus.
- Feeling depressed or anxious.
- Worsening of premenstrual syndrome.
- Weight gain, mainly in your waist, hips and thighs.
- Menstrual problems, such as light or heavy bleeding.
The oversecretion of estrogen hormone also affects males. The symptoms include:
- Poor erections.
- Enlarged breasts.
Also Refer: Female Hormones
This article concludes the introduction to the estrogen hormone, their level of production and functions. To know more about the Estrogen hormone, other related topics and important questions, keep visiting our website at BYJU’S Biology.