8 Causes of Estrogen Dominance
Intro – Estrogen is needed to conceive, but too much of it may hurt IVF success and cause infertility issues.
To conceive successfully, estrogen is important. But did you know that high level of estrogen might just ruin it all if you are trying to conceive naturally or putting all your bets on IVF. Estrogen levels hold tremendous importance because they are necessary for the proper functioning of the uterus in women, while in men it is important to maintain sperm levels.
Healthy embryos fail to implant themselves in the uterus when a woman’s estrogen level is too high. In men, it may lead to weak erections or erectile dysfunction and infertility. There are many factors that lead to a high level of estrogen, which is also called Estrogen Dominance. Some of them are poor diet, stress, obesity, unsafe drinking water, and exposure to estrogen in the environment. These factors cause an estrogen imbalance in the body and adversely affect fertility both in men and women. So if you are planning to conceive through IVF or naturally, it is important to eliminate the following factors for a healthy estrogen balance in the body:
It is one of the major sources of estrogen. Soy foods, caffeine, pesticides, insecticides, and animal products loaded with growth hormones interfere with natural hormonal balance in the body. Today, commercially raised animals are often injected with growth hormones to make them bigger in size to meet the meat demands of the rising population or increase their milk production. These harmful hormones disrupt the natural hormonal balance. The pesticides and insecticides in farm produce are known as endocrine disruptors that throw your metabolism and hormone activity off balance.
Heavily polluted with hormone-disrupting compounds including an unknown number of industrial chemicals or disposal of plastics and chemicals in landfills, unhygienic water can wreak havoc on the hormonal balance in the body. Pesticides, fertilizers, synthetic and natural estrogens from livestock and medicinal waster also severely pollute the water.
Personal care products
Are you a beauty junkie? If yes, then you need to either completely stop or cut down your use of beauty products in order to enhance your chances of conceiving. Personal care products such as cosmetics, lotions, shampoo, soaps, toothpaste, and other body care products contain parabens, phenoxyethanol and phthalates have estrogenic activity. The exposure to such products can quickly add up to the estrogen load in the body.
Drinking your water from a plastic bottle is convenient but definitely not healthy! Plastic in all its forms including water bottles, food wraps, and storage containers contain hormone-disrupting xenoestrogens that cause major problems for your health. Plastic is all around us, and the scientists are continuously exploring its ill benefits on the environment and our bodies. It is best to limit the use of plastic as much as possible.
Estrogen is included in a combination of oral birth control pills without the necessary progesterone to maintain a healthy hormone balance. Use of birth pills thickens the cervical mucus. But as far as estrogen dominance is concerned, it is a direct source of synthetic estrogen.
Stress is an inescapable part of our lives today. From work to environmental and physical to mental & emotional stress, we fight it at many levels. However, chronic stress is bad news for health and fertility. For many couples, especially in the cities, it is a major hurdle in realizing their dream of having a baby. When one is chronically stressed, the body begins to use the sex hormones progesterone to make cortisol. These falling levels of progesterone lead to estrogen dominance and hence, it becomes difficult to conceive.
There is more than one reason to shed weight in order to conceive. Too much body fat is bad for fertility. Fat tissues absorb and store estrogen circulating in your bloodstream. Having high levels of estrogen also prompts the body to make more fat cells, which then produces even more estrogen, creating a vicious cycle where fat tissues and estrogen feed each other.
A healthy gut directly translates to a healthy body. A healthy gut has a diverse community of microbes, which regulate estrogen. A leaky gut and other gut imbalances can impact estrogen and other hormones by disrupting estrobolome, the gut bacteria that metabolize estrogens. The culprits that create gut imbalances and disrupt hormonal balance include a poor diet, inadequate sleep, chronic stress, antibiotic overuse and certain medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).