In women, the hormone estrogen is produced by the ovaries, the adrenal glands, and the fat cells. We commonly associate this hormone with female reproduction and sexual health, but it actually affects various organs in the body. Here’s what you need to know about the causes and symptoms of low estrogen levels.
Estrogen Affects Other Body Parts
Estrogen, a sex hormone, regulates the menstrual cycle and is vital in childbearing. However, as mentioned earlier, it also influences other organs in the body. According to reports, estrogen also affects:
- Urinary tract
- Heart and blood vessels
- Cholesterol control
The encompassing function of estrogen is the reason that a significant decrease in its level will have a considerable impact on a woman’s body.
Symptoms of Low Estrogen in Women
In women, having low levels of estrogen may lead to the following symptoms:
Irregular or Missed Periods
Since estrogen is one of the driving factors in ovulation (release of egg cells), a decrease in its level may result in irregular or missed periods. Additionally, it can cause fertility issues in women.
We cannot talk about low levels of estrogen and the causes and symptoms without mentioning vaginal hydration. A woman who has too little estrogen may experience vaginal dryness, which often leads to painful sexual intercourse.
Increased Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Low estrogen can make the urethral lining thinner, which then makes it more vulnerable to UTIs.
Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
Another of the most common symptoms of low estrogen levels is hot flashes. The blood rushing to your skin gives you a feeling of warmth, which can even lead to night sweats.
Did you know that estrogen also contributes to bone strength? That’s why women with low levels of estrogen may experience bone weakness and loss. They may also be vulnerable to fractures and osteoporosis.
Estrogen is thought to increase the levels of serotonin, another hormone that boosts mood. With a decrease in estrogen levels, the serotonin amount in the body may also be affected, which can cause depression.
Finally, some reports say that the estrogen that our body produces helps protect the heart. Moreover, this hormone increases the level of high-density lipoprotein, or what we know as the “good cholesterol.”
Causes of Low Estrogen
Now that you know about the common symptoms of low estrogen, let’s talk about the low estrogen levels and its causes. Below are some of the possible reasons why a woman’s estrogen levels drop:
- Excessive exercising (this is common in athletes who are training)
- Problems in the thyroid gland
- Problems in the pituitary gland
- Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia
- Issues with the ovaries, such as those who had surgery to remove one or both of their ovaries.
- Chronic kidney conditions
- Side-effects of chemotherapy
- Autoimmune conditions
And of course, let’s not forget that women who are transitioning into the menopause stage can also experience low estrogen levels.
If ever you’re experiencing any of the common symptoms of low estrogen, please consult your doctor right away.
When there are underlying causes to your low estrogen levels, the doctor will treat that condition to improve your symptoms. In case you have low estrogen due to menopause, the physician may discuss the possibility of estrogen replacement therapy.
If you’re an athlete, they will most likely ask you if you’ve been training too hard. If that’s the case, you may be advised to reduce the intensity or frequency of your training.
The causes and symptoms of low estrogen vary from woman to woman. But, generally, the common cause is menopause while the symptoms often include issues in the menstrual cycle. To be sure about your condition, book an appointment with your physician.
Learn more about Female Hormonal Imbalance here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.