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High Estrogen and Fertility*

Can You Get Pregnant with High Estrogen?

Introduction

Estrogen is one of the two main female sex hormones, the other is progesterone. While estrogen plays a significant role in the development of a woman’s reproductive system, it also impacts menstrual cycles, mood, and even bone health. If estrogen levels drop too low or increase too much, fertility may also be affected and the same is true for men.

If you are trying to conceive and are concerned about your level of fertility, it is important to consider this critical hormone, whether you’re a man or woman.

The Relationship Between High Estrogen and Fertility

While it is possible to get pregnant when you have high levels of estrogen, which we will discuss below, there is an increased likelihood that you will experience fertility issues, including the following:

High Estrogen Levels Can Lead to the Absence of Ovulation

Many women can have a normal menstrual cycle, yet they do not ovulate and may be entirely unaware. This is known as an anovulatory cycle and can occur due to estrogen dominance.1 Although these cycles are most common among women between the ages of 30 and 50, they can also occur in women suffering from conditions like endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Although not all women experience symptoms related to high estrogen levels, you may notice menstrual problems, which is something you should discuss with your doctor as soon as possible. If you notice any of the following, you may have high levels of estrogen, and in turn, compromised ovulation:

  • Light spotting
  • Heavy bleeding
  • More severe symptoms of PMS than usual
  • Irregular periods

Although the above symptoms can result due to numerous variables and underlying health issues, they may indicate high estrogen levels, particularly when paired with other warning signs,2 including mood changes, hair loss, fatigue, bloating, a low sex drive, and/or swollen breasts.

Too Much Estrogen Can Affect Your Fertility Window

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, suggests that estrogen plays a critical role in regards to a woman’s fertility window.3 Meaning, the window of opportunity that an oocyte has to be fertilized and attach to the uterine wall as an embryo (blastocyst).

While only a small amount of estrogen is required for the uterus to be receptive to an embryo, it was found that too much estrogen may negatively impact the genetic process that influences the implantation site, shortening the fertility window of opportunity. This has become apparent while studying women undergoing IVF procedures.

High Estrogen Levels Also Impacts Male Fertility

Although estrogen levels are imperative in terms of female reproductive health, it is also important to discuss estrogen’s role in regard to male fertility, specifically sperm count. This connection was vastly studied in the 1990s, as mice lacking functional estrogen receptors were shown to be infertile. Since then, an extensive amount of research has been conducted.4

It’s been found that high estrogen levels in men can slow down sperm production, reducing sperm health. Increased estrogen levels can also lead to a hormonal imbalance, impacting a man’s ability to get an erection.

How to Get Pregnant with High Estrogen

If you have high estrogen levels, your goal is to balance this critical hormone, so that you can boost fertility naturally. Millions of women (and men) around the globe suffer from hormonal imbalances, influencing the development of various health conditions.

From imbalances in estrogen to insulin, adrenaline to cortisol, all of these hormones can dramatically impact your health and in turn, your ability to conceive. Of course, your ability to balance estrogen is a complex process, one that should be discussed with your physician. However, if you would like to actively improve your reproductive health, you need to examine your current lifestyles, as well as environmental exposures.

Although medications are available to treat estrogen dominance, exercise, relaxation techniques, diet, supplementation, and your sleep routine are all key areas that you’ll need to reassess if you want to improve your fertility and overall health. For example, certain foods have been shown to help reduce your body’s levels of estrogen,5 including cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, etc.), mushrooms, red grapes, whole grains, and flaxseeds. Losing weight is also recommended if you are considered to be medically overweight or obese.

The goal here is to work with your healthcare provider regarding any potential concerns you have, and in the meantime, actively address your reproductive health. After all, your lifestyle habits are modifiable variables that you have control over. From psychological stress to cigarette smoking, there are many factors that influence your ability to conceive.

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*NOTICE: The contents of this website are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a potential medical condition.