The effects of the hormone testosterone heavily influence the male body.
That said, testosterone is not the only hormone that can have a major impact on our health, behavior, and other aspects of physical and mental well-being.
Other hormones are also involved, like estrogen.
Since estrogen is usually associated with women, some men believe they don’t have this hormone in their bodies at all. But this is incorrect.
In this post, you will learn all about the effects of estrogen on the male body. Read on to learn more.
What is estrogen?
Estrogen is a hormone responsible for developing and regulating a woman’s reproductive system. While estrogen is known as a female sex hormone, men have it too, and it’s not just a part of feminizing hormone therapy.
Estrogen production occurs in the testes, fat cells, and adrenal glands, similar to testosterone production. Estrogen receptors and aromatase are present in abundance in the penis, brain, and testes.
There are two main types of estrogen in men. They are called estrone and estradiol. Healthy levels of this hormone are necessary for sexual functions and other roles that contribute to your overall health and wellbeing.
Keep in mind these are the effects of normal estrogen levels.
In men, the levels of this hormone are a lot lower than in women. Abnormal levels of this hormone can lead to serious diseases such as breast cancer.
10 effects of estrogen on the male body
The human body requires hormonal balance to function properly. This is particularly necessary for the balance of testosterone and estrogen in men. Below, you can learn more about the effects of estrogen on the male body.
1. Estrogen regulates sex drive
Even though the driving force behind libido in men is testosterone, estrogen, i.e., serum estradiol, also plays an important role here.
The effect of estradiol on a male sex drive is observed at various levels of regulation, beginning with its direct impact on the brain.
In other words, estrogen in men influences sexual behavior and organizes the early brain to program sexual behavior. Since a great deal of men’s confidence stems from the libido, normal estrogen levels are necessary for this function.
2. Regulation of erectile response
One of the most significant effects of estrogen in a male body is its role in regulating erectile response. First, it is useful to mention erectile function is multifaceted, where endocrine, nerve, and blood vessel actions work together to produce a strong and durable erection.
The exact role of estrogen on erectile response in men requires further research, but it could be due to its positive effect on penile vasculature and the brain.
Keep in mind excessive levels of estrogen in the male body could pave the way to erectile dysfunction and other problems. Therefore, ensuring you have a normal hormonal balance is vital for maintaining your sexual health.
3. Estrogen contributes to spermatogenesis
Spermatogenesis refers to the development and origin of sperm cells in male reproductive organs, i.e., the testes.
Although testosterone is the dominant sex hormone in men, estrogen is present at detectable levels at several points of development and takes part in spermatogenesis. The impaired balance between testosterone and estrogen is linked to decreased semen parameters.
4. Estrogen supports the testicular function
Estrogen exhibits a regulatory and protective role in testes primarily because biosynthesis of this hormone in testicular cells and the absence of estrogen receptors can induce adverse reactions on spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis. Like other effects, a delicate balance between estrogen and testosterone is necessary for these functions.
5. Estrogen supports fertility
Since estrogen promotes the production of sperm, it’s easy to conclude this hormone plays a role in male fertility.
Other studies also show the primary function of estrogen in the male tract is to regulate the reabsorption of fluid in the efferent ductules via the estrogen receptors.
Disruption of these receptors leads to dilution of cauda epididymal sperm, inhibited sodium transport and water reabsorption, disrupted sperm morphology, and reduced fertility.
More precisely, problems with estrogen receptors could contribute to fertility problems in men. The same happens when levels of this hormone are excessively high.
RELATED: Natural Ways To Boost Male Fertility.
6. Higher estrogen levels are harmful to the prostate gland
The male body needs adequate levels of estrogen for sexual functioning and reproductive health. A higher concentration of this hormone (estrogen dominance) can lead to various problems. It can also put the prostate gland in danger.
For that reason, doctors should evaluate a patient’s estrogen level before prescribing hormone therapy such as testosterone replacement therapy for their prostate condition like prostate cancer.
7. Increased estrogen can cause depression
Depression is a more complicated condition than people believe. Several mechanisms of action can pave the way to depression, and excess estrogen in men is one of them.
One study found that depressive symptoms were associated with depression in men, regardless of their BMI. This isn’t such a surprise if we consider that as men age, they experience low testosterone (low-T), and estrogen increases.
Depression is often a common symptom of testosterone imbalance, including mood swings, irritability, among other things.
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8. Estrogen regulates bone health
Evidence confirms there is a strong association among estradiol levels and bone mineral density, bone turnover, and bone loss. The impact of estrogen on bone health in men could be stronger than testosterone.
Men with excessively low estrogen levels (estrogen deficiency) could be more prone to fractures and other problems.
9. Estrogen takes part in weight regulation
Like testosterone, estrogen is also important for weight management. Insufficient levels of this hormone predispose a man to increased adiposity and metabolic dysregulation.
In men with low testosterone levels, doctors often recommend testosterone therapy to balance out this hormone and thereby aid weight regulation and other symptoms.
10. Estrogen problems contribute to sexual dysfunctions
Because estrogen exhibits a positive effect on sexual function and erectile response, problems with this hormone and its receptors can lead to sexual functions. Besides erectile dysfunction, these also include premature ejaculation and lack of sexual desire.
Both sexual dysfunctions can harm men’s confidence, relationship quality, and quality of life. In men with severe hormone imbalance such as androgen deficiency (testosterone deficiency) or higher estrogen levels, hormone replacement therapy could help manage sexual dysfunctions.
This post focused on ten different effects of estrogen on the male body. At a normal hormone level, estrogen is necessary for sexual function, weight management, mental health, and other problems.
Both low and high levels of this hormone are harmful to sexual health, reproductive function, and other aspects of life such as heart disease.