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What Factors Affect Estrogen Dosage?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many factors which may play a role in estrogen dosage, including the conditions being treated and each patient's medical history. Those with a history of certain cancers may be given a very low dose of estrogen. Women who are estrogen deficient, as with menopause and certain other gynecological conditions, may be given a higher dosage than those who have adequate hormone production.

Estrogen is a naturally occurring hormone which is produced by the ovaries in women. Men also have estrogen in their bodies, but in much lower amounts. Supplementation of estrogen is often used for those with certain health conditions, as well as those looking for emergency contraception. Some long-term birth control pills also contain estrogen along with the the hormone progesterone.

The exact estrogen dosage needed will vary widely depending on the individual case. Most hormonal birth control pills contain a very low dosage, while those who require supplementation will require much higher amounts. There is some debate on the safety of estrogen therapy in menopausal and post-menopausal women because it can increase the chances of developing breast and gynecological cancers in some individuals.

Some health conditions may also be treated using estrogen supplements. The estrogen dosage for these will depend on the exact conditions and its severity. Doctors may take a trial and error approach when determining the right dosage by keeping a close watch on symptoms and hormone levels. In some cases, estrogen dosage may need to be increased or decreased based on patient response.

Occasionally men may be given an estrogen dosage to treat or prevent certain illnesses. Testicular cancer, for instance, is often caused by an increase in testosterone levels. Estrogen may be given to halt tumor growth in some individuals.

Those who have a history or breast or ovarian cancers may not be good candidates for estrogen-based therapies. Only a doctor should given estrogen as a treatment for any disease. Plant-based supplements can be taken which contain phytoestrogens, or plant estrogens. These react similarly to human estrogen, but they are often much milder and less likely to cause side effects. Even so, patients should consult with a doctor before taking any new supplements or medications.

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.

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