We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Connection between Estrogen and Weight Gain?

By M. Walker
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Several scientific studies have found a link between estrogen and weight gain, especially for women going through menopause. The estrogen found in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can have several side effects, and weight gain is one of the most common. Estrogen dominance, which is caused by too much estrogen in the body in relation to other hormones, can cause extra pounds to distribute more in the waist region, rather than the hips and thighs, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Additionally, estrogen and weight gain are further connected because estrogen can cause temporary bloating and increased water retention.

Higher than average levels of estrogen and weight gain both generally occur during perimenopause, or the time just before, during, and just after menopause. Both estrogen and progesterone levels decrease around the time of menopause. As a result, the proportion of androgens in the bloodstream increases because the estrogen is no longer available to cancel out the androgens’ effects. Androgens are also responsible for allocating additional weight gain to the middle section of the body, including the stomach and trunk regions.

Hormone fluctuations during menopause sometimes further contribute to an increase in estrogen and weight gain. If a woman’s progesterone levels drop before her estrogen levels or if a woman takes too many estrogen supplements, she can develop estrogen dominance. The increased weight due to water retention is often a temporary side effect of HRT and estrogen supplements, but general hormone fluctuations can greatly interfere with the body’s ability to balance the androgen levels in relation to the estrogen and progesterone levels.

Estrogen and weight gain are also linked in reverse because weight gain can cause an increase in estrogen levels. Fat cells are continuous producers of estrogen, and a large increase in body fat can also boost the amount of estrogen in the body. This in turn can lead to even more weight gain, exacerbated estrogen dominance, and worsened hormone fluctuations, creating a cycle that is difficult for many women to break.

Metabolic changes in the body can also occur as a result of too much estrogen or sudden weight gain. Extra fat in the middle of the body not only increases the risk of heart disease, but it also contributes to insulin resistance and diabetes. It can be difficult to tell whether hormone fluctuations cause these conditions or whether they are a direct result of them, but the various effects are definitively linked.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By ddljohn — On Mar 14, 2013

I had unexplained weight gain last year. When I had blood hormone tests and found out that my estrogen was low, I was shocked. I thought the results would be exactly the opposite.

It turns out that my weight gain wasn't fat gain, it was water retention. My doctor said that both low and high estrogen levels can cause water retention. Once I was treated, the weight disappeared. Hormones are tricky, things aren't always as they seem.

By SarahGen — On Mar 14, 2013

@ankara-- I gained some weight on estrogen but it seems to have settled, I'm not gaining more.

Different estrogen medications can act differently. It also depends on what your current hormone balance is. Progesterone for example, is as important as estrogen.

You might want to have your hormone levels checked again and mention to your doctor about the weight gain.

I also think that some weight gain during menopause is normal because our metabolism slows down. So it might not have anything to do with estrogen.

By bluedolphin — On Mar 13, 2013

I'm taking estrogen since my hysterectomy surgery and have been gaining a lot of weight. Is this menopausal weight gain or because of my medication?

Are there any estrogen medications that do not cause weight gain?

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.