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Effects of Estrogen on Breast Milk

Some women have a natural need for added estrogen in their system. Either their body does not produce enough, or they need the additional estrogen to help them get pregnant in the first place. However, the effects of estrogen on breast milk are largely negative. Many experts suggest women to not take estrogen while breast feeding or if they cannot avoid the necessity to take estrogen that they should bottle feed.

Pregnancy and Breast Feeding:
In the earlier stages of pregnancy estrogen can damage the fetus. Experts still say that breast feeding is best. However, the effects of estrogen on breast milk when given to infants are not predictable. Keep in mind, everything that goes into the body of the mother will eventually make it into the body of the infant. This includes the estrogen. Studies have shown that increased estrogen can sometimes link to increased risk of breast cancer in men. While as an infant there might not be as much trouble with this, the potential is there. Estrogen can lower birth weight in infants.

Issues that May Arise:
While the effects of estrogen on breast milk are largely inconclusive, new mothers should keep and eye on their own health if they are taking estrogen. For women who take estrogen for an extended period of time at higher than normal levels the risk of endometrial cancer rises. The risk for blood clots rises when taking estrogen. Smoking cigarettes increases the risk. More effects of estrogen on breast milk could include less absorption of necessary immunities from the mother.

Side Effects of Estrogen:
You should talk to your doctor if you start feeling any breast pain or notice an increased breast size. Lumps in the breast or discharge from the nipples also are a problem. These are some of the warning signs for a more serious problem such as breast cancer. Vaginal bleeding could indicate an imbalance of your estrogen to your progestin. Unexplainable sores on your body are another warning sign of issues related to estrogen build up in the body. Mental fatigue in the form of confusion, depression or unusual tiredness is another side effect that could mean the estrogen regimen is too great. A risk of clotting could develop with the use of estrogen. If you have sudden or severe headaches it could be a sign of blood clotting problems. Chest pains or shortness of breath are also warning signs.

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