Though estrogen is more related to female development, especially during puberty as well as the reproductive cycle. It affects everything!! Yes, it does from bone, health to your emotional well-being. There is no particular age to develop its levels as women of all ages can develop it due to numerous reasons. Keep reading to know everything about it. Firstly, do you know what actually causes it?
Primarily, it is basically produced in the ovaries. It’s production is directly affected when anything will affect the ovaries.
Most of the young women today experience low levels of estrogen because of the :
- excessive exercise
- eating disorders like anorexia
- a low-functioning pituitary gland
- premature ovarian failure that can also result from genetic defects, toxins, or an autoimmune condition
- Turner syndrome
- chronic kidney disease
In a 40-year-old woman, it may be a symbol of approaching menopause. Perimenopause is basically the time of transition. During perimenopause, a woman’s ovaries will slow the production. The production will continue to slow until she reaches menopause. The time when you are no more producing estrogen is the stage named “the menopause”.
Now, you should know why does the estrogen level matter?
Estrogen is nothing but a hormone that is present in the body in small amounts. However, these hormones have big roles in maintaining our health. It is normally associated with a female body. Although men also produce it, women produce it at higher levels.
The hormone estrogen-
- is responsible for the sexual development of females when they reach puberty
- controls the development of the uterine lining in the time of their menstrual cycle as well as at the beginning of a pregnancy
- causes breast changes in teenagers & pregnant women
- is involved in bone & cholesterol metabolism
- Regulates insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism, food intake, and body weight.
So, now that you know the causes & consequences of it, let us know what all are the signs/symptoms of it!
Mostly girls who have not reached puberty yet and women who are approaching menopause are likely to experience this. But what should be clearly understood is the fact that women of all ages develop it.
Some of the common symptoms are:
- painful sex due to a lack of vaginal lubrication
- an increase in UTIs (urinary tract infections ) due to a thinning of the urethra
- irregular or absent periods
- mood swings
- hot flashes
- breast tenderness
- headaches or accentuation of pre-existing migraines
- trouble concentrating
You can also observe that your bones fracture or break easily and this can be due to a decrease in bone density. It functions in conjunction with vitamin D, calcium, and various other minerals to keep your bones strong. And if your estrogen levels are low, then you can experience decreased bone density. Remember, if left ignored as well as untreated, then it may lead to infertility in women.
So, how can it be treated?
Women who have low levels of estrogen may benefit from hormonal treatment. The following are the two well-known treatments for this.
1. Estrogen therapy
Most women between the ages of 25-50 who are estrogen-deficient are normally prescribed a high dose of it. Moreover, this can cut down the risk of cardiovascular disease, bone loss, and various other hormonal imbalances.
The actual dose is dependent on the severity of your condition and also the method of application.
Estrogen can be administered:
- via injection
In a few cases, long-term treatment can be required even after your estrogen levels return to normal. Well, this needs lower doses of administered estrogen over to sustain your current level.
Estrogen therapy can also normalize the severity of menopausal signs as well as reduce your risk of fractures.
Long-term estrogen therapy is firstly suggested for women approaching menopause as well as have also had a hysterectomy.
In all other cases, this treatment namely estrogen therapy is the only suggested for one or two years as estrogen therapy can increase your risk of cancer.
2. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Hormone Replacement Therapy is used to increase your body’s natural hormone levels. Menopause causes your estrogen & progesterone levels to significantly decrease. HRT can help return these levels to normal.
HRT treatments are adjusted in length, dosage, and the combination of hormones.
Its levels can affect your sexual development as well as sexual functions.
Yes, there are a lot of treatments evolved over the years & it has become more effective as well.
Your personal reason for this will examine your particular treatment and the dosage & duration!!