Effects of oestrogen in female

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What is oestrogen?

Oestrogen is a hormone found in females which are produced by the ovaries. The adrenal and the fat cells also make a small amount of oestrogen hormone.

Both males and females produce the hormone, but the proportion of the hormone produced in the males and females may differ.

Oestrogen regulates female mood and plays an important role in the development of the reproductive system of females.

According to NCBI, oestrogen is a steroid hormone for developing sexual characteristics.

When there is a deficiency in oestrogen levels, it can lead to delayed puberty and sexual development and can also cause health conditions like osteoporosis.

The production of oestrogen levels changes according to the body’s requirements. The production of oestrogen levels can change according to the menstrual cycle.

The oestrogen level will be low during the end of the cycle, and the levels will be highest during the middle of the cycle. When a woman attains menopause, the oestrogen level begins to fall.

When oestrogen levels decrease or increase, it can have an effect on the following system and organs.

  • Urinary tract,
  • Reproductive system,
  • Heart and blood vessels,
  • Muscles,
  • Bones,
  • Breasts,
  • Skin,
  • Brain,
  • Mucous membrane and
  • Pelvic muscles.

Types of oestrogen

There are different types of oestrogen.


The oestrone hormone is produced by the ovaries, fat cells and adrenal glands. The biological activity can be weak when compared to oestradiol.

Since the activity of oestrone is weak, it will be stored and then later converted as the oestradiol hormone. The hormone is produced majorly during postmenopausal phase.

Overproduction of oestrone can lead to the development of breast cancer. Research states that obese women also produce more amount of oestrone due to the presence of fat cells.

Low production of oestrone can lead to osteoporosis, hot flashes, loss of libido, fatigue and depression.


Oestradiol is a steroid hormone and is the strongest among the three hormones. The main function of oestradiol is to mature and maintain the female reproductive system.

The production of oestradiol helps in the development of breast tissues and increases bone and cartilage density.

Oestradiol will be produced highest during ovulation, and the levels decrease during the menstrual cycle. When a woman attains menopause, the oestradiol levels shut off fully.

Low production of oestradiol leads to an increased risk of blood clotting, and in men, it can lead to liver diseases and obesity.


Oestriol is produced by women at low levels. The level of oestriol increases during pregnancy. The hormone is mainly produced by the placenta and increases throughout pregnancy.

The hormone oestriol is made from the placenta with the help of the foetus. There will be a sudden rise in the hormone four weeks before labour. If there is a rise in the hormone early, it can indicate premature birth.

If there is a very low amount of oestriol hormone present in the women during pregnancy, it can indicate that the baby can have health issues like Down’s syndrome.

Function of oestrogen

The common functions of oestrogen include

  • Growth regulation,
  • Development of the human reproductive system,
  • Influences neuroendocrine and
  • Improves bone health.

The oestrogen hormone will also have certain effects on these organs.


The hormone oestrogen is produced in the ovaries. The oestrogen stimulates the growth of egg follicles.


The oestrogen hormone helps to proliferate the endometrial cells in the uterus during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle in females.

During pregnancy, the endometrial lining thickens with the help of the hormone and makes the uterus prepared to conceive.


The oestrogen hormone supports the proliferation of the epithelial mucosa cells of the vagina and the vulva in females.

When there is a deficiency in the oestrogen hormone, the vaginal and vulvar mucosal epithelium becomes thin. The female will have symptoms like dryness, and this condition is called vulvovaginal atrophy.


Oestrogen is responsible for developing mammary gland tissue and parenchymal and stromal changes in breast tissue in females during their puberty.

It is also responsible for the development of mammary ducts during pregnancy and puberty. The breasts of the female secrete milk during lactation.


In females, during puberty, oestrogen aids in the development of long bones and helps with the fusion of epiphyseal growth plates.

Oestrogen hormone protects the bones by inactivating osteoclast activity. This will prevent osteoporosis in both oestrogen-deficient and postmenopausal women.

How oestrogen affects the female body?

Oestrogen acts as a chemical messenger, which sends signals to start or stop sexual reproductive health. The production of oestrogen can cause significant changes in the human body.

Oestrogen is also responsible for the growth of secondary sexual characteristics like the growth of armpit and pubic hair. If there is an imbalance in the oestrogen level, it can affect the cardiovascular and reproductive systems.

Causes of low oestrogen production

When the oestrogen level decreases, there can be some kind of underlying reasons. Some of the common conditions that cause an imbalance in oestrogen levels are listed below.

Symptoms of low oestrogen

The common symptoms of low oestrogen levels are listed below.

Night sweats and hot flashes

Night sweats and hot flashes can indicate that there is a low oestrogen level. In most cases, women in menopause face this symptom due to the reduction of oestrogen level. The fluctuation in the hormone can have an effect on the body temperature.

Mood swings

An imbalance of oestrogen levels can lead to frequent mood swings. Additionally, it leads to occasional episodes of forgetfulness which have an effect on the mood.

Thin tissues

Low oestrogen can lead to thinning of the vaginal tissues. Additionally, increases the risk of urinary tract infections.

According to NCBI, low oestrogen levels are associated with loss of subcutaneous fat and an increase in abdominal fat, especially for women in the stage of menopause.

Risk factors of low oestrogen

There are certain risk factors when a person has low oestrogen levels.

Heart disease

A decrease in oestrogen levels can lead to an increase in bad cholesterol levels, which in turn leads to a build-up of fat and cholesterol in the arteries. This can increase heart disease and stroke.


According to research, women in menopause and post-menopause are susceptible to osteoporosis. When a woman attains menopause, the drop in oestrogen levels leads to the absorption of calcium from the bones. This causes thinning and weakening of bones and eventually leads to osteoporosis.

Vaginal bleeding

A drop in oestrogen level can cause vaginal bleeding. This is caused due to thinning of the vaginal walls. When the vaginal walls become thin, the uterus becomes dry and inflamed.

These conditions can cause vaginal bleeding, especially after sex. This condition is also common in menopausal and post-menopausal women.

Leg cramps

Low oestrogen levels make women susceptible to circulatory problems. This can lead to leg pain and cramps. Additionally, it causes other problems like varicose veins and restless leg syndrome.


Indigestion can be an effect of low oestrogen levels. Low oestrogen levels can reduce acid production in the stomach, which leads to indigestion. As a result, it causes bloating, painful abdominal cramps, flatulence, acid reflux, constipation and diarrhoea.

Diagnosis of low oestrogen level

The diagnosis of low oestrogen level can be made by either a blood test or a urine test or both.

Blood test

A blood sample will be collected from the person. And the hormone levels in the blood will be tested.

Urine test

The urine test will be done in a 24-hour period and is called a 24-hour urine sample test. There will be a special container given by the professional to avoid the sample getting contaminated.

The instructions to collect the urine sample are given below.

  • When you wake up in the morning, urinate as usual.
  • As the day passes, collect the sample in the container.
  • In the 24-hour duration, collect all the urine samples in the container.
  • Store the collected sample either on ice or in a refrigerator.
  • Return the collected urine samples to the laboratory after 24 hours when you have collected all the samples.

Saliva test

A swab of the saliva will be taken from the palate of the mouth, and will be packed in a sterile container and then sent it to the laboratory. The sample will be analysed, and the results are analysed.

Treatment for oestrogen-related conditions

There are treatments available for oestrogen-related conditions.

Hormone replacement therapy (HT)

Hormone replacement therapy aims to reduce fluctuations in hormonal levels. The therapy contains medications with female hormones.

The therapy is often used to replace the hormone lost due to menopause and treats symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal discomfort.

The primary focus of hormone therapy will be to replace the hormone during the menopause and post-menopause period. This therapy is also administered when the body can make no more oestrogen.

There are two types of hormone therapy

  • Systemic hormone therapy and
  • Low-dose vaginal products.

Systemic hormone therapy comes in skin patches, pills, rings, gels, creams and in spray forms.

These medications contain high levels of oestrogen to treat the symptoms of menopause.

The low-dose vaginal products come in tablets, creams and ring form. This will help to minimise the amount of oestrogen being absorbed by the body.

These products are generally used to treat vaginal and urinary symptoms during menopause.

The doctor will prescribe tablets to compensate for the lost oestrogen during the menopause period. These supplements can help with the symptoms.

The common risk factors associated with hormone therapy are

  • Breast cancer,
  • Blood clots,
  • Heart diseases and
  • Stroke.

Preventive measures

When you experience menopause, you cannot prevent the dip in the oestrogen levels. Some factors may fasten the dip in the oestrogen levels. Oestrogen levels can be balanced better with these preventive techniques.

Physical movements

Increase your physical movements to maintain healthy oestrogen levels. A sedentary life can cause a dip in oestrogen levels.

Stress management

According to NCBI, stress can cause negative effects on testosterone and oestrogen levels. It reduces the levels significantly, which can decrease the expansion of regulatory T cells and B cells.

Good sleep

Adequate sleep is important to keep your hormonal levels healthy. It regulates the production of oestrogen and progesterone.

The circadian rhythm alters according to a person’s sleep cycle. So, if a proper sleep cycle is not maintained, it can affect the hormonal levels of a person.

Avoid alcohol

Alcohol consumption can have a negative effect on oestrogen levels. It can alter the way the body metabolises the oestrogen hormone.

According to NCBI, women who drink alcohol have a higher oestrogen level than women who don’t drink. This can increase the risk of breast cancer.

Healthy diet

Research states that certain dietary patterns can lead to higher levels of oestrogen production in the body. Overconsumption of red meat, sweets, dairy, processed foods and refined increase the production of oestrogen levels.


Oestrogen imbalance can have an effect not only on sexual life, but it can also affect the brain and heart health and will have a negative effect on mood.

The treatment of oestrogen imbalance depends from one woman to another. The aim of treatment will be to reduce overproduction or deficiency.


How do hormones affect the female body?

The oestrogen imbalance can affect the growth, metabolism, mood and sleep cycle of a person.

Does oestrogen affect behaviour in females?

Oestrogen imbalance is linked to aggressive interactions, changes in sexual behaviours, learning and communication.

Does oestrogen make you look younger?

The hormone is responsible for making the skin look younger as it contains hyaluronic acid. It also affects metabolism, muscle mass and energy levels.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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