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Estrogen – A Hormone for Sexual Health

By HERWriter
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Estrogen is one of several hormones that are important to a woman’s sexual health and development. Hormones are chemicals used by the body as messengers to regulate various functions. Most of the estrogen in a woman’s body is produced in her ovaries, which are small organs in the abdomen that also produce the eggs that can develop into a baby.

The hormone known as estrogen is actually a compound made up of three different hormones: estrone, estradiol, and estriol. Estrogen is the hormone that is responsible for a woman’s monthly period. Other functions of estrogen include:

• Regulates the monthly menstrual (period) cycle
• Promotes secondary female sexual characteristics such as the growth of breasts
• Boosts metabolism
• Promotes healthy growth of the uterus (womb)
• Preserves the density of bones
• Protects against heart disease

Symptoms of high estrogen
In order to work properly, estrogen must be in careful balance with other hormones in the body. Having either too much or too little estrogen can cause unpleasant side effects. Too much estrogen can cause:

• Headaches or migraines
• Artherosclerosis – build up of plaque in the arteries which restricts blood flow
• Infections in the vagina
• Arthritis
• Allergies
• Strokes
• Heart disease
• Lupus
• Breast or uterine cancer
• Gallbladder disease
• Thyroid problems

Symptoms of low estrogen
As a woman ages, her body gradually stops producing sexual hormones. The time when estrogen levels are dropping is known as perimenopause or pre-menopause. Symptoms of low estrogen include:

• Irregular periods – periods may occur at odd intervals or may skip one or more months
• Decreased fertility – during this time, it is still possible for a woman to become pregnant, but is much less likely.
• Vaginal dryness – low estrogen can affect the production of natural lubricants. Vaginal dryness can cause sexual intercourse to be uncomfortable or painful.
• Hot flashes and night sweats
• Mood swings
• Trouble sleeping and fatigue
• Difficulty concentrating and lapses in memory
• Thinning hair
• Loss of breast fullness

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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