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Estrogen and Menopause

Written by Author - Authors Medical experts of the National HRT Clinic - December 17, 2015

Two things that naturally go together in life are a decline in the body’s production of estrogen and menopause. As a woman ages, her body definitely goes through many different stages. During these times, hormone levels rise and fall in response to puberty, pregnancy, the menstrual cycle, breastfeeding, and, of course, menopause.

Throughout the aging process, crucial hormones produced by the ovaries rise and fall in response to these critical times. These chemical messengers include:

  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone

As menopause begins, the ovaries decrease the production of these hormones. This is in response to the depletion of ovarian follicles responsible for the secretion of vital hormones. Menstrual cycles start to slow down and become erratic. Once a woman has gone twelve months without getting her period she is said to be in menopause.

The correlation between menopause and estrogen levels is clear – a decline in estrogen signals the start of menopause. Some women experience this change earlier in life – before the age of forty. Premature menopause, as it is termed, can occur for the following reasons:

  • Hysterectomy with or without oophorectomy
  • Ovarian failure
  • Radiation from cancer treatments
  • Chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer

The typical age of menopause and estrogen decline is between a woman’s mid-forties and early fifties. Other factors can contribute to a woman reaching this stage at an earlier time, including smoking, weight, ethnicity, family history, age at menstrual onset, and previous use of oral contraceptives.

Signs of Menopause – A Change of Life

Some women manage to get through this change of life without much in the way of symptoms. If it were not for the lengthening of time between periods, they might not even know that they had entered perimenopause until the doctor confirms this fact. Unfortunately, this is not the norm, as the majority of women will notice a decline in the production of estrogen and menopause side effects. The difference is that every female will experience this change in her own unique way.

Some of the most common signs that this change is underway can be shown in the following low estrogen and menopause symptoms:

  • Hot flashes – although typically more of a “flush,” this telltale sign is symbolized by a feeling of warmth spreading over the face, neck, and chest. Although many women do not sweat in association with these flashes, some will experience “day sweats” similar to those that occur during sleep. Keeping either a battery or hand-operated fan handy at all times helps to combat this heat wave if it becomes severe.
  • Menstrual cycle changes – during this time it becomes difficult to predict when one’s monthly period will come, or if it will come at all. Frequency, duration, flow, intensity, and PMS symptoms may all become erratic.
  • Vaginal changes – loss of estrogen and other crucial sex hormones contribute to vaginal dryness and thinning of the vaginal wall. This can cause sex to become unpleasant and even painful. Arousal and desire will also decline during this time.
  • Decreased bone density – bone loss is common when the signals provided by these essential hormones begin to wane. Brittle, thin bones are the precursor to osteoporosis and can create problems in the future.
  • Night sweats – waking up in a pool of sweat is common for many women. This can lead to sleep disorders, increased stress, feeling fatigued, and depression.
  • Increased belly fat – loss of estrogen and menopause weight gain go hand in hand at this time. Increased weight can lead to obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other health concerns.

Estrogen Therapy for Estrogen Decline and Menopause

Menopause and Low Estrogen

Women who experience little to no changes associated with this time of life do not need to worry about taking any type of medical action unless the doctor is concerned about possible bone loss following a baseline x-ray for osteoporosis. If there are no symptoms associated with low estrogen and menopause, there is nothing to treat.

The same cannot be said for women who are dealing with any of the aforementioned symptoms of menopause and estrogen deficiency. It is common for a woman to feel depressed, moody, anxious, or out of sorts during this time. Her memory may start to become fuzzy as forgetfulness becomes a natural part of each day. These are the times to begin treatment with some form of estrogen therapy based on personal needs.

Before embarking on any type of hormone replacement program, the doctor should run blood tests to check estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and growth hormone levels to determine which, if any, of these hormone levels are below normal. This will help to determine the best possible course of action.

There is no need to worry that nothing can be done if the use of estrogen supplementation is not feasible due to any of the risk factors that would negate its use, such as:

  • Breast, endometrial, or cervical cancer
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Liver disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Heart attack

If a woman has had or is found to be at a greater risk of any of the above conditions, the doctor may recommend treatment with testosterone replacement as a viable option. This is also an excellent choice for women who do not want to take the risks associated with estrogen therapy.

It can also be dangerous for a woman to receive supplementation with estrogen after menopause if she is over the age of sixty. In earlier years, women without the above risk factors can expect estrogen therapy to be fairly safe to use, and very effective at combatting their symptoms. Vaginal estrogen is used when the majority of symptoms have to do with the urinary tract and vagina. Transdermal estrogen is most often used in other circumstances, and can take the form of a gel, cream, or patch.

How to Get Help for Estrogen Decline

It is not difficult at all to get help for a decline in estrogen. Menopause is a condition that is easily treatable by a knowledgeable doctor. Today, hormone replacement therapy specialists work with women facing this change of life.

National HRT is a medical hormone replacement therapy clinic that serves women as well as men all across the US. We utilize local labs to provide easy blood diagnostic testing. Local doctors provide the required physical exams, and our HRT specialists review all results along with a comprehensive medical history questionnaire to create the appropriate treatment plan for each woman.

Please contact us by phone, email, or completing the form on this page. We provide confidential consultations that are completely free of any charge. Contact us today to learn more about how hormone replacement therapy can help you overcome the effects of low estrogen and menopause.

Medically reviewed by   Reviewers National HRT Staff - Updated on December 11, 2023

Please note that the information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.


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