When it comes to a man’s sex drive, the hormone talked about the most is, of course, testosterone. However, you may be surprised to learn that a type of estrogen known as estradiol also plays an important role. Actually considered to be a byproduct of testosterone as it breaks down inside your body, levels of estradiol that are either too high or too low can play havoc with your sexual function. To learn more, here are six things you need to know about estradiol levels in men.
Why is Estradiol Important for Men?
Estradiol is vital to your health for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Regulates your sex drive
- It helps you achieve erections
- Increases sperm production
If you are a male with no health problems, you should have an estradiol level in a range between 10-40 picograms per milliliter. Along with this, your estrogen level should be in the 25-30 pg/ml range. Should you have too much estrogen in your body, the result can be such problems as erectile dysfunction, depression, and infertility issues.
What Leads to High Estradiol Levels in Men?
There are a variety of factors that can result in you having high levels of estradiol. Of all the reasons, chronic stress is the most common and can typically generate the highest levels of estradiol. When you are under chronic stress, this means your body is being bombarded by a steady stream of cortisol, leading to a suppression of other bodily systems and hormones, especially testosterone. When this happens, your estradiol levels will increase dramatically.
Exercise is the Key to Balance
While in some cases, men may need to participate in a regimen of hormone replacement therapy to get their estrogen levels back to normal and thus balance out their estradiol levels, you should also know that a regular exercise routine focusing on strength training can often solve the problem. As you exercise, your body is able to reduce fat cells and ensure the amount of testosterone that gets converted to estrogen is kept to a minimum. Along with using exercise to balance your estradiol levels, you can also try other ways to reduce stress, such as yoga, meditating, pursuing a favorite hobby, or having sex.
Low-T and Low-E
Yes, if you have low testosterone, it’s almost certain you have low estrogen and thus low levels of estradiol. You should keep in mind that when these two problems are happening simultaneously, their symptoms will appear to be almost identical. Because of this, you should combine at-home hormone testing with a visit to your doctor in an effort to make understanding estradiol levels easier for you and find out how to get everything back into balance. In addition to playing a vital role in your sex life, estradiol can also help you maintain strong bones, brain function, and proper metabolism levels.
Symptoms of Low Estrogen
When your estradiol levels are low and your body begins to experience a significant drop in estrogen, the most common symptoms you may experience will include:
- Sleeping too much,
- Being very forgetful,
- Sexual dysfunction,
- Retaining water and fat,
- Anxiety and irritability.
Since you will probably be battling low testosterone at the same time, a blood test given by your doctor will be the most accurate way to find out the extent of your hormonal imbalance and determine whether basic lifestyle changes or hormone replacement therapy will be best for your situation.
Symptoms of High Estrogen
In some instances, you may instead be battling estrogen levels that are too high. When this occurs, expect many of your symptoms to be the opposite of those associated with low estrogen. For example, instead of sleeping too much, you will have bouts of insomnia. You’ll also be sweating quite a bit, especially at night when you are lying awake with insomnia. It’s also likely your blood pressure will be high, which if left unchecked over time, can put you at greater risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Generally, if you are under age 40, high estrogen levels are more likely to be problematic than low estrogen. However, high or low estrogen and estradiol levels can occur in men of all ages.
Knowing how your levels of testosterone and estrogen work together will be vital to helping you be aware of possible hormonal imbalances. By using at-home tests regularly and not ignoring the early symptoms of an imbalance, you can use lifestyle changes to your advantage and maintain proper estradiol levels.