You may know estrogen as the female hormone, responsible for their growth and development especially during their puberty. But did you know that it’s also present in every male’s body?
Yep, testosterone and estrogen work together to contribute to a person’s overall function. For men, these hormones are responsible for controlling sex drive, ability to have an erection, and even the production of sperm.
But, what will happen when a man’s estrogen isn’t normal?
High estrogen levels in men
Too much estrogen can cause health problems that include:
Infertility – high estrogen levels in a man’s body can slow down sperm production and it makes it difficult for his body to create healthy sperm.
Gynecomastia – too much estrogen causes the man’s body to develop more breast tissues than normal, resulting in a man having larger breasts than normal.
Erectile dysfunction – increased levels of estrogen messes up with the balance of hormones that are needed for making and maintaining an erection.
Slowed growth – when young boys who are in puberty have too much estrogen, it can affect their growth and development, specifically – they can have a short stature and experience delayed puberty.
High levels of estrogen can also cause:
- Reduced sex drive
- Osteoporosis (loss of bone density)
- Shrinking muscle mass
- Reduced sperm concentration in semen
- Hair loss on the body
- Reduced growth of penis and testicles
Having high estrogen levels can be caused solely by your body or in addition to having lower levels of testosterone. This can also be genetic.
Some medications, substances, and health conditions can increase your estrogen levels. These include:
- Herbs or other natural substances such as gingko and ginseng.
- Some antibiotics
- Medications for mental health conditions
- Obesity or weight gain
- Liver diseases
- Conditions that affect hormone balances
Low Estrogen Level in Men
Though low estrogen levels is what men usually have, having not enough of this hormone can cause different health conditions such as hypogonadism, a condition caused by lack of hormone production in the body.
The causes of low estrogen levels in men include:
- Autoimmune conditions
- Kidney or liver conditions
- Infections in the sexual organs
- Exposure to radiation
- Genetic disorders
- Obesity or rapid weight loss
- Past surgeries on your testicles or penis
- Lack of basic nutrients and vitamins
- Tumor on or close to the pituitary gland
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
High or low estrogen levels can be diagnosed through a laboratory blood test. If they’re found to be high or low, your doctor will prescribe certain steps for getting your estrogen levels back to normal. These steps include:
- Medications that can affect your estrogen levels
- Change in your diet – low fat and high fiber diets are commonly recommended to control estrogen levels.
- Change in your lifestyle – exercising regularly and getting yourself checked regularly can be beneficial in controlling your estrogen levels, as well as having a better overall health.