Estrogen is a hormone that is found in both men and women, although it is found in higher amounts in women. It is the main female sex hormone and is responsible for aiding with the development and maintenance of the female reproductive system. It is also responsible for giving individuals feminine characteristics. As women get older, their estrogen levels are likely to fall. This can cause various symptoms that are known collectively as menopause. Menopause results from a progressive loss of ovarian sensitivity to hormones that stimulate ovulation (i.e. FSH, LH). This causes a decrease in quantity and quality of follicles (eggs) throughout a woman’s life cycle. Ultimately, in women around 40 to 50 years of age, estrogen production decreases and symptoms can ensue.
Menopause is not the only cause of low estrogen in women. Other causes of hypoestrogenism include primary ovarian insufficiency (premature menopause), surgical removal of the ovaries with or without the rest of the reproductive system (total hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy), chemotherapy or radiotherapy, medications (i.e. aromatase inhibitors), congenital conditions (i.e. inborn errors of steroid metabolism, Turner syndrome), and damage or low functioning of the pituitary gland. Estrogen levels can also decrease due to excessive exercise, excessive weight loss, and thyroid disorders.
This article discusses 10 symptoms of low estrogen.
Symptom #1: Hot Flashes
As warm-blooded animals, we are able to regulate our own body temperature. There are centers for temperature regulation in our central nervous system that are influenced by many factors.
Insufficient estrogen may cause a dysfunction of these centers. This can result in hot flashes in premenopausal or postmenopausal women. Hot flashes are often associated with menopause, however, there are other conditions that can cause it. You should arrange to see a doctor if you are experiencing this symptom.