What happens if a man has too much estrogen?

July 15, 2019

What happens if a man has too much estrogen?

What happens if a man has too much estrogen?


Estrogen is known as the female sex hormone, but it also plays a vital role in men’s health. In women’s health, it’s responsible for regulating menstrual cycles and reproductive health. For men, estrogen is essential for sexual function. While typically women have a higher estrogen level and men have a higher testosterone level, when imbalances occur, it may cause serious health issues.


Estrogen and testosterone work together as a seesaw. When you have a hormonal imbalance with either high estrogen or testosterone levels, you may begin experiencing problems.


Causes of High Estrogen


Excessive estrogen can develop naturally or occur due to hormone replacement therapy. For example, postmenopausal women undergo hormone therapy to balance hormonal levels. For men, medications might cause high or low estrogen, including:


  • some herbal or natural treatments
  • certain antibiotics
  • phenothiazines (used to treat mental or emotional disorders)


Hereditary factors might cause an increased risk for high estrogen. For example, obesity, tumors, or liver disease.


Symptoms of High Estrogen in Men


While estrogen is called the female hormone, it helps balance sexual growth and development in men. When testosterone and estrogen become imbalanced, this can affect sexual health.

Men should look out for the following symptoms of high estrogen.


  • Erectile dysfunction (ED). Men who are estrogen dominant may have problems with sexual health, such as low libido or the ability to get or maintain an erection.
  • Infertility. Healthy sperm relies partly on estrogen for its development. High estrogen levels may cause sperm levels to decrease and lead to fertility concerns.
  • Gynecomastia. Increasing estrogen levels can cause breast tissue growth in men. Gynecomastia is a condition that leads to larger breasts.
  • Weight gain. Estrogen imbalance may increase unexplained belly fat. One form of estrogen is estradiol, which is responsible for helping to regulate metabolism and body weight.


Diagnosing and Treating High Estrogen


The best way to diagnose high estrogen is to have a blood test. Men create three types of estrogens: estradiol, estriol, and estrone. Certain estrogen levels are normal during different stages of a man's life, and blood testing reveals abnormal estrogen levels.

Once high estrogen has been established, there are specific treatment options.

  • Diet. Changing your diet to a low-fat and high-fiber diet with cruciferous vegetables, whole grains, etc., may lower estrogen levels.
  • Medications. If you develop high estrogen due to replacement therapy, your doctor may change your estrogen prescription. Or if you have a type of cancer that is causing high levels, perhaps they might prescribe an aromatase inhibitor.


Conditions Related to High Estrogen


Higher levels of estrogen can put men at risk for other dangerous conditions. For example, elevated risks may cause breast or prostate cancer. While breast cancer in men is rare, a study published in the Journal of Oncology in the United Kingdom, showed that high levels of estrogen are linked to an increased risk of cancer.

While estrogen is generally associated with women, men do produce critical hormone, and high levels may cause serious health concerns. Speak to your doctor about blood testing to determine if the symptoms your experiencing could be relieved through estrogen balancing.