The sex hormone estrogen plays a vital role in regulating the menstrual cycle and is crucial for the development and reproductive health of women. In addition to influencing gender characteristics and sexual behavior, estrogen has broader effects on the body. For instance, it protects against cardiovascular diseases, bone fragility, and contributes to temperature regulation in the brain. Estrogen’s impact extends beyond reproductive function and encompasses a wide range of physiological and psychological aspects of a woman’s health.
As women enter menopause and estrogen production decreases, a myriad of changes occur in the body. The risk of cardiovascular diseases and bone fractures increases, temperature regulation fluctuates, sleep deteriorates, mood swings and memory falter. There is ongoing research on the roles of estrogen, with concerns raised about its potential link to brain health and memory diseases.
Recent research from University College London suggests that estrogen may have a protective role in the development of memory disorders, potentially reducing the risk of dementia. These findings are based on data obtained from the British Biobank, including information on fertile years, hormone replacement therapy, and surgeries related to the reproductive system. However, there is no consensus on the association between hormone replacement therapy and dementia due to conflicting findings that can be attributed to various factors that complicate large-scale studies such as confounding variables or unreliable self-reported information. Moreover, estrogen’s protective effects may vary across different types of dementia; while it has shown protective against vascular dementia, its impact on Alzheimer’s disease remains inconclusive. This highlights the complexity of estrogen’s role in brain health and underscores the need for individualized risk assessments for hormone therapy.
Despite these risks associated with hormone therapy