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The Basics of Estrogen

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Saturday, March 03, 2007 | 0 comments

Estrogen is one of those hormones that is enjoying popularity. In fact, because of it role in menstruation and menopause, it is one of the most widely studied and discussed hormone. Estrogen unknown to many is actually a term used to refer to a group of hormones that are similar in nature. And contrary to what people know, estrogen is not found exclusively in women. Men also have this hormone, except that medical experts and scientists cannot still pinpoint what its role is in the male body.

Hormones act as chemical messengers in the body that triggers a response to the cell or a group of cells to behave in certain ways. These chemicals are important in the regulation of cell growth and development. It also aids in tissue function, sexual function and even the way we handle our moods and emotions.

Estrogen is one of the female hormones that are specifically responsible for the growth and development of a female’s sexual characteristics and features. This includes development of the breasts and the production of egg cells for reproduction. It is composed of other hormones such as estrone, estradiol and lastly estriol. They can also be produced in the adrenal glands as well as in the fatty tissues of the body.

This hormone is primarily produced in the ovaries, particularly the estradiol and the estone. Estriol, on the other hand, is found in the placenta.

Estrogen circulates in the blood streams, binding to the estrogen receptors found in cells of the breasts and the uterus. It also helps in the regulation of metabolic processes such as growth and development of the bones as well as the management of cholesterol levels. Estrogen also controls the development of the lining of the uterus during the first part of the menstrual cycle. This control also causes the breasts to change during adolescence and of course during pregnancy.

Follicles that can be found in the new egg released every month also produce estrogen which thickens the lining of the uterus. When fertilization does not occur, the levels of both estrogen and another hormone progesterone drops causing the lining to break down. This is the time when menstruation occurs.

When fertilization does occur, both hormones will work to prevent additional ovulation. Thus, the uterine lining thins down, which is unreceptive to fertilized egg. Cervical mucus are also thickened in order to prevent the sperm from entering the cervix.

Its role in the menstrual cycle is the reason why estrogen is used to relieve menstrual cramps and pain as well as regulate the menstrual cycle especially for those women who have polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Estrogen also helps in the prevention of bone lose by working with calcium to build bones. This prevents the occurrence of Osteoporosis. However, when menopause starts, estrogen levels dip, making it hard for women to deal with bone loss. This is why women who are nearing their menopausal years are advised to drink or take in estrogen in tablets.

Another role of Estrogen is the regulation of hormonal levels in the body especially during the monthly period of women. This results in lesser mood swings and lesser number of migraine attacks.

Estrogen also plays a role in keeping the vagina and the urinary tract moist. This is the reason why it is more painful for women in their menopausal years to have sex because of the drier and thinner vaginal walls.

Article Tags: Estrogen, Health, Women, Teen

Author: Bob Janeway

About the Author:
Bob is the owner of which is an up-to-date estrogen information website.

Source: Free Articles from

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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