Estrogen is a hormone in the female reproductive tract that plays an important in regulation of the menstrual cycle. Estrogen levels fluctuate wildly before menopause and its levels decline drastically after menopause.
Low estrogen levels in older women can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep disorders, and weight gain to depression, bone loss, night sweats and anger. Many women may develop acne, and thinning of bone, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis or bone loss. Low estrogen levels can also lower the absorption of vitamin D in a woman’s body. Thus, woman close to menopause or undergoing menopause should take calcium supplements along with vitamin D to make up for the bone loss.
Low estrogen impacts other aspects of a woman’s sexual health as well. It can thin the vaginal wall and cause pain during intercourse. It can increase the sex drive in many women. Estrogen levels can also impact your mental health. Many elderly women experience headaches, confusion, memory loss and lack of concentration due to the reduced estrogen levels in the body. Some women experience depression and suicidal thoughts as well.
You may use dietary supplements and anti-depressants can help relieve the symptoms of menopause that occur due to low estrogen levels. You may also talk to your doctor and use medications to maintain estrogen levels in the body.
Many young women also experience the symptoms such as irregular menstruation, fatigue, infertility, irritability and depression as result of low estrogen levels in the body. It may also increase your susceptibility to urinary tract infections. Other symptoms include decreased sex drive, painful intercourse and delayed development.
Low estrogen levels in young women are not normal. It may indicate serious underlying conditions such as adrenal cancer or ovarian cancer. Other causes may include excessive exercise, and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, which lowers estrogen levels by reducing fat levels in the body. Fat is the precursor for estrogen production in your body.
If you are experiencing symptoms of low estrogen, you should talk to a doctor right away. Your doctor may perform extensive physical examination along with laboratory tests such as follicular stimulating hormone, or FSH test. Reduced estrogen levels are often associated with low FSH levels.
Reduced estrogen is a treatable condition. However, proper diagnosis is important. Treatment depends on the underlying causes.
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