Estrogen is the primary sex hormone in women, the body’s messenger system guiding the reproductive process. There’s a dramatic increase in estrogen production at puberty and a corresponding decrease through perimenopause and menopause.
Many of the changes that you experience at these points in life are the result of changing estrogen levels.
While decreasing estrogen levels tend to cause a range of common effects, the combinations and intensities can vary widely depending on the woman. Enlist the aid of our menopause specialists at Southeast Urogyn whenever low estrogen symptoms begin to disrupt your routine.
Most, but not all, estrogen is produced in the ovaries. Several years before you reach menopause, this production declines, and symptoms may start to emerge, a period called perimenopause.
This is the most common and predictable reason for a decrease in estrogen, but it’s not the only one. Women of any age could experience low estrogen levels due to issues such as:
Family history of low estrogen and congenital conditions including Turner syndrome demonstrate that genetics play a role in how your body produces estrogen and responds to changes.
Because of estrogen’s role in women’s lives, it may affect many aspects of your body. When levels fall off, some of the most common problems include:
Since estrogen controls the menstrual cycle, less of the hormone can create timing irregularities. Your periods could be closer together, farther apart, or missing altogether then resuming again later before they stop completely with menopause.
Your periods could be heavier or lighter than usual as well as irregular, and you may have spotting between periods, even if you didn’t usually prior to that.
Ovulation is controlled by estrogen, so this may no longer happen as expected. It can create fertility issues if you experience low estrogen while trying to get pregnant.
These are common symptoms of menopause. Low estrogen levels can stir up your body’s thermostat. Intensity varies from noticeable to disruptive.
The lining of your vagina can thin and dry out, making intercourse uncomfortable or painful without using additional lubrication.
Changes to tissue in the genitals can also make some women more prone to urinary tract infections and other urinary system problems, like incontinence.
Estrogen may have an effect on serotonin levels. When serotonin falls off, mood disorders like depression may become an issue.
Estrogen plays a key role in maintaining bone density. When estrogen decreases, tissue can become more porous and your bones may be more likely to fracture or collapse.
You may gain weight as estrogen falls off, and your body could store weight differently. Many women see an increase in abdominal fat when previously weight went to their hips and thighs.
Contact us at our closest office — in Madison or Flowood, Mississippi — to arrange a consultation to discuss your low estrogen symptoms.
We review your history and current health and suggest the best course of treatment to manage the problems you face. There are solutions for virtually every symptom that estrogen loss creates, so call now to book an appointment.