When people think of estrogen, they think of women. After all, it plays a vital role in women’s development.

But, women don’t only have estrogen in their bodies, and men don’t have only testosterone. Both genders have both hormones.

Estrogen plays an important role in male bodies, too, and learning about its function can help you identify any potential issues.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about estrogen in men.

So, What Is Estrogen, Exactly?

Estrogen actually refers to a group of hormones: estrone, estradiol, and estriol.

Since it’s naturally abundant and produced within women’s bodies, estrogen is often referred to as the female sex hormone. 

But, it’s present within males, too.

In a man’s body, an enzyme called aromatase is responsible for producing estrogen. On average, the levels in a healthy male’s body are much lower than that of a female.

What’s Its Function For Men?

Despite being a female hormone, there are a handful of ways that it impacts the male body.

Estrogen is known to stimulate the production of serotonin, a chemical in the body that is noted for having a positive effect on one’s mood.

The hormone also plays a role in erectile function, libido, and sperm production. 

As expected, low levels of a female sex hormone in males won’t do much to adversely affect these three areas. But, when estrogen levels spike, it can lead to a drop in one’s sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and lowered fertility.

Thus, it’s important to keep a man’s estrogen levels in check n order for his body to function properly. Read on to learn signs you should watch out for.

How Do I Know If I Have Too Much Estrogen?

Fortunately, you’ll be able to tell that you have an issue with your estrogen levels before things get too out of hand.

Before we go over them, you should understand that this should only be a concern in adult males and not teenagers. Puberty is responsible for putting your entire body out of whack, and it’s not uncommon for hormone levels to be imbalanced at certain times.

There are a handful of symptoms that all point to raised estrogen levels. These can include:

  • Enlarged breast tissue
  • Increased fat gain around the abdomen
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Unexplained loss of muscle mass
  • Emotional instability, including mood swings and bouts of depression

It’s important to note, though, that all men have varying levels of estrogen. This means that you may have symptoms that your friends don’t, and someone else you know could have even more than you.

Let’s take a quick look at each to learn more about it.

Enlarged Breast Tissue

This one is often one of the most surprising for men with high estrogen.

Also known as gynecomastia, swelling of the breast tissue often occurs when a male’s body produces too much of the hormone. 

Increased Abdominal Fat

High levels of estrogen can result in the body storing more fat around the belly. Unfortunately, high levels of fat also have also been associated with increased levels of estradiol in men, creating a cycle that can be difficult to break.

Sexual Dysfunction

High levels of estrogen often lead to softer erections/difficult obtaining one and decreased libido. Unbalanced estrogen levels can also adversely affect one’s sperm count, which is often a pain point for couples who are trying to get pregnant.

Emotional Instability

As previously mentioned, estrogen in men plays a role in maintaining their mood, especially through the production of serotonin. When the level of estrogen is off, so will the levels of the chemicals it’s associated with.

This can easily result in poor temper, sadness, etc.

What Are The Causes of High Estrogen Levels?

There are numerous factors that can contribute to high levels of estrogen in the male body. Some are preventable, some are not.

Let’s start with…

Aging

There’s not much that can be done about this one. As men age, their levels of aromatase tend to increase. This hormone converts testosterone to estrogen.

So, as you get older, the little testosterone you have left is being converted to estrogen, which can amplify the symptoms.

Too Much Fat

As mentioned earlier, men with excess body fat tend to have more estrogen than they should. If you’re particularly overweight, it shouldn’t be surprising to find that your numbers are not at all where they should be.

Having Too Much Estrogen

Yes, you read that right.

As if having high estrogen wasn’t enough of a problem, your body’s testosterone production can actually decrease if your estrogen levels are too high.

How Is It Treated?

For starters, you can get your diet and fitness in check.

If you’re overweight, aim to lose the extra fat in a healthy manner through weight training and aerobic exercise. Building muscle also has the added effect of increasing testosterone production.

Increasing your consumption of fiber, vitamin B12, and green vegetables can also play a large role in getting your levels in check.

If all else fails, you can contact a medical professional for treatment. Your doctor will be able to determine if medication to lower your estrogen levels is the right option for you.

Understanding Estrogen in Men Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about estrogen in men in mind, you’ll be well on your way to better understand your body and knowing when to seek a professional.

Want to learn more about how to pave your way to a happier life? This article has plenty of useful information.