Why would a man take estrogen
Traditionally, testosterone and estrogen have been considered to be male and female sex hormones, respectively. However, estradiol, the predominant form of estrogen, also plays a critical role in male sexual function. 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.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Feminizing Hormone Therapy at Seattle Children’s
- Can Estrogen and Other Sex Hormones Help Men Survive Covid-19?
- Transgender hormone therapy (male-to-female)
- Learn More About Estrogen Levels In Men
- Menopause for men: estrogen affects middle-aged males
- Estrogen for Male Function: Effect of Changes in the Sex Hormone Milieu on Erectile Function
- Testosterone and the Symptoms of High Estrogen in Men
Can Estrogen and Other Sex Hormones Help Men Survive Covid-19?
Transgender hormone therapy of the male-to-female MTF type, also known as transfeminine hormone therapy , is hormone therapy and sex reassignment therapy to change the secondary sexual characteristics of transgender people from masculine or androgynous to feminine.
Some intersex people also take this form of therapy, according to their personal needs and preferences. The purpose of the therapy is to cause the development of the secondary sex characteristics of the desired sex , such as breasts and a feminine pattern of hair , fat , and muscle distribution.
It cannot undo many of the changes produced by naturally occurring puberty , which may necessitate surgery and other treatments to reverse see below. The medications used for the MTF therapy include estrogens , antiandrogens , progestogens , and gonadotropin-releasing hormone modulators GnRH modulators.
While the therapy cannot undo the effects of a person's first puberty , developing secondary sex characteristics associated with a different gender can relieve some or all of the distress and discomfort associated with gender dysphoria , and can help the person to "pass" or be seen as the gender they identify with.
Introducing exogenous hormones into the body impacts it at every level and many patients report changes in energy levels, mood, appetite, etc. The goal of the therapy is to provide patients with a more satisfying body that is more congruent with their gender identity. Many physicians operate by the World Professional Association of Transgender Health WPATH Standards of Care SoC model and require psychotherapy and a letter of recommendation from a psychotherapist in order for a transgender person to obtain hormone therapy.
The accessibility of transgender hormone therapy differs throughout the world and throughout individual countries. Some medical conditions may be a reason to not to take feminizing hormone therapy because of the harm it could cause to the individual. Such interfering factors are described in medicine as contraindications.
Absolute contraindications — those that can cause life-threatening complications, and in which feminizing hormone therapy should never be used — include histories of estrogen-sensitive cancer e. Relative contraindications — in which the benefits of HRT may outweigh the risks, but caution should be used — include:. As dosages increase, risks increase as well. Therefore, patients with relative contraindications may start at low dosages and increase gradually.
A variety of different sex-hormonal medications are used in feminizing hormone therapy for transgender women. Estrogens are the major sex hormones in women, and are responsible for the development and maintenance of feminine secondary sexual characteristics, such as breasts, wide hips, and a feminine pattern of fat distribution.
In addition to producing feminization, estrogens have antigonadotropic effects and suppress gonadal sex hormone production. Prior to orchiectomy surgical removal of the gonads or sex reassignment surgery , the doses of estrogens used in transgender women are often higher than replacement doses used in cisgender women.
Antiandrogens are medications that prevent the effects of androgens in the body. Antiandrogens that directly block the androgen receptor are known as androgen receptor antagonists or blockers, while antiandrogens that inhibit the enzymatic biosynthesis of androgens are known as androgen synthesis inhibitors and antiandrogens that suppress androgen production in the gonads are known as antigonadotropins.
Steroidal antiandrogens are antiandrogens that resemble steroid hormones like testosterone and progesterone in chemical structure. Spironolactone is an antimineralocorticoid antagonist of the mineralocorticoid receptor and potassium-sparing diuretic , which is mainly used to treat high blood pressure , edema , high aldosterone levels , and low potassium levels caused by other diuretics , among other uses. Cyproterone acetate is an antiandrogen and progestin which is used in the treatment of numerous androgen-dependent conditions and is also used as a progestogen in birth control pills.
Medroxyprogesterone acetate is a progestin that is related to cyproterone acetate and is sometimes used as an alternative to it. Numerous other progestogens and by extension antigonadotropins have been used to suppress testosterone levels in men and are likely useful for such purposes in transgender women as well.
Nonsteroidal antiandrogens are antiandrogens which are nonsteroidal and hence unrelated to steroid hormones in terms of chemical structure. The nonsteroidal antiandrogens that have been used in transgender women include the first-generation medications flutamide Eulexin , nilutamide Anandron, Nilandron , and bicalutamide Casodex.
GnRH modulators are powerful antigonadotropins and hence functional antiandrogens. GnRH modulators are highly effective for testosterone suppression in transgender women and have few or no side effects when sex hormone deficiency is avoided with concomitant estrogen therapy. But they are under patent protection and, as with other GnRH modulators, are very expensive at present.
In adolescents of either sex with relevant indicators, GnRH modulators can be used to stop undesired pubertal changes for a period without inducing any changes toward the sex with which the patient currently identifies. There is considerable controversy over the earliest age at which it is clinically, morally, and legally safe to use GnRH modulators, and for how long.
The sixth edition of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health 's Standards of Care permit it from Tanner stage 2 but do not allow the addition of hormones until age 16, which could be five or more years later. Sex steroids have important functions in addition to their role in puberty, and some skeletal changes such as increased height that may be considered masculine are not hindered by GnRH modulators.
Progesterone , a progestogen , is the other of the two major sex hormones in women. There are two types of progestogens: progesterone, which is the natural and bioidentical hormone in the body; and progestins , which are synthetic progestogens. Clinical research on the use of progestogens in transgender women is very limited.
Progestogens have some antiestrogenic effects in the breasts, for instance decreasing expression of the estrogen receptor and increasing expression of estrogen- metabolizing enzymes ,     and for this reason, have been used to treat breast pain and benign breast disorders.
In terms of the effects of progestogens on sex drive, one study assessed the use of dydrogesterone to improve sexual desire in transgender women and found no benefit. Progestogens can have adverse effects. Progesterone is most commonly taken orally.
Galactogogues such as the peripherally selective D 2 receptor antagonist and prolactin releaser domperidone can be used to induce lactation in transgender women who wish to breastfeed. Many of the medications used in feminizing hormone therapy, such as estradiol , cyproterone acetate , and bicalutamide , are substrates of CYP3A4 and other cytochrome P enzymes. As a result, inducers of CYP3A4 and other cytochrome P enzymes, such as carbamazepine , phenobarbital , phenytoin , rifampin , rifampicin , and St.
John's wort , among others, may decrease circulating levels of these medications and thereby decrease their effects. Conversely, inhibitors of CYP3A4 and other cytochrome P enzymes, such as cimetidine , clotrimazole , grapefruit juice , itraconazole , ketoconazole , and ritonavir , among others, may increase circulating levels of these medications and thereby increase their effects.
The concomitant use of a cytochrome P inducer or inhibitor with feminizing hormone therapy may necessitate medication dosage adjustments. The spectrum of effects of hormone therapy in transgender women depend on the specific medications and dosages used.
In any case, the main effects of hormone therapy in transgender women are feminization and demasculinization , and are as follows:.
Breast , nipple , and areolar development varies considerably depending on genetics, body composition, age of HRT initiation, and many other factors. Development can take a couple years to nearly a decade for some. However, many transgender women report there is often a "stall" in breast growth during transition, or significant breast asymmetry. Transgender women on HRT often experience less breast development than cisgender women especially if started after young adulthood. For this reason, many seek breast augmentation.
Transgender patients opting for breast reduction are rare. Shoulder width and the size of the rib cage also play a role in the perceivable size of the breasts; both are usually larger in transgender women, causing the breasts to appear proportionally smaller.
Thus, when a transgender woman opts to have breast augmentation, the implants used tend to be larger than those used by cisgender women.
In clinical trials , cisgender women have used stem cells from fat to regrow their breasts after mastectomies. This could someday eliminate the need for implants for transgender women. In transgender women on HRT, as in cisgender women during puberty, breast ducts and Cooper's ligaments develop under the influence of estrogen. Progesterone causes the milk sacs mammary alveoli to develop, and with the right stimuli, a transgender woman may lactate. Additionally, HRT often makes the nipples more sensitive to stimulation.
The uppermost layer of skin, the stratum corneum , becomes thinner and more translucent. Spider veins may appear or be more noticeable as a result. Collagen decreases, and tactile sensation increases. The skin becomes softer,  more susceptible to tearing and irritation from scratching or shaving, and slightly lighter in color because of a slight decrease in melanin.
Sebaceous gland activity which is triggered by androgens lessens, reducing oil production on the skin and scalp. Consequently, the skin becomes less prone to acne. It also becomes drier, and lotions or oils may be necessary.
Many apocrine glands — a type of sweat gland — become inactive, and body odor decreases. Remaining body odor becomes less metallic, sharp, or acrid, and more sweet and musky. As subcutaneous fat accumulates,  dimpling, or cellulite , becomes more apparent on the thighs and buttocks. Stretch marks striae distensae may appear on the skin in these areas.
Susceptibility to sunburn increases, possibly because the skin is thinner and less pigmented. Antiandrogens affect existing facial hair only slightly; patients may see slower growth and some reduction in density and coverage.
Patients taking antiandrogens tend to have better results with electrolysis and laser hair removal than those who are not. Body hair on the chest, shoulders, back, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, tops of hands, and tops of feet turns, over time, from terminal "normal" hairs to tiny, blonde vellus hairs.
Arm, perianal, and perineal hair is reduced but may not turn to vellus hair on the latter two regions some cisgender women also have hair in these areas. Underarm hair changes slightly in texture and length, and pubic hair becomes more typically female in pattern. Lower leg hair becomes less dense. All of these changes depend to some degree on genetics. Head hair may change slightly in texture, curl, and color. This is especially likely with hair growth from previously bald areas. The lens of the eye changes in curvature.
Because oil prevents the tear film from evaporating, this change may cause dry eyes. The distribution of adipose fat tissue changes slowly over months and years. HRT causes the body to accumulate new fat in a typically feminine pattern, including in the hips, thighs, buttocks, pubis, upper arms, and breasts. Fat on the hips, thighs, and buttocks has a higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids and is meant to be used for lactation.
The body begins to burn old adipose tissue in the waist, shoulders, and back, making those areas smaller. Subcutaneous fat increases in the cheeks and lips , making the face appear rounder, with slightly less emphasis on the jaw as the lower portion of the cheeks fills in. Male-to-female hormone therapy causes the hips to rotate slightly forward because of changes in the tendons. Hip discomfort is common. This can cause a reduction in total body height. If estrogen therapy is begun prior to pelvis ossification, which occurs around the age of 25, the pelvic outlet and inlet open slightly.
The femora also widen, because they are connected to the pelvis. The pelvis retains some masculine characteristics, but the end result of HRT is wider hips than a cisgender man and closer to those of a cisgender woman.
HRT does not reverse bone changes that have already been established by puberty.
Transgender hormone therapy (male-to-female)
Androgens are essential for male physical activity and normal erectile function. Moreover, estrogens also influence erectile function, and high estrogen levels are a risk factor for erectile dysfunction ED. In this review, we summarize relevant research examining the effects of the sex hormone milieu on erectile function. Testosterone affects several organs, particularly erectile tissue.
Men need a little estrogen to be healthy. But many men have too much, and that can result in symptoms like fatigue, low sex drive, and belly fat. It can also increase prostate cancer risk. Symptoms can be alleviated, and prostate cancer risk can be reduced.
Learn More About Estrogen Levels In Men
Why is estrogen important for men? Men are more concerned about their testosterone level, especially as men age beyond 40 and testosterone starts to decline naturally. Men are also concerned about having too much testosterone when they have prostate cancer and may need to have hormone therapy. But a proper balance among estrogen and testosterone is key to good prostate health and good heart health. Here are the answers to W hy is estrogen important for men? Too little estrogen can predispose men to osteoporosis and lead to bone fractures. Men with higher blood estrogen levels may be at higher risk for enlarged prostate or prostate cancer, especially if they have low free testosterone blood levels. This shows that, like Goldilocks, optimal health depends on hormone levels that are just right.
Menopause for men: estrogen affects middle-aged males
While estrogen has traditionally been known as a female hormone and testosterone has traditionally been associated with men, it may surprise you to know that estrogen plays an integral role in male sexual function, including the regulation of sex drive, the development of sperm and even erectile function. But too much of any circulating hormone in the body isn't a good thing, typcially symptoms of high estrogen in men can include:. If you're worried about your own hormone health or perhaps someone you know, we have a range of tests that help identify male hormone issues. LetsGetChecked is joined by urologist Dr.
While its importance is normally attributed to women, estrogen in men plays an important role. As teenagers, men have high levels of testosterone and low levels of estrogen. As they age, testosterone levels in men decrease while their estrogen levels increase. Not surprisingly, high levels of estrogen in men usually correspond to low levels of testosterone.
Estrogen for Male Function: Effect of Changes in the Sex Hormone Milieu on Erectile Function
Progesterone, a naturally-occurring hormone in both men and women, participates in practically every physiological process in the human body. Its tremendous increase during pregnancy acts to stabilize both mother and child. At levels reached just before delivery, progesterone produces anesthesia and contributes to tissue elasticity.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Hormone Replacement Therapy - CHI Health
The question here may be about what would happen if a man took birth control pills, but a more important question might be why a man would take birth control pills in the first place. Let's answer the what, and then take a brief look at the why. But first, a bit of standard advice: Before taking any medication , consult a physician who can recommend the best course of treatment for you and your symptoms or condition. Birth control pills contain two hormones , estrogen and progestin, that women's bodies produce naturally. When taken in the form of birth control pills, these hormones will regulate a woman's menstrual cycle and keep an egg from implanting in her uterus, thus keeping her from becoming pregnant. These hormones are also made in smaller amounts in men's bodies.
Testosterone and the Symptoms of High Estrogen in Men
Transgender hormone therapy of the male-to-female MTF type, also known as transfeminine hormone therapy , is hormone therapy and sex reassignment therapy to change the secondary sexual characteristics of transgender people from masculine or androgynous to feminine. Some intersex people also take this form of therapy, according to their personal needs and preferences. The purpose of the therapy is to cause the development of the secondary sex characteristics of the desired sex , such as breasts and a feminine pattern of hair , fat , and muscle distribution. It cannot undo many of the changes produced by naturally occurring puberty , which may necessitate surgery and other treatments to reverse see below. The medications used for the MTF therapy include estrogens , antiandrogens , progestogens , and gonadotropin-releasing hormone modulators GnRH modulators. While the therapy cannot undo the effects of a person's first puberty , developing secondary sex characteristics associated with a different gender can relieve some or all of the distress and discomfort associated with gender dysphoria , and can help the person to "pass" or be seen as the gender they identify with. Introducing exogenous hormones into the body impacts it at every level and many patients report changes in energy levels, mood, appetite, etc. The goal of the therapy is to provide patients with a more satisfying body that is more congruent with their gender identity.
Researchers have discovered that, just as women go through menopause due to a dramatic decrease in estrogen production, middle-aged men undergo estrogen-related changes in body composition and sexual function. The researchers say that traditionally, when a diagnosis of male hypogonadism has been made — a drop in reproductive hormone levels that are high enough to cause physical symptoms — it has only been based on blood testosterone levels. However, they say there has been little understanding of the levels of testosterone needed to support certain functions.
But while the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy are numerous, side effects are still a matter of course with any drugs or medical treatment. Although, when done properly the side effects of testosterone optimisation therapy are minimal. Nevertheless, in spite of this there is still one potential side effect that scares men more than any other:.
Feminizing hormone therapy is used to induce physical changes in your body caused by female hormones during puberty secondary sex characteristics to promote the matching of your gender identity and your body gender congruence. If feminizing hormone therapy is started before the changes of male puberty begin, male secondary sex characteristics, such as increased body hair and changes in voice pitch, can be avoided. Feminizing hormone therapy is also referred to as cross-sex hormone therapy. During feminizing hormone therapy, you'll be given medication to block the action of the hormone testosterone.