The Relationship Between Estrogen & Immunity

March 25, 2020

How does Estrogen Help Women Fight Flu & Other Types of Virus? 

So, researches say that estrogen exerts its actions by binding to specific receptors (known as the estrogen receptors). 

These receptors activate processes and/or signaling events that result in the control of many functions in the body. 

Generally speaking, males generate weaker immune responses and are more susceptible to a variety of infectious bacteria. Women are opposites to this. 

Females mount stronger innate and adaptive immune responses and are relatively resistant to viral infections. 

What’s an innate & adaptive immune response? 

Well, aninnate immune response is when our body fights against pathogens - physically, chemically, and builds a cellular defense.
This helps us to immediately prevent the spread and movement of pathogens throughout the body. 

While an adaptive immune response occurs after our body is exposed to an antigen either from a pathogen or a vaccination. 

This kickstarts or activates only when the innate immune response is insufficient to control the infection or pathogen.

So, does estrogen help with our innate immune response? 

In fact, it does.


Well, estrogen has a disparate function - it has an immune-suppressive effect at high concentrations. 

This means, when estrogen levels are higher in our body it helps to boost our body’s immunity naturally!

That’s why for every 10 people affected by pathogens and flu - 8 are men while only 2 are women.

Isn’t that great? 

But now you might be a bit worried. 

As we said women with a HIGH concentration of estrogen have strong immunity powers. 

But what about menopausal women? 

We are known to fight and survive with low levels of estrogen.

Luckily, even the very low amount of estrogen produced after menopause is enough for women to be protected against viral infections. 

Pretty interesting, isn’t it? 

But we need to remember that - even though our bodies naturally try to protect us from harm, this does not mean we are immune. 

So, try and stay safe and away from the flu as much as you can.