Estrogen is a hormone that plays various crucial roles throughout a woman’s life. While men also produce estrogen, women have significantly higher levels of estrogen. The three types of estrogen, namely estradiol, estrone, and estriol impact, directly influence women’s reproductive and sexual development.
Estrogen triggers many changes during puberty in girls. It also regulates the growth of the uterine lining during menses and at the onset of pregnancy. Besides reproductive and sexual changes, estrogen is an important hormone influencing cholesterol and bone metabolism. Lastly, estrogen helps regulate women’s food intake, glucose metabolism, body weight, and insulin sensitivity, to name a few.
Women experience estrogen levels rising and falling throughout their lifetime. These changes are usually in sync with other hormones that regulate crucial body processes, such as menstruation, menopause, and perimenopause. While these highs and lows are normal, consistently low estrogen levels should be a cause for concern. In some cases, low estrogen is a sign of a condition that impedes a woman’s sexual development, thus making childbearing more challenging than usual. Here is a comprehensive list of symptoms associated with low estrogen levels in women.
Irregular Menstrual Cycle
A regular menstrual cycle is a crucial indicator of a healthy reproductive system. While an irregular period is a normal occurrence a few months after menarche, or the first menses, and during perimenopause, this condition may also be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition.
Irregular periods refer to menses that may occur under two scenarios, less than 24 days or more than 38 days apart. In addition, if a woman’s cycle length changes more than 20 days month after month, this is also considered an irregular menstrual cycle.
Estrogen plays a crucial role in a woman’s reproductive health. It is a growth hormone primarily responsible for preparing the uterine lining for a possible pregnancy. It matures the egg before ovulation. Most of the estrogen is produced by the ovaries, while the adrenal glands and fat tissues produce smaller amounts. Estrogen is at its highest level during the first half of the menstrual cycle.
Low estrogen levels contribute to hormonal imbalance that affects a woman’s menstrual cycle. Therefore, it is imperative to restore the estrogen levels to their appropriate levels to re-establish regular menses. In addition, doctors often prescribe birth control pills containing estrogen to control irregular periods.