Low estrogen: May delay puberty, slow or prevent sexual development. Occurs in perimenopause and menopause, often leading to painful sex, lower sexual desire and hot flashes.
Low estrogen levels can interfere with sexual development and sexual functions. They can also increase your risk for obesity, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. Treatments have evolved over the years and become more effective.
Low estrogen levels in women can cause symptoms including irregular periods, hot flashes, painful sex, headaches, mood swings, and more. The most common cause of low estrogen is menopause. But too much exercise, disordered eating, or complications with your ovaries could also lead to lower levels.
Signs & Symptoms of Low Estrogen
Weight gain. Thinning hair. Dry skin/lips. Vaginal dryness (which may make sexual intercourse painful)
Symptoms of low estrogen
As a person gets close to menopause, they may notice symptoms such as irregular periods, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. Other symptoms of low estrogen, which may happen during or outside of menopause, include : absent or irregular periods. bone fractures due to osteoporosis.
For women, a specific estrogen hormone called estradiol decreases at menopause helps regulate metabolism and body weight. The lower the levels of estradiol may cause weight gain. Throughout a woman's life, they may notice weight gain around their hips and thighs.
As you age and approach menopause, your oestrogen levels naturally decrease. So it's common to experience tiredness and fatigue at this time. Mood swings, headaches, and finding it hard to concentrate are also common menopausal symptoms.
Phytoestrogens are natural chemicals in plant foods that have a mild estrogen-boosting effect. Isoflavones are the major class of phytoestrogens, found in soybeans and soy products, nuts and seeds (such as sesame seeds and flax seeds), and chickpeas and other legumes.
Causes of Low Estrogen Levels
Excessive exercise. Thyroid conditions. Pituitary gland dysfunction. Anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders.
Too little estrogen can lead to a low sex drive. Too much of it can cause infertility and erectile dysfunction. Excessive estrogen can cause gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts.
When estrogen is balanced, the right amount of fat helps carry out female reproductive functions. However, when there's too little or too much estrogen, weight gain often results. Overweight women typically have high amounts of estrogen, as do women in the first half of pregnancy.
It depends on your situation. Not all women need, want or are candidates for estrogen therapy. Estrogen can reduce menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. If you have a uterus, you'll likely need to take progesterone along with the estrogen.
Because B vitamins play a vital role in the creation of estrogen, low levels of B vitamins can result in reduced production of estrogen. Vitamins B2 and B6, in particular, are associated with healthy estrogen levels.
A Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center study involving postmenopausal, overweight, and obese women who took 2,000 IUs of vitamin D daily for a year found that those whose vitamin D blood levels increased the most had the greatest reductions in blood estrogens, which are a known risk factor for breast cancer.
The drop in estrogen and progesterone that occurs at the end of a women's menstrual cycle may cause anxiety and other mood symptoms. This is similar to the drop experienced during perimenopause, the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause.
Your mental health is declining
Estrogen is associated with serotonin, which is one of your brain's neurotransmitters responsible for boosting our moods. This is why women with low estrogen can suffer from depression. They can also experience strong mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and anger.
Blood tests – At-home estrogen blood tests are quick and easy. You just need to prick your finger and collect a small blood sample in a vial. After that, you can send your sample to a lab for testing. Urine tests – Estrogen tests that use urine take a little longer to administer.
Bioidentical or "natural" hormones
Bioidentical hormones are hormone preparations made from plant sources that are promoted as being similar or identical to human hormones. Practitioners claim these hormones are a "natural" and safer alternative to standard HRT medicines.
When the levels of estrogen and progesterone drop, hair grows more slowly and becomes much thinner. A decrease in these hormones also triggers an increase in the production of androgens, or a group of male hormones. Androgens shrink hair follicles, resulting in hair loss on the head.
Many women also notice an increase in belly fat as they get older — even if they aren't gaining weight. This is likely due to a decreasing level of estrogen, which appears to influence where fat is distributed in the body.
As a girl approaches her teen years, the first visible signs of breast development begin. When the ovaries start to produce and release (secrete) estrogen, fat in the connective tissue starts to collect. This causes the breasts to enlarge.
Sometimes, excess fat around the belly is due to hormones. Hormones help regulate many bodily functions, including metabolism, stress, hunger, and sex drive. If a person has a deficiency in certain hormones, it may result in weight gain around the abdomen, which is known as a hormonal belly.