There are three types of estrogen: estradiol, estriol, and estrone. Estradiol is the primary female sex hormone. Estriol and estrone are minor female sex hormones. Estriol is nearly undetectable in women who aren’t pregnant.
Although it’s called the female hormone, a man’s body also makes estrogen. A healthy balance of estrogen and testosterone is important for sexual growth and development. When these hormones become imbalanced, your sexual development and function may be affected.
Symptoms of high estrogen in men include:
- Infertility. Estrogen is partly responsible for creating healthy sperm. When estrogen levels are high, sperm levels may fall and lead to fertility issues.
- Gynecomastia. Estrogen may stimulate breast tissue growth. Men with too much estrogen may develop gynecomastia, a condition which leads to larger breasts.
- Erectile dysfunction (ED). Men with high levels of estrogen may have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection.
- Higher estrone levels are associated with an increased risk of incident type 2 diabetes.
- Estrone is a more sensitive marker of diabetes risk than is estradiol.
To help lower your estrogen levels, your doctor might recommend changes to your eating habits. For example, they might encourage you to eat a low-fat and high-fiber diet. They might also encourage you to lose excess weight and or prescribe medication or recommend surgery.
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