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Estrogen May Influence Women's Depression Risk

Depression affects both the genders equally, but medical research suggests that women are more prone to the condition of depression as compared to men. You can blame it to the biology of women that makes them vulnerable to depression and stress.

Estrogen is a female hormone that can lower the risk of depression in women. According to a new study prolonged exposure to estrogen and make women immune to depression to an extend. Most women have hormone fluctuations in their body during their reproductive ages, this is linked to depression women experience during these years. As a woman, you must be aware of how depression can cause problem with your normal life. Pregnant women are expected to suffer from postpartum depression at least once in their life. Also, lifestyle and eating habits play an important role in making women stressed or depressed.

Estradiol and Depression

In the study doctors studied the effect of an important form of estrogen, the estradiol in womem. This hormone is very active in women during their reproductive years. It is found that estradiol affects the production of serotonin, a chemical present in the brain which is associated with depression and stress.

In  levels of serotonin make women depressed and in the long run it can have many other adverse effects on their physical, mental and emotional health. Now women with longer exposure to estradiol can be benefited in the way that there is a lower level of serotonin in such women that protects them from depression.

Factors that can expose you to the estrogen include menstruation cycle starting at a younger age. Also, the study found that women who have more menstrual cycles over their lifetime where exposed to estrogen for longer periods. The researchers involved in the study claim that, after studying more than 1300 women from the time their menstruation started till the end i.e. menopause, they can conclude that women who were exposed to estradiol for the entire period have a reduced risk of getting into depression .

Please note there is nothing you can do about exposing yourself to the estrogen for long as it is dependent on your body chemistry. Among other factors, breast-feeding and number of pregnancies were found to have no effect on the health of women. Women who were on birth control for longer periods also had reduced risk of depression.

According to Dr. Joann Pinkerton, executive director of NAMS, "Women and their providers need to recognize symptoms of depression such as mood changes, loss of pleasure, changes in weight or sleep, fatigue, feeling worthless, being unable to make decisions or feeling persistently sad, and take appropriate action."

What this study signifies for women?

Depression is a dreaded condition that can have more underlying and deeper impacts. Feeling stressed once in a while is common, but if you are struggling to cope with depression, it can be because of the hormone fluctuation. It is better to consult your doctor to get an early diagnosis. 




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