The Importance of Estrogen (Estradiol) in Men’s Health (2023)

Men are often unaware that estrogen (estradiol) plays a critical role in their day-to-day health.

Estrogen is found in small-but-critical concentrations in men. It needs to be in balance with the rest of your hormones, especially testosterone, for you to feel well.

The Importance of Estrogen (Estradiol) in Men’s Health (1)

  1. The Connection Between Low T and Estrogen
  2. Normal Estradiol Levels in Men
    1. Falling Outside the Normal Estradiol Range
  3. Symptoms of Low Estrogen in Men
    1. Treatment for Low Estrogen in Men
  4. Causes of High Estrogen (Estradiol) in Men
  5. Symptoms of High Estrogen (Estradiol) in Men
  6. The Importance of Monitoring and Controlling Your Hormone Levels
    1. Proper Dosage
  7. Beginning Hormone Replacement Therapy

1. The Connection Between Low T and Estrogen

Estrogen levels and testosterone levels are closely related. In fact, one of the primary causes of low estrogen is actually low testosterone.

Men’s bodies produce estradiol, a form of estrogen, as a byproduct the breakdown of testosterone through an enzyme called aromatase. Aromatase isfound in estrogen-producing tissue, such as the adrenal glands, the brain, fatty tissue, and even the testicles.

Estradiol is often referred to as E2and is one hormone ina class of hormones called “Estrogens.” This class includes estradiol, estriol, and estrone, among others.

Estradiol is likely the main estrogen you need to worry about.

The production of estrogen in a male body is a completely normal and necessary process. Estrogen is required for the healthy physiologic functions of your brain and other important organs, including:

  • Erectile function and sex interest
  • Maintenance of bone health
  • Regulation of fat mass vs. lean mass
  • Brain functions
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Skin metabolism

Since the necessary level of estradiol that men require is derived from testosterone, a correlation develops.

If your testosterone is low, your body doesn’t have the raw materials needed create more estradiol. If you have low testosterone, you may have low estrogen (estradiol) too, probably leading to the symptoms of hormone imbalance.

That’s why low testosterone symptoms and low estrogen symptoms often look so similar: they’re occurring at the same time, and it’s hard to determine what’s causing what.

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2. Normal Estradiol Levels in Men

Normal total estradiol levels in men are somewhere between 20–55 pg/mL(2.0–5.5 ng/dL) and 10-40 pg/mL(1.0-4.0 ng/dL), depending on whom you ask.

The first range is based on a study of the total estradiol levels of 115 healthy men.

(Video) What Is Estradiol & Why Is It Important For Men?

The same study with the same group of men found that free estradiol levels ranged between 0.3–1.3 pg/mL (0.03–0.13 ng/dL).

Keep in mind that these “normal ranges” aren’t exactly agreed upon throughout the medical community.

The truth is, human bodies vary so much that no one can really say for sure, and testing methods have changed over the years, leading to some discrepancy.

2.a. Falling Outside the Normal Estradiol Range

Numbers don’t tell the whole story. If you’re experiencing the symptoms of low estradiol, but your numbers don’t match up, you may still be a candidate for hormone replacement therapy.

Just like testosterone and other hormones, a level is only “low” if you’re experiencing symptoms.

Similarly, there are men who fall outside the range who nevertheless are asymptomatic. It all depends on you and your body.

If you’re experiencing symptoms, you’ll want to get a blood test to see precisely what’s going on. It’s possible your levels won’t fall outside the normal range, which may indicate something else is causing your symptoms.

3. Symptoms of Low Estrogen in Men

Symptoms of low estrogen in men include:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Forgetfulness
  • Oversleeping or sleeping too often
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Water retention
  • Bone loss
  • Fat accumulation

Most of these, especially the symptoms related to how you feel on a daily basis, could appear on a list of either low testosterone or low estrogensymptoms. These are simply symptoms of overall hormone imbalance.

To summarize, you can have low testosterone by itself, or low estrogen by itself, but often, they go hand in hand. The symptoms are very similar, which means that it’s almost impossible to determine which hormone is insufficient without proper blood testing.

3.a. Treatment for Low Estrogen in Men

If you were to experience low estrogen along with low testosterone, in addition to prescribing testosterone treatment, we might also prescribe some form of estrogen, usually in the form of a gel or a cream.

Unlike testosterone, we want estrogen to be bioidentical to ensure it works properly.

For men, it is rare to find low estrogen levels unless that person is undergoing some kind of treatment to reduce estradiol directly.

(Video) The Importance of Estrogen in Men

4. Causes of High Estrogen (Estradiol) in Men

In the setting of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), we are much more likely to deal with increased estradiol levels, called hyperestrogenism.

There are many reasons why your body may be producing too much estrogen. For instance, if you suffer from obesity, your excess fat can actually start producing additional estrogenbeyond what your body already produces.

While we occasionally do see elevated estrogen levels prior to starting treatment for Low T, this is most often a problem that arises because of higher testosterone levels achieved as the result of TRT that’s practiced improperly, including the following poor practices:

  • Your hormone levels are not being regularly or carefully measured
  • You’re not receiving an aromatase inhibitorat appropriate levels
  • Your medical provider isn’t extremely careful about his or her methods

In these cases, much of the extra testosterone being introduced into your body can be converted into excess estradiol.

The Importance of Estrogen (Estradiol) in Men’s Health (2)

5. Symptoms of High Estrogen (Estradiol) in Men

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, infertility, and other types of sexual dysfunction
  • Enlargement of, or development of, breasts
  • Persistent fatigue or lack of energy
  • Mood swings, anxiety, and/or depression
  • Water retention
  • Excessive sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Night sweats
  • High blood pressure

Low Estrogen vs. High Estrogen in Men

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(Video) Estradiol in Men on TRT: NIH Study Shows Surprising Effects

6. The Importance of Monitoring and Controlling Your Hormone Levels

Everything we’ve discussed so far leads to this conclusion:

As we begin to raise one level through hormonal replacement therapy, it’s really important to carefully monitor the therapy’s effect on your other hormones.

That’s why frequent screening is part of our therapy process at Testosterone Centers of Texas.

Most often, a medication named Arimidex(anastrazole), an estrogen blocker, is the treatment of choice to help reduce and control estradiol levels. This medication, when used and monitored appropriately, is safe, inexpensive, and very effective.

Once-per-week dosing is typically enough to reduce elevated levels back into the normal range.

Special care should be taken to monitor for side effects of persistent estradiol elevation and flushing, which may occur with the use of Arimidex.

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(Video) The IMPORTANCE OF ESTROGEN (and its impact) in Men's Health - Metabolic Minute®

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6.a. Proper Dosage

Because both male and female bodies naturally contain both testosterone and estrogen, just in different amounts, your body tolerates the “opposite” hormone rather well.

If you don’t tolerate the hormone well for any reason, we can easily reduce it.

Because we don’t implant or use hormone pellets(which can last up to six months) and instead use injections for testosterone and topicals for estrogen (which last no more than a week for each dose), we can easily titrate the dose to one your body tolerates more effectively.

Your body will react quickly to these adjustments, often in a matter of weeks or a handful of months.

7. Beginning Hormone Replacement Therapy

When you come into our clinic feeling like you have low testosterone, we check all your hormones.

Estrogen levels must be evaluated and managed the right way for Low T treatments to be safe. Ensure that anyone who treats you for low testosterone understands and explains all the known risks associated with therapy.

Being aware of potential issues and having a plan of action that prevents them from becoming problems during therapy will keep you both happy and healthy.

The staff at Testosterone Centers of Texas (TCT)look forward to helping you improve your quality of life.

Schedule a free consultation today.

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FAQs

What does estradiol do to a man? ›

Estradiol in men is essential for modulating libido, erectile function, and spermatogenesis. Estrogen receptors, as well as aromatase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen, are abundant in brain, penis, and testis, organs important for sexual function.

What effects does estrogen have on men? ›

Although the male body needs estrogen to function correctly, too much estrogen can cause health problems. Increased levels of estrogen can cause symptoms such as infertility, erectile dysfunction, and depression. A person who is concerned about their estrogen levels should contact their doctor.

Where do men get estrogen from? ›

Ovaries are the major source of circulating estrogens in females, but in males, testes produce only ~20% of circulating estrogens, with the remainder from local production by adipose, brain, skin, and bone, which convert testosterone (T) to estrogen through aromatase actions (708).

Is estrogen good for males? ›

The production of estrogen in a male body is a completely normal and necessary process. Estrogen is required for the healthy physiologic functions of your brain and other important organs, including: Erectile function and sex interest. Maintenance of bone health.

What are the symptoms of low estrogen in men? ›

Hormone imbalance can have a profound effect on your mental health. Low levels of estrogen (or testosterone) can cause both depression and anxiety. These problems are often compounded by the fact that you feel very tired all the time, or are concerned over your sexual performance and other sex-related issues.

What happens when a man's estrogen is too low? ›

Men who don't have the estrogen necessary to enable bone health may experience deviant bone growth, much slower healing of fractures, and have a higher risk for osteoporosis, especially if they were also deficient during their youth.

Can low estrogen cause erectile dysfunction? ›

Estrogen, the female sexual hormone, also affects erectile function, as demonstrated in both clinical and basic studies. Interestingly, estradiol-testosterone imbalance is considered a risk factor for ED. Furthermore, endocrine-disrupting chemicals have estrogen-like effects and cause ED.

What happens when you start taking estrogen? ›

The first changes you will probably notice are that your skin will become a bit drier and thinner. Your pores will become smaller and there will be less oil production. You may become more prone to bruising or cuts and in the first few weeks you'll notice that the odors of your sweat and urine will change.

How does estrogen affect behavior? ›

Estrogen signaling affects aggressive interactions, as well as several behaviors that are closely linked with aggression, including sexual behavior, communication, and learning and memory.

What does high estradiol mean? ›

High levels of estradiol indicate that you might have a problem with your ovarian reserve. It could also mean that the estradiol is suppressing FSH. Either of these things could mean that you will have more trouble getting pregnant, more trouble ovulating (even with treatment), and reduced success with IVF.

Does vitamin D increase estrogen? ›

High blood levels of vitamin D linked to reduced estrogen – and potentially lower breast cancer risk. Can taking daily vitamin D supplements decrease sex-hormone levels and thereby potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer in older women?

Do bananas increase estrogen? ›

Tomatoes, kiwi, citrus fruits, cantaloupe, peaches, artichokes, bananas, asparagus, corn and cauliflower all boast great levels of vitamin C and they possess the phytoestrogen power you might be looking for to boost your estrogen.

What is the one food that raises testosterone by 52? ›

In all honesty, out of the complete list of foods we shared above there is one above all that is known to increase testosterone by 52% and that's … fatty fish! Yes, you read that correctly. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna have been proven time and time again to help your body produce more testosterone.

Is estradiol the same as estrogen? ›

Estradiol (E2) is the primary form of estrogen in your body during your reproductive years. It's the most potent form of estrogen. Estriol (E3) is the primary form of estrogen during pregnancy.

What happens if you don't have testosterone or estrogen? ›

Without hormones, your reproductive organs would be stagnant. You wouldn't be able to become pregnant and might not experience the desire to have sex. While the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone are powerful, they need help from a protein called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) to function properly.

What are the symptoms of low estrogen? ›

Signs of low estrogen include:
  • Dry skin.
  • Tender breasts.
  • Weak or brittle bones.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Moodiness and irritability.
  • Vaginal dryness or atrophy.
  • Hot flashes and night sweats.
  • Irregular periods or no periods (amenorrhea).
8 Feb 2022

What happens if a man has too much estrogen? ›

According to Dr. Bernstein "erectile dysfunction, weight gain, decrease in libido or sexual drive, enlargement of the breast tissue, depression, loss of energy or feeling tired and decrease in muscle mass" are some of the symptoms you could expect if you live with high estrogen.

What is a normal estradiol level for a man? ›

Serum estradiol levels were measured in 360 men attending an infertility clinic and 68 proven fertile men to determine whether estradiol measurements are clinically useful. The normal range of estradiol levels found in fertile men was 10-82 pg/ml.

How much estrogen should a man have? ›

A man's circulating estradiol level should be between 10 and 40 picograms per milliliter. Estrone is also considered during the measurement, which should have a reading between 10 and 50 picograms per milliliter.

Can low estrogen cause anxiety in men? ›

Fluctuating levels of estrogen and testosterone, which are considered sex hormones, may play a role in how much anxiety you experience. Changing levels of these hormones can affect your mood.

What is a good testosterone to estrogen ratio? ›

There's no fixed range for the ratio value. It's important that testosterone (10-35 nmol/L or 300-1000 ng/dL) and estradiol levels (50-200 pmol/L or 14-55 pg/mL) are within normal ranges.

Does viagra increase estrogen? ›

Furthermore, Viagra significantly augments baseline and estrogen-induced increases in uterine blood flow suggesting the presence of PDE-5 in the ovine uterine vasculature.

What are the benefits of taking estradiol? ›

It is used by women to help reduce symptoms of menopause (such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness). These symptoms are caused by the body making less estrogen.

How long does it take estradiol to work? ›

It may take up to three months before you receive estradiol's full benefits, so it's important to take it as prescribed by your doctor. In many women who use estradiol, irregular vagina bleeding may occur. Talk to your healthcare provider if this happens.

Does estrogen give you energy? ›

Estrogen is responsible for an increase in cortisol and testosterone levels, which naturally increase energy levels.

What does high estradiol in males mean? ›

Symptoms of High Estradiol Levels

Estradiol is a necessary hormone used in the production of sperm within the testes. However, excessively high estrogen levels can slow down sperm production, affect sperm quality or motility, or cease sperm production entirely.

Why would a man's estrogen be high? ›

Aromatase transforms testosterone into estrogen in men. As men age, it is possible for the enzyme aromatase to cause estrogen to spike and testosterone to decrease in volume. Medications, medical procedures, stress, and weight gain may cause a fluctuation in estrogen.

What do estrogen blockers do for males? ›

However, in certain situations, where estrogen levels are extremely high, or men are struggling with erectile dysfunction, infertility or gynecomastia—this treatment is a great solution. Estrogen blockers can help you regain hormonal balance and to get back to feeling like yourself.

Is estradiol the same as estrogen? ›

Estradiol (E2) is the primary form of estrogen in your body during your reproductive years. It's the most potent form of estrogen. Estriol (E3) is the primary form of estrogen during pregnancy.

What level of estradiol is too high for men? ›

We have recommended that ideal ranges for estradiol for most aging men are between 20 and 30 pg/mL of blood. Below 18 pg/mL increases osteoporosis risk, while levels greater than 30 pg/mL increase heart attack and stroke incidence.

Can low estrogen cause erectile dysfunction? ›

Estrogen, the female sexual hormone, also affects erectile function, as demonstrated in both clinical and basic studies. Interestingly, estradiol-testosterone imbalance is considered a risk factor for ED. Furthermore, endocrine-disrupting chemicals have estrogen-like effects and cause ED.

How does estrogen affect behavior? ›

Estrogen signaling affects aggressive interactions, as well as several behaviors that are closely linked with aggression, including sexual behavior, communication, and learning and memory.

Does lowering estrogen increase testosterone? ›

These drugs do have legitimate therapeutic uses, particularly for men with low testosterone and genuinely excessive levels of estrogen. With proper medical supervision, estrogen blockers can have meaningful benefits, including increasing testosterone and even reversing infertility.

Does alcohol increase estrogen in males? ›

Main findings. Two studies show no difference between estrogen levels before and after alcohol consumption. Although at higher doses than those used in the previous mentioned studies contradictive results show an increase in women and a decrease in men.

What happens if you have too much estrogen? ›

Summary. High estrogen levels can cause symptoms such as irregular or heavy periods, weight gain, fatigue, and fibroids in females. In males, they can cause breast tissue growth, difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, and infertility.

Does Honey reduce estrogen? ›

Honey modulates estrogen by its antagonistic action. It may be useful in estrogen-dependent cancers such as breasts and endometrial cancers [17]. Estrogen receptors tie to estrogens to dimerize and then translocate into the nuclei.

Why do bodybuilders take estrogen blockers? ›

Illegally, Arimidex may be used by bodybuilders to block estrogen. Arimidex may help prevent side effects such as gynecomastia (male breast enlargement) from developing due to the aromatization of anabolic steroids.

What are the benefits of taking estradiol? ›

It is used by women to help reduce symptoms of menopause (such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness). These symptoms are caused by the body making less estrogen.

How long should you take estradiol? ›

Usually your doctor will want you to use this medicine for only three weeks of each month (three weeks on and one week off). Your doctor may increase your dose as needed.

Does estradiol cause hair loss? ›

Those on estrogen GAHT (both estradiol and anti-androgens and/or progesterone) can experience hair thinning on the face, chest, abdomen, legs, and arms.

Videos

1. What You Do Not Realize about Low Estrogen In Men
(TRT and Hormone Optimization)
2. Androgens and Estrogens and Their Effects on Men
(HCPLive)
3. Benefits of Estradiol in men on TRT pt 1
(TRT and Hormone Optimization)
4. Low Estrogen Symptoms in Men and Why E2 is Vital for Health- Testosterone Optimisation and TRT
(Enhanced MedAU)
5. Estradiol in Men: Myths and Facts
(ExcelMale)
6. Estradiol in Men: Friend or Enemy?
(PrimeBody)
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