We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Effects of High Estrogen?

By Helena Reimer
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are many negative effects of high estrogen that can affect both the mind and body. Some of the common symptoms include headaches, fatigue, hot flashes, menstrual problems, and cancer. It can also result in mood swings, memory loss, anxiety, and depression. Although it is a female hormone, it is also present in men and can lead to gynecomastia and heart problems.

There are three predominate estrogens, known as estrone, estradiol, and estriol, which are balanced by another female hormone known as progesterone. Both of these hormones are essential in preparing the womb for pregnancy. Estrogen is also very important for good bone health and can help to prevent osteoporosis by helping to maintain a healthy level of calcium in the bones. In some cases, however, the body manufactures excess amounts of estrogen and not enough progesterone to balance it. As a result, it creates high estrogen levels, also known as estrogen dominance.

High estrogen levels generally occur during a woman's menstrual cycle, which is often the reason for mood swings, irritability, and emotional instability during this time. During menstruation, many women tend to suffer from headaches, fatigue, bloating, abdominal cramps, and sore breasts. Irregular, skipped, or heavy cycles are also effects of an estrogen imbalance. Birth control pills are often used to help regulate irregular menstrual cycles; however, they may be high in estrogen, which can result in elevated estrogen levels and infertility.

Anxiety, depression, memory loss, and low self-confidence are common signs of an estrogen imbalance. Women who go through menopause can also suffer symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings. During or after menopause, women often resort to estrogen replacement therapy to help them deal with the symptoms. In some cases, this therapy can cause the estradiol levels to rise, putting these women at risk for other health problems such as a stroke and cancer.

There is evidence to suggest that breast cancer cells can feed off of estrogen and promote its spread once it has begun. As a result, drugs are often prescribed to halt or reduce the production of estrogen in order to prevent the cancer from spreading. Other cancers that have been linked to high estrogen levels include uterine, endometrial, and ovarian cancers.

Excess estrogen in men is also common and can lead to heart attacks and atherosclerosis, which is the thickening of the arteries. Studies show that it can double the risk of a stroke as it promotes blood clotting. Male estrogen can also contribute to gynecomastia, which is an enlargement of the breast, and puts men with high estrogen at risk for developing breast cancer.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By bear78 — On May 24, 2014

Most men do not want to experience the effects of high estrogen but some men who are undergoing gender change do. High estrogen encourages breast growth which is desirable in these situations.

By SarahGen — On May 23, 2014

I was on estrogen replacement therapy for some time after menopause. Initially, the estrogen was very beneficial for my hot flashes and insomnia. But after several months, I started experiencing some negative mood changes. The main problem was that I was excessively emotional and irritable, not unlike when I was pregnant. My doctor took me off of the therapy soon afterward.

By donasmrs — On May 23, 2014

This is not the first time I'm hearing about the risk of cancer with high estrogen levels. Doctors warn women about taking estrogen supplements for long periods of time while in menopause for this reason. Although low estrogen causes problems too, particularly during menopause, very high estrogen is not good either.

Menopause estrogen supplements and birth control pills with estrogen also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke because high estrogen can cause blood clots. This is why estrogen should only be used under the close supervision of a doctor. At least that's what I think about this topic. I see some women using over the counter estrogen supplements without asking their doctors and I think that's dangerous.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.