You’ve probably heard of estrogen, the female sex hormone that plays a crucial role in women’s reproductive health. But did you know that there are three different types? Estrogen is a type of steroidal hormone that regulates many bodily functions in women. It aids in maintaining proper ovulation and fertility, develops the uterus and uterine lining, and plays a vital role in breast development, pregnancy, and so much more.
Keep reading to see what role each of the three main types of estrogen play in women’s health.
Estrone is produced by the ovaries and serves as a sort of “stand by” form of estrogen. It’s considered to be weaker than the other two forms, and your body can convert it to different types of estrogen if needed. Estrone plays a vital role in women’s health- it’s been shown that increased levels are linked to both breast and endometrial cancer.
Women who have low levels of estrone are at risk of developing osteoporosis. Low levels of estrone are also linked to symptoms of menopause, low libido, and even depression. Your doctor can order some medications if you think you may be experiencing abnormal levels of estrone. Your doctor will be able to determine if this is necessary based on blood tests.
Estradiol is produced in several ways in the female body. Like estrone, it is produced in the ovaries. But also in the adrenal glands, the brain, and the placenta during pregnancy. Estradiol is essential for reproductive and sexual health and affects many organs throughout the body.
Estradiol is mainly responsible for maintaining healthy ovulation and helps to regulate the number of eggs present in the ovaries. It’s considered a growth hormone, as it helps the development of all female reproductive organs. It is the driving force behind pubescent development, and once a woman goes through menopause, her estradiol levels will drastically decline.
Other functions of estradiol include promoting blood circulation, aiding in bone growth and joint protection, and enhancing overall brain function. Low levels of estradiol may be indicative of Turner Syndrome, ovarian failure, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or the onset of menopause.
High levels can signify the onset of early puberty, ovarian tumors, an overactive thyroid, or cirrhosis of the liver. Your doctor can test your estradiol levels with a simple blood test.
Estriol in the third primary type of estrogen that plays a role in women’s health. It is mainly present in pregnant women, and while present all the time, women who are not pregnant may have levels so low that they are undetectable.
During pregnancy, it is the most highly produced type of estrogen present in the body made by the placenta. Estriol levels are a reliable indicator of fetal health and are therefore monitored closely throughout pregnancy. It is believed that once estriol reaches peak levels, labor begins. If estriol increases too early on in pregnancy, it can result in premature birth.
Research surrounding the potential benefits of estriol’s medicinal uses has shown to have promising effects on menopause symptoms. Additionally, it has been shown to have potential benefits in the treatment of osteoporosis and even multiple sclerosis.
If you are currently pregnant, your doctor will be monitoring your estriol levels closely. Like other forms of estrogen, a simple blood test can provide your doctor with the results they need to analyze your levels.
A Note from GR8NESS
Here at GR8NESS, we believe in promoting positive health for all of our readers, men and women alike. Sexual and reproductive health is a significant issue. This article is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or illness. If you suspect you may have a problem, speak to your doctor right away.