Estrogen for Women
Estrogen is the female sexual hormone. It has a large effect on developing the sexual characteristics of women, and I also responsible for several other important functions such as blood clotting and bone formation. It also has a heavy influence on your mood. Many people believe that estrogen is the most important hormone for women.
Hormones interact with one another, and when one changes its levels, it can cause another to raise or lower in response. Estrogen is no different, and may cause other hormones to fall out of balance if its levels move out of a healthy range.
In women, estrogen is mostly produced in the ovaries, so during and after menopause, a woman is much more likely to suffer from a lack of estrogen. Eating disorders or low body fat can increase the likelihood of developing an estrogen deficiency, as well as pituitary, thyroid, or genetic diseases. Some of the symptoms of having low estrogen include:
- Hot flashes
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Decreased sex drive
Estrogen is important for keeping parts of your body working well. Estrogen is needed to replenish bone density, which becomes more important with age, as your bones begin to naturally break down as you grow older. Having low estrogen may increase the risk of developing osteoporosis.
In women, having low estrogen can reduce your sex drive, but it may also make sex painful with orgasms that are difficult to reach. Estrogen is what prevents vaginal dryness and keeps vaginal walls thick – when your estrogen levels are low, you may suffer from dryness and thinness in the vagina.
Hormone replacement therapy can address low estrogen levels, and may prevent or relieve some of the symptoms associated with having an estrogen deficiency.
While most women will deal with low estrogen during their lives, it is also possible to have too much estrogen, though this condition tends to affect men more often. This is often caused by dietary or supplemental means introducing too much of the hormone in the body. Symptoms of excessive estrogen include:
- Weight gain
Having too much estrogen can also affect your hormone balance, as having too much may lower the levels of progesterone. This can cause other symptoms not related directly to estrogen because your other hormones are also lacking because estrogen is preventing them from reaching the levels they need to.
Treating Estrogen Imbalances
The first step of dealing with any hormonal imbalance is to have your levels measured to accurately tell if a deficiency or excess is present. Hormone replacement therapy is an effective method of restoring your estrogen levels to where they need to be, or increasing the levels of other hormones that can keep your estrogen levels in check.
Always consult with a medical professional when attempting to address an estrogen imbalance. When dealing with hormones, precise measurements and treatments are required to prevent an over- or under-use of supplements, which may result in symptoms only worsening.