• Possible Effects of Estrogen Hormone for Women Over 40+

    Estrogen is primarily the main sex hormone of women. They play essential function in women in terms of regulating menstrual cycle by enriching the endometrium and accelerating metabolism. When women rich the age of 40 and beyond, estrogen takes part in preserving bone density, protecting against heart disease, and decreasing the symptoms of menopausal.

    However, being a steroid compound hormone, estrogen effects on women depend on the rise and fall of its level in body. That is why primary care physicians take control of monitoring estrogen levels in the body, especially when women reach the age of 40+, to watch out for estrogen imbalance symptoms and give medical interventions if possible.  In the US, the most common prescribed estrogen is a conjugated estrogen known as Premarin. Estrogen may come out as a tablet that is taken orally without food and with proper scheduling.

    The following are possible effects of estrogen to women at the age of 40+.

    • Positive Effects

    Strengthens cardiovascular health

    Estrogen has been known to have positive effects on the cardiovascular system of women although it may take long time to see it. Study shows that estrogen increase high density of lipoprotein or HDL. Lipoprotein is a kind of good cholesterol that helps excess cholesterol to the liver, hence, reducing the risk of artery blockage and sudden drop in blood flow. As a counterpart, it decreases the low density lipoprotein or LDL which is known to be bad cholesterol. Low level of LDL decreases women’s risk to heart attack and stroke.

    Improves Bone Health

    Bone density is found to decrease during menopausal stage. While estrogen helps increase calcium which is the primary nutrient needed by bone to prevent brittleness and fracture, lower dose of estrogen therapy is sometimes prescribed by medical doctors to women suffering from menopausal bone loss. An example of bone related problems due to lack of calcium in elder women is osteoporosis and hip fractures.  According to records, 40% of women suffering under such condition either die within one year or placed at thorough care in a skilled nursing facility. However, by inducing an appropriate dosage of estrogen, women may be saved from such condition by providing calcium in the blood and allowing muscles to contract properly.

    Reduce menopausal symptoms

    Estrogen therapy when taken at an appropriate dosage cures various menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia which usually cause discomfort to women at age 40+. Such symptoms are usually worst during the first two years and may last up to five years. However, estrogen medication helps maintain strong immune system which allow the organs in the body to function efficiently thus minimizing such symptoms. With this, estrogen also improves pelvic musculature and bestows women a healthy wrinkle-free and well-moisturized skin by preventing the loss of collagen.

    • Negative Effects

    Increase risk in Arteriosclerotic disease

    Estrogen therapy can increase the risk of arteriosclerotic disease especially to women who have previous medical history of subclinical disease like diabetes, hypothyroidism, and rheumatoid arthritis. The truth is medical conditions can also reverse the effect of estrogen. Some symptoms that it may cause one under such condition are sudden and severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, faintness, and chest pains. When taken without prescription while suffering from certain medical condition, estrogen can constrict muscles resulting to heart attack and strokes.

    Infertility in women

    Low level of estrogen brings up detrimental effects to women’s fertility success. When the estrogen is low, women would not be able to generate the fertility hormones responsible for conception such as the Luteinizing hormone and Follicle-stimulating hormone. In this case, the ovaries would no longer be able to produce healthy follicles which are needed for the release of at least one egg per month. This cycle known as ovulation is important to be normally regulated in women to achieve conception; otherwise, women may suffer from ovulation related infertility.

    Increase risk of Cancer

    Research shows that the longer women take estrogen, the higher risk they have to breast cancer and endometrial cancer especially when women had previous hysterectomy, a surgery known to remove the uterus.  Women with endometriosis problem may experience vaginal bleeding during the first treatment of estrogen. When this shows, medical doctors usually tone down the treatment to decrease the risk of developing a cancer. Likewise, taking estrogen together with progestin to minimize the symptoms of endometriosis can develop breast changes which may include tenderness, occasional pains, growth of breast lumps and unusual discharge from nipples. That is why medical doctors suggest taking estrogen as low as 1 mg dose only to also limit its side effects. Monthly or annual mammogram can also help detect breast cancer the soonest possible so that medical doctors may know when and how to counteract the estrogen therapy. When this happens, medical doctors usually induce anti-estrogen drugs such as Tamoxifen, Toremifene, and Fulvestrant to minimize the effect of high estrogen surge.

    Other possible effects of Estrogen (some may need immediate visit with primary physician)
    ·         Increase rick of gallstone
    ·         Gradual rise of dementia related symptoms
    ·         Unusual muscle movements that are difficult to control such that of Parkinson’s disease
    ·         Difficulty in breathing and swallowing that is associated with hoarseness of voice
    ·         Yellowing of skin and eyes
    ·         Hair loss, joint pains, and loss of appetite
    ·         Flu like symptoms or infections such colds, coughs, and fever
    ·         Change in sexual desires

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