chimical structure of estrogenEstrogens are hormones that are important for sexual and reproductive development, mainly in women. They are also referred to as female sex hormones. The term "estrogen" refers to all of the chemically similar hormones in this group, which are estrone, estradiol (primary in women of reproductive age) and estriol.

Estrogens are a group of sex hormones that promote the development and maintenance of female characteristics in the human body.

They play an essential role in the growth and development of female secondary sexual characteristics, such as breasts, pubic and armpit hair, and the regulation of the menstrual cycle and reproductive system.

During the menstrual cycle, estrogen produces an environment suitable for the fertilization, implantation, and nutrition of an early embryo.

An imbalance of these hormones can lead to a range of health problems and unwanted physical changes. 

Hormones are chemical messengers that tell specific tissues to behave in a certain way.

During puberty, the ovaries begin releasing estrogen hormones in line with each monthly menstrual cycle. The estrogen level rises suddenly halfway through the cycle, which triggers the release of an egg. This level then quickly decreases after ovulation.

Estrogens usually travel through the bloodstream in fluids, interact with cells in a variety of tissues in the body, and deliver a message or instruction.

It is one of the most important hormones for women, alongside progesterone. Progesterone helps to maintain pregnancies and implant an egg in the uterus.

The related hormones in the estrogen family include:

  • Estrone (E1): This is a weak form of estrogen and the only type found in women after the menopause. Small amounts of estrone are present in most tissues of the body, mainly fat and muscle. The body can convert estrone to estradiol and estradiol to estrone.
  • Estradiol (E2): This is the strongest type of estrogen. Estradiol is a steroid produced by the ovaries. It is thought to contribute to a range of gynecological problems, such as endometriosis, fibroids, and cancers that occur in females, particularly endometrial cancer.
  • Estriol (E3): This the weakest of the estrogens and is a waste product made after the body uses estradiol. Pregnancy is the only time at which significant amounts of estriol are made. Estriol cannot be converted to estradiol or estrone.

Far lower levels of estrogen are also present in men.

Estrogen is crucial to the reproductive function and cycle of a woman.


In females, estrogen affects the following areas of the body:

  • Ovaries: Estrogen helps stimulate the growth of an egg follicle.
  • Vagina: It also stimulates the growth of the vagina to its adult size, the thickening of the vaginal wall, and an increase in vaginal acidity that reduces bacterial infections. It also helps lubricate the vagina.
  • Fallopian tubes: Estrogen is responsible for the growth of a thick, muscular wall in the fallopian tubes, and for the contractions that transport the egg and sperm cells.
  • Uterus: Estrogen enhances and maintains the mucous membrane that lines the uterus. It increases the size of the endometrium as well as enhancing blood flow, protein content, and enzyme activity. Estrogen also stimulates the muscles in the uterus to develop and contract. Contractions help during the delivery of an infant and placenta, and they also assist the wall of the uterus in getting rid of dead tissue during menstruation.
  • Cervix: Estrogen is thought to regulate the flow and thickness of uterine mucous secretions. This enhances the movement of a sperm cell to an egg and enables fertilization.
  • Mammary glands: Estrogen forms unique relationships with other hormones in the breast. They are responsible for the growth of the breasts during adolescence, the pigmentation of the nipples, and eventually stopping the flow of milk when an infant is no longer breast-feeding.

Estrogen is responsible for the differences between male and female bodies. For example, in a female body:

  • Estrogen makes the bones smaller and shorter, the pelvis broader, and the shoulders narrower.
  • It increases fat storage around the hips and thighs, meaning that the body is more curved and contoured.
  • Estrogen helps to slow down the growth of females during puberty and increases sensitivity to insulin. Insulin influences the amount of body fat and lean muscle a person can develop.
  • It influences body hair to become finer and less pronounced while making the hair on a woman's head more permanent.
  • Estrogen makes the voice box smaller and the vocal cords shorter, giving females a higher-pitched voice than males.
  • Estrogens suppress the activity of the glands in the skin that produce oily substances. This reduces the likelihood of acne in females.

Other areas on which estrogen has an impact include:

  • The brain: It can help maintain body temperature, regulate the part of the brain linked to sexual development, and enhance the effects of the brain's "feel-good" chemicals.
  • The skin: Estrogens improve the thickness and quality of the skin as well as the collagen content which prevents aging.
  • The bones: Estrogen helps to preserve bone strength and prevent bone loss.
  • The liver and heart: The hormone regulates cholesterol production in the liver, helping to protect the heart and arteries.

The effects of imbalanced estrogen levels can include the following:

  • menstruation becoming less frequent or stopping
  • light or heavy bleeding during menstruation
  • hot flashes, night sweats, or both
  • non-cancerous lumps in the breast and uterus
  • mood swings and sleeping problems
  • weight gain, mainly in the hips, thighs, and waist
  • low sexual desire
  • fatigue
  • mood swings
  • feelings of depression and anxiety
  • dry skin

High levels of estrogen in men can lead to infertility, erectile dysfunction, prostate cancer, and the development of larger breasts, also known as gynecomastia.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, speak to your doctor.
Herbal remedies that benefits estrogens
Black cohosh plant Bladderwrack
30 capsules
Ashwagandha root  
30 capsules
Black cohosh root  
30 capsules
Fenugreek plant Horny goat weed plant Red clover
90 capsules
Fenugreek seeds  
90 capsules
Horny goat
60 capsules
clover flower
Sarsaparrilla berry    
60 capsules
(Withania somnifera)
(Astragalus membranaceus)
(Bacopa monnieri)
(Arctium lappa)
*Black Cohosh
(Cimicifuga racemosa)
(Focus vesiculosus)
*Celery seeds
(Apium graviolens)
*Chanca piedra
(Phyllanthus niruri)
*Ceylon cinnamon
(Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
*Cat's claw
(Uncaria tomentosa)
*Dandelion root
(Taraxacum officinale)
(Trigonella foenum graecum)
*Ginkgo biloba
(Ginkgo biloba)
*Horse chestnut
(Aesculus hippocastanum)
*Hawthorn berry
(Crateagus oxicanthus)
*Horny goat weed
(Epimedium sagittatum)
*Juniper berry
(Juniperus communis)
*Milk thistle
(Sylibum marianum)
(Lepidium meyenii)
*Red clover
(Trifolium pratense)
*American Skullcap
(Scutellaria lateriflora)
*Saw palmetto
(Serenoa repens/serrulata)
*Stinging nettle
(Urtica dioica)
*St John's wort
(Hypericum perforatum)
(Smilax aristolochiifolia)
*Schizandra berry
(Schisandra chinensis)
(Agnus castus)
*Valerian root
(Valeriana officinalis)
*White willow
(Salix alba)
(Achillea millefolium)
*Lion's mane
(Hericium erinaceous
(Lentinula edodes