Estrogen, what does this sex hormone do?

Estrogen is the female sex hormone. It causes your breasts to grow during puberty and your menstruation starts. Estrogen also plays a crucial role during your pregnancy. As a woman you can not do without this hormone. Read here what the hormone does in your body before and during pregnancy. We also explain which complaints you may experience due to too little or too much estrogen in your body.

What is estrogen?

Estrogen is actually a collective name of 3 sex hormones, namely: estriol, estradiol and estron. Estriol is produced by the placenta and is therefore only in your body during pregnancy. Estradiol ensures that the uterine lining becomes thicker so that the fertilized egg can implant. If no egg is fertilized, you will repel this mucous membrane during your period. Estron is responsible for the characteristics that make us woman. Think of breasts, your period and pubic hair.

Estrogen is the female sex hormone. It plays an essential role in your menstrual cycle and the growth of your uterus. This hormone is always important for the female body and during pregnancy the importance becomes even greater.

In short, estrogen ensures that:

  • Your body is getting ready for fertilization.
  • Your uterus can grow well during pregnancy.
  • During pregnancy the blood vessels in and around the placenta start to grow.
  • Your mammary glands and milk ducts are created.

Estrogen for pregnancy

Estrogen plays a very important role in your menstruation. It is, together with the hormone progesterone, produced by the so-called 'yellow body'. This is a name for an empty follicle where the egg comes from. Estrogen is produced in the ovaries and regulates the menstrual cycle together with the other hormone progesterone.

They are fully coordinated for this. Thus, these hormones make your uterine lining thicker, so that the uterus is ready for a possible implantation. At the same time, estrogen ensures that your vagina becomes more supple by producing extra mucus. This way the sperm cells can better make their way towards the uterus. These hormones also ensure that no other egg cells mature in the meantime. All these processes ensure that you have an estrogen peak in your blood.

Did not fertilization take place? Then the level of estrogen and progesterone drops in your blood and the uterine lining is broken down again. You become a period.

Estrogen during pregnancy

If your egg is fertilized, your body continues to produce a larger amount of these hormones. During your pregnancy you produce 1000 times as much estrogen than normal. This is especially in your first trimester, after this trimester the amount decreases again.

During pregnancy, estrogen is responsible, among other things, for the growth of blood vessels in and around the placenta so that blood flow there is better. Estrogen also ensures that the uterus can grow when you are pregnant, so that your child gets the space. In the beginning, the estrogen is created by the ovaries and adrenal glands. Once the placenta has been developed and is large enough, the placenta takes over the production.

Other functions of estrogen during pregnancy:

  • Your body will store extra fat and fluid to build a reserve for your baby.
  • Estrogen is responsible for the beautiful glow of pregnancy because it hydrates your skin better.
  • Together with progesterone it ensures that milk channels and milk glands develop in your breasts. In this way your body is prepared for breastfeeding.
  • It is indispensable for the development of your baby. This ensures that certain organs can form such as the adrenal glands.
  • It stimulates the hormone production of the baby.
  • It makes your body smoother and especially your pelvis, which certainly comes in handy during delivery.
  • During delivery, estrogen ensures that your body becomes more sensitive to other hormones such as oxytocin. Oxytocin causes your uterus to contract (you get contractions) and so the delivery starts.

Estrogen and pregnancy ailments

A pregnancy is special and special, but unfortunately not always a party and that is largely due to the pregnancy hormones. Estrogen is one of those hormones that can cause a few pregnancy ailments.

Estrogen is, in collaboration with progesterone, responsible for the production of extra pigment. This may cause pigmentation spots in your face or neck, for example. The pigmentation spots in your face is also called pregnancy mask. In order to prevent this, it is wise to keep your face out of the sun as much as possible and lubricate it well. A pregnancy mask only disappears after the pregnancy.

Other less fine pregnancy ailments thanks to estrogen:

  • Maternity belts or stretch marks.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Nausea.
  • Binge eating.
  • Less sense of sex.

Fortunately, there is also a positive result of all these hormones in your body. It ensures that her no longer fails and you get a beautiful head of hair!

What does estrogen do with your emotions?

Estrogen has a big effect on your emotional well-being. So your mood swings are largely due to this hormone. Since you have a lot of the hormone in your body during your pregnancy, you will have a little more emotions than normal. Also during your period, when you have a peak of estrogen, you can be more emotional.

Too few estrogen complaints

It is possible that you have too little estrogen in your body. This is not the case during pregnancy, but at other times in your life. Too little estrogen is caused by, among other things, certain disorders, certain medications, the transition, PCOS, an eating disorder or extremely many sports.

Any complaints you may experience due to little estrogen:

  • Your memory is less good.
  • Your skin can relax.
  • Worse night's sleep.
  • Hot flashes and sweating at night.
  • You are emotionally less stable.
  • Possibly depressive feelings.
  • Urinary loss.
  • You get more wrinkles.
  • Little libido.
  • Dryer vagina, eyes and skin
  • Bone decalcification.

Too many estrogen symptoms

On the other hand, it can also happen that women have too much estrogen in the body. The symptoms are then:

  • Hold a lot of moisture.
  • Swollen breasts.
  • Heavier menstruation.
  • To gain weight.
  • PMS.
  • Mood swings.
  • Fatigue and little energy.
  • Sleep problems.
  • You can not think clearly clearly.

Do you notice these complaints or complaints that may be a sign of too little estrogen? Always contact your doctor. With a blood test it can be determined whether the estrogen is in balance, or not. The GP can then also help you to deal with the complaints.

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