Estrogen is a kind of hormone that has an important role in the health of women. This is typically discussed as a female hormone and there are definitely some effects of estrogen on the female body. Some people might think do males also produce estrogen and if so what would it do to them.? Wonders of Estrogen in your body are enormous. These changes begin to appear more frequently at the age of puberty. Read about hormone balance in the female body.
More than one Estrogen
There are three Estrogens that are important to human physiology. These include Estradiol, Estrone, and Estriol. Now, Estradiol is the most potent and so therefore the most significant but most commonly word Estrogens is used for all kinds. Estrogens are produced in Ovaries. There is a right and a left ovary on two sides of the pelvic cavity. When ovaries secrete the Estrogen, they are going to be released into the bloodstream. So that means they can circulate throughout the entire body and have various effects. Estrogens can also be produced in the Adrenal cortex. Cortex means the outer portion of an organ. Keep in mind that these are very small or minute amounts, especially when we were comparing them to the amounts produced and secreted by the ovaries.
The magic of puberty and Hormone testing
In order to discuss the functions of the estrogens, we have to discuss when the estrogens can actually function. That’s because during childhood estrogens are secreted only in minute amounts so not going to do much at all. But during that special time of life that we call puberty, estrogens will increase by more than 20 fold in the female body and that is where some magic can happen. But when we are talking about estrogens and their levels, have you ever wondered what your hormones levels are or what other tests or blood tests might reveal about you. It might be necessary sometimes to know about hormone levels. There are several hormone test kits available in pharmacies or clinics.
Home testing kits typically use saliva or blood from the fingertip to measure your levels of sex hormones such as estrogens and progesterone.
Sex organs getting bigger due to Estrogen
During puberty, we saw a greater than 20 fold increase in the levels of these hormones. This is going to cause amazingly awesome changes throughout the human body. Some of this includes that several of the female sex organs will increase several times in size. This includes organs such as the Uterus, Uterine tube where fertilization occurs, ovaries, and Vaginal canal. External genitalia will also increase in size like the labia majora and labia minora. Excessive fat gets deposited in those structures as well. You will also see fat deposition in the mons pubis, which is just an elevated tissue or fat pad next to the pubic bone.
How Estrogen makes the Vagina like the skin?
During puberty, changes in the lining of the vaginal canal also occur. The inside lining of the vaginal canal is made up of epithelial tissue. Specifically, it changes to a thicker type of epithelial tissue called stratified squamous epithelium. Stratified just means the multiple layers, squamous just means flat. So, you get multiple layers of flat cells. This is the same type of tissue that the outer layer of your skin the epidermis is made of with some exception of glands and secretions but the same epithelial tissue nonetheless. It just like the skin helps provide protection from infection as well as from friction and abrasion that could occur during intercourse.
Getting the endometrium and uterine tube ready for a baby
The endometrium is made up of epithelial tissue also what they call endometrial stroma which is the vascular component. Lots of blood vessels, as well as endometrial glands, are present there. Endometrial stroma and the glands really start to change and proliferate during the spike of Estrogen because this is the area that is creating this nice little area where a fertilized egg could implant after fertilization. We definitely want that environment to be very pleasant for developing fetuses.
Speaking of fertilized eggs, sperm cells are deposited in the female reproductive tract. They will eventually make it all the way up into a uterine tube. This is the place where the fusion of sperm with the egg takes place. Estrogens also change inside the lining of the uterine tube
Why do females have more fat than males?
Estrogens can increase the metabolic rate a little bit. But this is only about one-third of the increase that you see in the male sex hormones Testosterone. Estrogen does increase the amount of fat in the female body. You do not see that effect with Testosterone. This is the major reason why females tend to have a higher body fat percentage than males. Now, the estrogens don’t only influence the amount of body fat, they also influence where it is distributed throughout the body say like the breasts as well as the buttocks and the thighs.
Do males actually produce Estrogen?
The answer is yes. The word produces might be a little strong because the majority of the Estrogens found in the male body are actually converted from Testosterone by an enzyme called Aromatase. But how much are we talking about here and where and what would they do.? During pregnancy, the placenta secrets even more Estrogens, and when we are talking about where there are a few places throughout the male body that will produce or convert Testosterone to estrogen. Another place and the majority of where this conversion takes place is outside of the testis and the main place is the Liver. The liver converts Testosterone into Estrogens.
What does Estrogen do to males?
Overall effects are going to be quite minimal. We don’t typically see males developing breast tissue, having the same distribution of body fat, etc. But as far as the role that the estrogens do have, they can get involved in things like spermatogenesis, which is the production of sperms. Estrogens also have a role in modulating sex drive and libido within the makes as well as erectile function.
Hormones are just like the Goldilocks principle, not too hot not too cold but just right or you can say not too many hormones not too few hormones, just the right amount. For example, if males have too many Estrogens that could lead to things like the development of breast tissue or interfere with spermatogenesis. It even can cause problems with libido or sex drive and even erectile dysfunction.
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