When it comes to the human female body, hormones have the first word. From the menstrual cycle and mood to appetite and sex drive, hormones are part of virtually everything that occurs in a woman’s body. Behind all these miraculous body activities hides one simple yet powerful hormone, known to us as estrogen.
Even though most women are aware of estrogen’s existence in their body, they often brush aside and even fail to take seriously the signs associated with the hormone’s deficiency. In an attempt to prevent that, we’ve gathered 8 signs of low estrogen in the female body.
What is Estrogen?
Before we count down the 8 signs of low estrogen in women, why not find out a bit more about this hormone and its potency for the female body? Even though most people think that estrogen refers to a single hormone, this term works as an umbrella-term including a group of hormones. In fact, the estrogenic hormones group consists of the following three: estradiol, (this is the most important estrogen for women going through their reproductive years) estriol (in abundance during pregnancy) and estrone (the only estrogen your body produces after menopause). All of these hormones are linked to the female body when it comes to fertility, growth, and sex drive.
However, estrogen is falsely associated solely with women whereas also men’s body is designed to produce the hormone as well. The thing is, though, that the role of estrogen in the male body is a tad ambiguous and vague. So, every time the topic of low estrogen comes up, we mostly think of women.
Why Is Estrogen Important For Women?
From puberty to pregnancy and menopause, estrogen plays an important role throughout the life of a woman.
The first signs that estrogens begin to shine are evident during a girl’s puberty years. From growing pubic and armpit hair to breasts, estrogen is making its first appearance in the female body. However, the most significant role of estrogen during puberty is the beginning of menstruation.
During The Reproductive Years
Even though puberty is complete, estrogens continue to benefit the female body during the reproductive years. Between maintaining a healthy and regular menstrual cycle, protecting the bones, keeping cholesterol at bay and controlling your brain and skin health, estrogens are alive and kicking during the active years in women.
Being one of the key pregnancy hormones (along with progesterone), estrogen accommodates a beneficial environment within a woman’s body for the baby to develop properly. In fact, pregnant women produce more estrogen to keep up with the body’s needs regarding nutrients and vascularization.
This phase refers to the period during which women transition from their reproductive years to menopause. During this time, women show signs of low estrogen which gradually decreases. Naturally, this depletion is linked to a series of symptoms which can cause discomfort in most women.
Estrogen levels are significantly low during menopause causing women to suffer from numerous conditions including osteoporosis (weak bones) and mood swings, among others.
When Should Women Expect To See Signs Of Low Estrogen?
Even though signs of low estrogen are primarily evident once menopause makes its debut, there are other medical cases in which women may experience such symptoms as well. Amongst the most cases, women may witness a decrease in estrogen levels when they suffer from cystic ovaries, irregularities in the pituitary gland and eating disorders. At the same time, they may also see signs of low estrogen when they take fertility drugs, breastfeed or spend crazy hours at the gym.
What Are The Causes Of Low Estrogen?
There are various causes due to which your estrogen levels begin to fluctuate or drop all at once. Let’s check them out.
As women age, estrogen levels are naturally decreased, and it all starts as soon as menopause steps into the game. From then on, women suffer from several symptoms (check below).
In some cases, nature isn’t the reason behind low estrogen levels. Environmental causes such as hysterectomies (removing the ovaries) and radiation treatments are known for causing massive drops in estrogen levels.
Special Genetic Causes
Estrogen levels may also rise vacillate due to certain genetic reason such as anorexia, thyroid hormone irregularities and low body fat.
8 Signs Of Low Estrogen In Women
As soon as estrogen levels begin to fluctuate, numerous signs are there to show you that something is up with your body. Even though most of them are subtle and vary from woman to woman, it doesn’t mean that you can’t detect them early enough and seek help. So, take a look at the following 8 signs of low estrogen and catch up with them before they catch up with you.
Physical Signs of Low Estrogen
From minor sign to distinctive traces, your body can give away whether there is something to worry about and pay closer attention or not.
According to research, joint pain is one the most tangible ways to determine whether or not you suffer from low estrogen. In fact, one study suggests that this condition is strongly associated with decreased estrogen levels. Even though joint pain are commonly reported after menopause, it’s not unlikely to experience such discomfort earlier in your life.
The truth is that women suffer from headaches more regularly than guys do during the reproductive years. Even though multiple factors may contribute to this fact, the academic literature supports that it is the estrogens women should blame for the frequent headaches. In fact, one study suggests that the lower the estrogens, the less likely you are to suffer from headaches.So, as the migraines subside, you might want to consider low estrogen as the primary cause.
Targeting several aging substances and glands, estrogens are known for promoting skin health and delaying the aging process when ti comes to skin. So, from the minute estrogen is out of the picture (or at least is significantly low in concentration), research proves that your skin becomes thinner and drier, the vascularity and elasticity are also reduced, and wrinkles begin to make their appearance.
Along with joint pain and drier skin, low libido is a clear sign of low estrogen in women. As the hormone’s concentration drops significantly, the vagina tends to get drier turning intercourse into a rather painful procedure. As a result, women are not so sexually intrigued and have low libido.
Bladder And Vaginal Infections
Even though bacterial infections are common in both reproductive and postmenopausal women, the latter indicate a significant inclination towards suffering from such conditions more frequently than the first. As per research suggestions, that occurs because low estrogens can’t prevent urogenital atrophy which, in its turn, leads to urinary tract infections.
Emotional Signs of Low Estrogen
As the estrogen deficiency kicks in, so do various emotional instabilities.
Particularly evident in women after birth, research proves that depression is one of the first signs to show a decrease in women’s estrogen levels. In fact, the estrogen known as estradiol drops significantly making postpartum women vulnerable to depressive disorders.
According to research discussed in Harvard Gazette, low estrogen levels make women susceptible to developing anxiety. To address this research, women with low estrogen levels were easier to startle compared to women with healthy estrogen levels.
We know it, you know it, everyone knows it! Women tend to go through the (emotional) motions so fast sometimes men are left speechless. One study not only confirms this fact but also adds to it by mentioning that mood swings in women are a clear sign of low estrogen.
At this point, it’s clear that healthy estrogen levels are associated with the ladies’ physical and emotional well-being. So, if you happen to notice any of these signs at your body or behavior, make sure to pay a physician a visit and set things straight through individual treatments.