Table of contents:
- Knowing Hormones and Their Functions
- Overcoming the Effect of Decreased Estrogen Levels in Menopause
Estrogen has an important role in all stages of a woman's life, from puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, to menopause. What exactly is estrogen and how does this hormone work? Check out the full explanation below
Estrogen is a term for a group of hormones that play an important role in the development and growth of female sexual characteristics and their reproductive processes. This hormone is actually not only produced in women's bodies, but also in men's bodies at much lower levels.
Knowing Hormones and Their Functions
Hormones are chemical substances produced in the body to control and regulate the activity of certain cells or organs. In general, there are several functions of hormones in the body, including:
- Regulate the development and metabolism of the body
- Determining sexual function and reproductive tissue
- Control the mood
Recognizing the role of hormones, especially the hormone estrogen in the body, can make women better understand the various changes in their bodies.
Importance of Estrogen Function in Women's Body
The hormone estrogen in women specifically plays a role in the growth and development of sexual organs. There are 3 types of estrogen hormone, namely estradiol, estriol, and estrone.
Estradiol has the highest levels in women in their fertile period, while estriol is produced by the placenta during pregnancy. Meanwhile, estrone is widely distributed in the body and becomes the main estrogen during premenopause.
Some of the other functions of estrogen are:
- Helps regulate body temperature and keep it stable
- Support memory ability and improve memory
- Helps manage the part of the brain that prepares the body for sexual and reproductive development
- Regulate cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of plaque buildup in the heart blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
- Stimulates the maturation of the ovaries and stimulates the start of the menstrual cycle. This condition indicates the reproductive system has matured
- Stimulates uterine maturity and helps prepare the uterus as a place for fetal development
- Stimulates breast development at puberty and prepares the mammary glands to produce milk
- Helps maintain bone density
The Role of Estrogen from Time to Time
During puberty, increased levels of estrogen cause the growth of female breasts, as well as the growth of pubic and underarm hair.
During pregnancy, women usually produce more estrogen than in their entire life. The role of this hormone is also very important during pregnancy. This is because estrogen plays a role in forming new blood vessels in order to flow nutrients to the fetus's body for optimal growth and development.
In the menopausal transition period or before menopause, estrogen levels generally fluctuate before finally dropping and causing physical and emotional changes.
Overcoming the Effect of Decreased Estrogen Levels in Menopause
In menopause, low levels of estrogen can cause the vagina to become dry and the vaginal walls thin, making sexual intercourse painful.
In addition, decreased estrogen levels can also cause hot flashes or a warm sensation in the body, face, or neck, mood swings, decreased sexual arousal, and sleep disturbances.
One way to overcome the symptoms of decreasing estrogen levels is with estrogen hormone replacement therapy. However, this therapy cannot be given to all women and needs to be considered considering the long-term side effects of an increased risk for breast cancer.
In addition, several types of antidepressant drugs can also be used to reduce hot flashes. In order to reduce complaints of vaginal dryness, the doctor may prescribe an estrogen cream that is applied to the vagina.
Application of a he althy lifestyle is also important to reduce the effect of decreasing estrogen levels during menopause. For example, eating nutritious foods, getting enough rest, avoiding smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages, and practicing relaxation techniques.
Estrogen is indeed one of the important hormones in the female body. However, estrogen levels need to be kept in balance. This is because if the amount is excessive or reduced, it can cause he alth problems, except for menopause, which is normal.
Therefore, there is no harm in doing regular check-ups on a regular basis to the doctor to ensure that estrogen levels remain stable.