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What Does Estrogen Do?

What Does Estrogen Do?

By Mike Kocsis | 10 minutes read | Last updated: May 18, 2021
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  • Medically Reviewed by Dr. George Touliatos

    Evidence Based Research

    Estrogen is one of the most important hormones in the body. For women, it is the singularly most important hormone in the body. If you want to have overall health, then you absolutely need to have good hormone health. Having good hormone health is absolutely crucial to enjoying a healthy, well-functioning body.

    So, if you’re looking for answers as to what estrogen does and what its role in the body is, then you are in the right place. We are going to provide you with an overview as to what estrogen does, what is responsible for, and what people deal with when they are low in estrogen.

    In addition, we’ll give you some tips on regulating your estrogen and provide you with insight into some of the latest treatments regarding the regulation of estrogen and hormones as a whole. By the conclusion, you’ll know much more about estrogen and how to maintain good hormone health.

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    Different Types of Estrogen

    The first thing that you will want to know about estrogen is that there are actually various different types of estrogen. Many people refer to estrogen as one hormone, which isn’t incorrect, but it’s also not quite so simple as that. Knowing the various types of estrogen will help you to narrow down what problem you might exactly be having when it comes to your hormone health and how you would go about addressing it.

    Here are the various types of estrogen that are in the body and what they are responsible for and associated with.


    The first type of estrogen that we’re going to cover is estrone. Estrone is a type of estrogen that is most commonly found in the body following menopause. Menopause usually occurs in the 40-50 age range in females. Estrone is basically, a weaker form of estrogen. The great thing about estrone is that it is a very flexible type of estrogen. The body can convert estrone to other types of estrogen if needed. This provides women with the means to continue healthy body function following menopause, or the end of their reproductive life.


    Though many people think of estrogen as a hormone that is found exclusively in females, the truth is much broader. Estradiol is a type of estrogen that is found in both women and men, though it is much more prevalent in women. It is the type of estrogen that is found in women during their peak reproductive ability. So, as women age, the level of estradiol in their bodies will naturally decline.


    Estriol is the third type of estrogen that we want to touch on. Estriol is unique because it is the variation of estrogen that is typically called upon by the body when a woman is pregnant. Estriol has a huge role in helping the uterus grow and prepare the female body for the delivery of a child. Estriol levels can be expected to peak just before birth and then taper off to a barely noticeable level.

    Functions of Estrogen

    You probably know that estrogen is very important in the body, but to truly understand how vital estrogen is in the female body, you will want to know more about the various functions of estrogen and what processes in the body estrogen has its hand in. Here are some of the important functions that it performs and areas of the body that it has a heavy presence in.


    Estrogen plays a huge role in the ovaries. It is responsible for helping to stimulate the growth of the egg follicle in the uterus. This is an incredibly important part of the pregnancy and birth process. Without estrogen, it would not be possible.


    In addition to affecting the ovaries, estrogen also affects the reproductive process by affecting the vagina. The role of estrogen in the vagina is to maintain the thickness of the vaginal wall, providing for a good environment for growing a child. It also promotes lubrication, which is a key factor in a healthy vagina.


    One of the characteristics of a healthy uterus is a mucous membrane that lines the uterus. With the right amount of estrogen, this membrane is maintained and enhanced for better vaginal and reproductive health. This, in turn, helps to regulate the flow and the consistency of uterine mucus secretions.


    Estrogen also plays a very important and central role in the health of female breasts. The body will draw upon estrogen to form new breast tissue when necessary. In addition, estrogen is used to tell the body to stop the flow of milk after nursing a child.

    What Influences Estrogen Levels?

    If you are a woman, one thing that you should be aware of is that estrogen levels can vary wildly, and they often do. If your body is having trouble producing estrogen, it can cause a problem with various other parts of your body. The key to solving this problem is knowing exactly what is causing the fluctuation in the production of your estrogen.

    We are going to go through some of the most common reasons for fluctuation in estrogen levels. With this deeper understanding of what affects estrogen levels, you will be better equipped to fight low estrogen levels and other side effects that can stem from irregularities in estrogen levels.

    Here are some of the events and instances that can affect estrogen levels:

    • Going through a pregnancy
    • Breastfeeding children
    • Going through puberty
    • The menopause process
    • Natural aging
    • Overweight, poor health, and obesity
    • Extreme dieting habits or anorexia
    • Very strenuous exercise or physical activity
    • Certain medications
    • Certain congenital conditions
    • High blood pressure and cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Underactive or defective pituitary glands

    And of course, there are many more factors that can influence estrogen levels. Now that you know some of the potential causes of imbalance estrogen, you can fight off estrogen imbalance if you are able to determine which of these you are suffering from. The cause could be the result of a combination of several different factors.

    Symptoms of Estrogen Imbalance

    Another key part of preventing and reversing estrogen imbalance is knowing what to look for and how to identify estrogen imbalance when it is occurring. This will provide you with a plan of attack and a way to determine what the next step forward is if you are suffering from estrogen imbalance. Here are some of the symptoms of estrogen imbalance:

    • Irregularity in menstrual patterns or no menstruation at all
    • Light and heavy bleeding during menstrual cycles
    • Severe symptoms during menstrual periods
    • Frequent hot flashes and night sweats
    • Benign lumps in the breasts and within the uterus
    • Wild mood swings and sleeping problems
    • Weight gain
    • Low libido and sex drive
    • Dryness of the vagina and vaginal atrophy
    • Increased fatigue and lower energy
    • Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety

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    As you can imagine, these symptoms are less than pleasant for many women. That is why many women that are suffering from estrogen imbalance decide to look intensely for treatment options that would alleviate their symptoms. If you are suffering from these symptoms, it is possible that you have estrogen imbalance and should seek treatment from a trained professional that can administer estrogen therapy.

    Using Estrogen Therapy

    Even if the side effects of estrogen imbalance sound harsh and unpleasant, you should know that there are things that you can do to reverse these side effects and instead ensure that you have proper estrogen levels, avoiding the unpleasant side effects that can come along with not having an adequate amount of estrogen in the body. One of these possible strategies that you could use is a treatment called estrogen therapy.

    Estrogen therapy is exactly what it sounds like–a therapy that is designed to regulate your estrogen levels and normalize your body. With estrogen therapy, thousands of women have been able to avoid the side effects that come along with hormone imbalance. Estrogen therapy works by directly affecting the levels of estrogen in the body to ensure proper levels are reached. This can be done by a number of means such as injection, patches, and other ways of getting estrogen into the body.

    If you wish to explore the possibility of estrogen therapy for your situation, then you need only speak with an estrogen therapy expert, who can advise you on the best path forward if you want to regulate your hormones and overcome an estrogen imbalance.


    Natural Methods to Counteract Estrogen Imbalance

    While estrogen therapy has shown to be very safe and effective over many years of testing and trial, some people prefer to do things more naturally. There’s nothing wrong with that, but oftentimes, it can mean a great deal of personal discipline and patience. One of the most common reasons for estrogen imbalance, outside of natural aging, is poor personal health and fitness. A body that is not in good shape and is not consuming high-quality food is much more prone to an estrogen imbalance. You should be wary of this and be sure to eat good foods as well as get exercise when possible.

    Another pathway that you can take to naturally balance your hormones is to eat foods that promote the regulation of hormones. It’s important to note that while this will be the solution for some women, it ultimately is not the end solution for many others. It is likely that if you are experiencing some sort of hormone imbalance, you may need to pursue treatment that is specifically designed to address that problem.

    Does Birth Control Contain Estrogen?

    Many people think of birth control as exclusively a product to prevent conception and avoid pregnancy. However, women may know that birth control is actually a much more complex product than that and has some other applications that you may not have considered. One of those potential applications is birth control as an estrogen supplement. Birth control contains one of either synthetic estrogen or progestin-only. The type that has estrogen could contribute to raising estrogen in the body, but it is usually not used as a standalone supplement. Rather, it is a side effect of the pill.

    Foods That Are High in Estrogen

    Those that want to seek a more natural route towards regulating the amount of estrogen in the body might be interested in which foods can contribute estrogen to your system. Eating a new assortment of foods and including new, healthy foods into your diet is a great way to help your system to gain the resources that it needs to regulate the amount of estrogen in the body. Here are some of the foods that you can eat if you are looking to regulate the amount of estrogen in the body:

    • Vegetables
    • Soy and foods that contain soy protein
    • Berries
    • Seeds and grains
    • Nuts
    • Fruit
    • Wine

    While many people think of eating healthy and eating foods that are rich in valuable nutrients as a chore and something to dread, there’s a lot to love about this list of foods that will not only provide you with the resources that you need to regulate your estrogen, but will also taste great and be a welcome addition to your daily diet! WIth a great list of foods to eat to raise your estrogen like this, you’ll no longer have to fear having to eat healthy in order to regulate your estrogen and also boost your overall health!

    Factual Imbalance Estrogen Statistics

    • Studies have shown that 80% of women have experienced hormonal imbalance at some point.
    • 70% of women that are experiencing hormonal imbalance are unaware of the underlying conditions that have caused their hormonal irregularities.
    • Poor sleep is a very common side effect of hormonal imbalance.
    • Though estrogen is thought of as a female hormone, it is actually also present in men.
    • Most women that are struggling with hormone imbalance are also struggling with their general health.

    How Balance My Hormones can help

    If you believe you are suffering from a hormone imbalance of some kind and have some of the symptoms mentioned in this article please consider booking an appointment with one of specialist hormone doctors who will run through your health history and symptoms with you. If they believe your symptoms warrant further investigation they will most likely ask you to have a blood test at one of our partner centres where we will check your overall health and hormone markers to help diagnose your condition. After the diagnosis is made you will be offered a treatment which could be natural improvements in your lifestyle or some form of hormone replacement therapy (gels or pills) along with on-going monitoring of your condition.

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    This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.

    References, sources and studies used alongside our own in-house research have been cited below, most of which contain external clickable links to reviewed scientific paper that contain date stamped evidence.

    Our team of healthcare experts and GMC registered doctors are licensed to UK GMC standards. We strive to provide you with the latest evidence based, researched articles that are unbiased, honest and provide you with accurate insights, statistics and helpful information on the discussed topic to ensure you gain a better understanding of the subject. You can read more about our Editorial Process by clicking here.

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    About the Author: Mike Kocsis

    Mike KocsisMike Kocsis has an MBA with a focus on healthcare administration and is an entrepreneur and medical case manager for Balance My Hormones Ltd which offers medical services in the UK and Europe. Mike has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector, much of that working with people who have hormone imbalances. Mike has appeared on podcasts and radio and is an expert speaker on the subject of hormone imbalance. He specialises in Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and has helped thousands of people suffering from hormone imbalances recover and regain control of their lives. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on the Balance My Hormones YouTube Channel.

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    Last update: May 18th, 2021
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