Low Estrogen Symptoms: Signs To Watch For & What Can You Do About It!

Estrogen is both the most
loved and the most hated hormone. It’s definitely one of the most widely
known hormones (if not the most widely known hormone). On the good
side, estrogen is responsible for the growth and development of female
sexual characteristics and reproduction. But on the flip side, it’s also
responsible for mood swings and much more.

Some
people have low estrogen levels because of their genetics. Others end
up with low levels because of a thyroid disorder. But whatever the
cause, you need to identify the low estrogen symptoms and do something
about it. And while estrogen levels can vary from person to person, it’s
important to know what the normal level is and why estrogen is so
important. Bear in mind, estrogen levels decline naturally as you age
and get closer to menopause.

WHY ESTROGEN IS SO IMPORTANT

Estrogen
is a hormone present in the body in small amounts. But even in small
amounts, estrogen has a big role in helping you achieve overall good
health. Commonly associated with the female body, estrogen is produced
by men as well, but women produce it in much higher amounts.

Here is a quick breakdown why it’s so important.

  • Causes breast changes in teenagers and pregnant women
  • Responsible for sexual development of girls when they reach puberty
  • Controls the growth of the uterine lining during the menstrual cycle
  • Regulates food intake
  • Regulates body weight
  • Is responsible for controlling insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism
  • Estrogen is involved in bone and cholesterol metabolism

WHAT IS A NORMAL LEVEL?

Testing
your estrogen levels is done with a blood test. If you notice low
estrogen symptoms, you need have a test done to confirm the situation.

Here are some of the ranges for women before and after menopause:

  • Mid-follicular phase: 27-123pg/mL
  • Periovulatory: 96-436pg/mL
  • Mid-luteal phase: 49-294pg/mL
  • Postmenopausal: 0-40pg/mL
  • Following menopause: under 10pg/mL

WHY YOU HAVE LOW ESTROGEN LEVELS

In women, estrogen is produced in the ovaries. Anything that affects the ovaries can cause low estrogen or high estrogen levels.

Here are some causes for low estrogen levels:

  • Excessive exercise
  • Premature ovarian failure
  • Eating disorders
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Turner syndrome
  • Autoimmune condition
  • Low functioning pituitary gland

Women
over 40 years old might experience low estrogen symptoms as they
approach menopause. The time of transition towards menopause is called
perimenopause, the period during which the ovaries still produce
estrogen but not as much as before. You’ve reached menopause when you no
longer produce estrogen.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the low estrogen symptoms.

1. YOUR PERIOD HAS DISAPPEARED

This
is one of the simplest and most obvious signs of low estrogen levels.
Being that estrogen is one of the primary drivers of your period, low
levels can make your period disappear. When your estrogen levels of low,
you’ll have a very light period, or it will even disappear altogether.

2. MOOD SWINGS

Estrogen
greatly impacts your mood—imagine your monthly period on steroids! Mood
swings happen because the hormonal balance in your body is totally out
of control, and you’ll experience even more mood swings with low levels.

3. DEPRESSION

Estrogen
is linked with many other hormones in the body, and one of them is
serotonin, the happiness hormone. That’s why when estrogen is down, you
feel depressed.

4. TROUBLE SLEEPING

Everything
in your body is out of rhythm when your estrogen is down. The hormone
will mess with your sleep. As a result, you won’t be able to sleep
properly, and you’ll feel fatigued in the morning. And every other day.

5. DRY EYES

Many
parts of your body will dry out as your estrogen levels go down.
Believe it or not, estrogen is linked with how many tears your body can
produce. You will notice your eyes feeling dry as your estrogen levels
go down.

6. DRY SKIN

Speaking of dryness,
your skin will also be impacted. Estrogen is the hormone that helps the
skin retain its moisture. Without estrogen, there is nothing that will
increase the natural acids in the skin. The result is dry skin and
feeling parched.

7. LOW LIBIDO

There are many
reasons why you might feel like sex is out of the question. But
estrogen is one of the primary reasons for that. Going back to that
estrogen-serotonin connection, the latter hormone is responsible for how
“excited you are about sex.” So, low estrogen, and you suddenly don’t
want sex anymore.

8. PAINFUL SEX

With your
libido low and your genitals dry, sex is not as pleasant as it used to
be. Suddenly, sex is painful. Without estrogen, your vagina dries out,
making intercourse more painful than pleasant. The hormone will thin
your vaginal walls, another reason why sex is not as pleasant during
penetration.

9. FREQUENT HEADACHES

Women
overall suffer more than men from headaches and migraines due to their
reproductive system. However, changes in the estrogen levels are one of
the reasons why you get more frequent headaches. Right before their
period starts, women experience headaches because their estrogen levels
are dropping.

10. HOT FLASHES AND NIGHT SWEATS

Not
only is sleeping hampered by low estrogen, but the experience is not
pleasant anymore. Women in menopause talk about hot flashes and night
sweat all the time. The reason is estrogen impacts your hypothalamus,
the part of the brain that controls body temperature.

11. TROUBLE FOCUSING

You’re
not getting enough sleep, and you’re getting night sweats. Without much
sleep, concentrating is hard enough. But estrogen makes it even harder
by impacting the function of the neurotransmitters, making it hard to
focus and do daily tasks.

12. WEIGHT GAIN

If
you are suddenly gaining a lot of weight, and you have trouble losing
it, the simple reason may be low estrogen symptoms. You’ll feel bloated
and yes, weight gain is actually associated with too much estrogen.
However, when your levels are low, your body stores more fat in the
belly area.

13. TROUBLE BECOMING PREGNANT

It’s
a challenge to conceive when your estrogen levels are low. That’s why
women who have low estrogen levels and are approaching menopause have
challenging pregnancies. Without estrogen, you can’t develop a nice,
thick uterine lining, one of the key factors for becoming pregnant.

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