What is Estrogen?

If you’re a female, estrogen has played or will play an important role of your life. It’s a hormone which is characterized from a group of compounds which include estrone, estradiol and estriol.

Are you aware that Estrogen plays the single most important role as a sex hormone and is necessary for the menstrual cycle? Many individuals don’t recognize that both men and women have estrogen, but in females it is in higher quantities.

We mentioned the three compounds derived from estrogen, the following is a short decription of each:

1. Estrone is manufactured through androstenedione which comes from the gonads or the adrenal cortex.

2. Estradiol occurs during a woman’s reproductive life. The time frame starts with the beginning of menstruation and maintains until menopause. Estradiol is the primary type of estrogen manufactured. Estradiol is indigenous to females as a sex hormone and the ovaries produce it. Symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, burning, and irritation are treated using estradiol.

How is estradiol manufactured? It comes from enzymatic actions which make androgens along with


Human estrogen

testosterone that also contributes to the production of estradiol.

3. Pregnant women experience estriol because its associated with the fetus and is the primary estrogen produced during pregnancy.

What does estrogen do?

In a simple sentence, Estrogen is responsible for the differences between men and women which don’t relate to sex. These traits would include breasts, a widened pelvis, and increased amounts of body fat in the buttock, thigh and hip region. Ever wonder why women have less facial hair than men, estrogen is responsible for that also. It also plays an important role in skin care.

Specifically regarding the women’s reproductive process, estrogen controls the menstrual cycle. It has the task of making the uterus ready for pregnancy by enriching and thickening the endometrium. The luteinizing hormone (LH) and the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), work together to regulate how the human body creates estrogen in females who ovulate.

The development of egg follicles is responsible for creating estrogen in the ovaries. It’s also created by the corpus luteum in the ovary in addition to the  placenta. The liver, breasts and adrenal glands also play an important role in estrogen production, but in minor roles.

Following menopause, estrogen in women begins to decline. The end result of this process is vaginal dryness, memory problems, hot flashes, fatigue, irritability and possibly one of the most devastating problems, a decrease in bone density.

Have you been advised to get a bone density test by your physician? If so, it could be from a lack of estrogen.

Estrogen replacement therapy is an alternative although it has mixed reviews. Always seek medical advice and multiple opinions before undertaking any type of procedure this.