Prior to menopause, women may not often think about their estrogen levels. But during menopause, when estrogen levels become erratic they can cause an onset of uncomfortable and potentially dangerous symptoms. Read on to learn if you´re suffering from low estrogen levels.
The Missing Hormone: How Your Body Reacts to Low Estrogen Levels
During menopause, the female body ceases production of eggs within the ovaries. This leads to the end of monthly menstrual cycles. Since estrogen is primarily produced in the ovaries, when egg production slows, so does the production of estrogen. The drastic drop in estrogen levels may cause women to suffer from a host of physical and mental conditions.
Physical symptoms of low estrogen during menopause include:
- Vaginal infection
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Joint pain
- Vaginal Dryness
- Loss of libido
- Rapid heartbeat
- Low back pain
- Weight gain
- Tingling extremities
- Changing body odor
Mental symptoms of low estrogen during menopause include:
- Panic attacks
- Low self-esteem
- Mood swings
- Memory lapses
- Difficulty concentrating
Because the symptoms of low estrogen levels range in severity from minor irritations and annoyances to serious health risks, women commonly misdiagnose their symptoms. It is important to consult with your doctor if you´re experiencing any of the above symptoms caused by low estrogen levels. Click here to read more about estrogen and menopause or continue reading below to learn about how estrogen levels fluctuate over time.
Estrogen Levels: How Low Do They Go During Menopause?
It is normal for a woman´s estrogen levels to fluctuate over time as the result of major life changes, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding or menopause. The table below indicates average estrogen levels for women according to age. All measurements are in pictograms per milliliter (pg/ml):
- Ages 20-29: 140pg/ml (pictograms per millileter)
- Ages 20-39: 210pg/ml
- Ages 40-44: 152pg/ml
Women experiencing low estrogen levels generally have a reading of 10-20 pg/ml. Click here for more information about tests that measure low estrogen levels.
Maintaining balanced levels of estrogen is important to your health. If left untreated, low estrogen can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. Consult with your doctor if you think you may be suffering from low estrogen levels.
Hutchinson, Susan M.D. “The Stages of a Woman’s Life: Menstration, Pregnancy,Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause..Dr. Love, Susan, and Karen Lindsey. Dr. Susan Loves Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.BMJ Group. Menopause: What is it? Patient Leaflet. 2007.
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