So, I’ve talked a lot before about progesterone deficiencies because that’s something I have experience with personally. And so while I don’t have personal experience with estrogen deficiencies I wanted to try to balance it out with just doing some research and sharing what I’ve found.
But take all of this with a grain of salt, I'm no expert and I’m not pretending to be.
This is simply to get your wheels turning if you’re experiencing any of this. You don’t have to struggle, solutions are out there for you.
Alright let’s start with the importance of estrogen. At puberty it helps with the growth of our breasts, pubic and armpit hair as well as helps start our wonderful menstrual cycles.
As you get older it keeps your cholesterol where it’s supposed to be, protects your bones (for both men and women), and it impacts your brain, heart and skin. All things I would have no idea had anything to do with estrogen if I hadn’t been told that.
When we think of estrogen we think of the reproductive system and menstrual cycle. Our ovaries are what produce the largest amount of estrogen in our body. It is also made in our adrenal glands as well as fat tissues.
A lot of things can influence how much estrogen our bodies make. We can have too much estrogen because of things like birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy.
Next let’s go into the symptoms of an estrogen deficiency (and it’s worth noting it’s normal to experience some of these at different points in your cycle when your estrogen levels are naturally lower):
+ hot flashes
+ irregular periods (common to have light or nonexistent periods)
+ depression and mood swings
+ breast tenderness
+ increased UTI’s
+ trouble concentrating
+ weight gain
+ hair loss
+ dry skin
+ vaginal dryness
+ night sweats
+ loss of libido
Estrogen is an important part of how our bodies function. “It builds bone, strengthens muscle, slows aging, raises libido, enhances insulin sensitivity and boosts serotonin.”
It can be common for women going through menopause or peri-menopause to be low in estrogen.
But if you’re young and therefore shouldn’t be experiencing menopause you might not be ovulating, which is the key event in menstrual health.
If you’re experiencing irregular cycles, anovulatory cycles, or other hormonal imbalances I hate to say it but hormonal birth control is not the answer. It is not going to “balance out your hormones” it’s going to shut off ovulation and therefore stop estradiol (one of your natural estrogens).
If you’re reading this and think “this is me!” don’t stress out. I love the book Period Repair Manual for hormonal imbalances as well as Lara Briden and Alisa Vitti’s websites. While I’m not in a position to recommend treatment there are lovely women out there like Lara and Alisa who can.
Have any of you dealt with too little estrogen? What did you find helped you, or are you still searching for an answer?