The hormone estrogen, a member of the sex hormone family, plays a vital role in regulating the menstrual cycle and promoting reproductive health in women. In addition to influencing gender characteristics and sexual behavior, it also has broader effects on the body. For example, estrogen protects against cardiovascular diseases, bone fragility, and contributes to temperature regulation of the brain. Evidently, estrogen affects various physiological and psychological aspects of a woman’s health.
During menopause, when estrogen production decreases, numerous changes occur in the body. The risk of cardiovascular diseases and bone fractures increases as temperature regulation fluctuates, sleep deteriorates, mood swings become more frequent and memory falters. Concerns have been raised about the potential link between estrogen and brain health and memory diseases.
Recent research from University College London suggests that estrogen may play a protective role in developing memory disorders such as dementia. This finding is based on data obtained from the British Biobank that includes information on fertile years, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and surgeries related to reproductive system functions.
While there is evidence suggesting that estrogen can help prevent vascular dementia, its impact on Alzheimer’s disease remains inconclusive. The complexity of estrogen’s role in brain health highlights the need for individualized risk assessments when considering HRT for women with dementia.
However, HRT also carries risks such as an increased risk of breast cancer, venous thrombosis, and cerebral infarction. Therefore, careful evaluation of an individual’s health profile and risk factors is necessary before initiating HRT.
In conclusion, while there are potential benefits associated with estrogen use for women’s health beyond reproductive function; it goes beyond just regulating menstrual cycles but also affects various physiological and psychological aspects. Further research aims to shed light on the complex roles that estrogen plays in brain health and its potential impact on memory disorders.