Understanding the Different Kinds of Estrogen
A women has different types of estrogen in her body and there are different kinds of estrogen that she can take to replace the hormone or bring it into balance. You need estrogen in order for your body functions to run smoothly.
Some people think of estrogen as just a reproductive hormone, but it’s so much more than that. This chemical messenger alerts your body when it’s time for specific jobs to be carried out.
Estrogen is responsible for the shape of your bones, the development of your curves, and the strength of your hair. It’s also needed to give you insulin sensitivity, your voice tone and provides your skin with optimal health.
When estrogen is out of balance, everything from your reproductive system and more can start to have problems. Your body makes estrogen in three different types. These are known as E followed by a number to identify which one it is.
So women have E1, E2 and E3 estrogen in their bodies. Estrone is E1, Estradiol is E2 and Estriol is E3. Different times in a woman’s life can cause the introduction of certain estrogens.
Most women have E2 estrogen. This common hormone will ebb and flow within the body depending on what’s going on such as ovulation, menstruation, or menopause.
The three estrogens all have a job to do and it depends on the reproductive stage as to which one will be more plentiful.
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For example, during menopause, the type of estrogen changes and becomes E1. This estrogen is a milder hormone than E2. Sometimes, a woman’s body can have an estrogen imbalance or she’ll reach the stage where her body is simply not producing enough.
When that happens, estrogen replacement therapy can be an option to counter the effects of low or out of balance hormones. You can get estrogen pills that you take once a day and the name brand or generic of the pill will vary, depending on what your doctor prescribes for you.
These pills do have some troublesome side effects. Instead of taking estrogen pills, some women opt to use estrogen patches. Taking the patch offers a lower risk of blood clots than taking the oral estrogen.
Certain medical conditions - such as having liver problems - make taking both oral and the patch form of estrogen riskier. But there are sprays, creams or gel forms of estrogen treatment that are safer for the liver.
Another type of estrogen that you can use is applied vaginally, such as a suppository or insertable rings. How fast and effective estrogen will be for you will depend on the type that you take - since some are absorbed more directly than other forms.