Every man and woman requires a certain amount of estrogen in order to function correctly. Normally, levels of estrogen are higher in women than they are in men, but sometimes symptoms of high estrogen in men do appear.
Estrogen is the hormone most of us generally associate with women while testosterone is the hormone we think of when it comes to men. This is why it is not uncommon to hear the question, do men have estrogen?
Do Men Have Estrogen? Yes. Here’s What you Need to Know
Estrogen is produced by the testes, ovaries, fat cells, and adrenal glands. It plays a central role in the sexual development of women and in the regulation of the menstrual cycle. But estrogen also plays an important part in the male reproductive system.
Although testosterone is essential for male development, estrogen is also critical. In fact, a form of estrogen in men called estradiol is produced from the breakdown of testosterone by using the enzyme aromatase.
The male body uses estradiol in sperm production, achieving an erection, regulating the sex drive, and helping the testes to function properly. Estrogen in men also helps men maintain the healthy function of the immune, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and neurological systems.
As men become older, testosterone levels naturally drop off as estrogen levels rise. So estrogen levels in every man are dependent on their age as well as their medical history. Medical experts believe that the normal estradiol level in the average man is 10-40 picograms per milliliter (pg/ml).
Most Common Symptoms of High Estrogen in Men
Major symptoms that might indicate a man has abnormally high levels of estrogen include:
- Infertility. As previously mentioned, men need estrogen to produce sperm, but too much estrogen in men can decrease sperm production or make it more difficult to create healthy sperm.
- Gynecomastia. This is the overabundant development of breast tissue in men, usually caused by abnormally high levels of estrogen.
- Erectile Dysfunction (ED). If a man’s body is producing too much estrogen he might need not be able to achieve an erection or stay erect.
- Slower Growth Rate. Increased levels of estrogen in men can delay puberty and cause boys to be shorter than they would if they had normal levels of estrogen.
Symptoms of high estrogen in men may also be an indicator of diabetes or certain forms of cancer that can show up as tumors in the testicles or adrenal glands. High estrogen can also be a sign of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) and cirrhosis, which is an advanced stage of liver damage usually caused by alcoholism or hepatitis.
If you want to know more about the symptoms of high estrogen in men, hormone imbalance, or are suffering from symptoms you believe are different from life’s natural course, then let’s talk.