How Can You Test Your Estrogen Levels
Yes you can your doctor will test your estrogen levels through a blood test. A blood sample will be taken from a vein in your arm. Your doctor may test your oestrogen levels if you are experiencing symptoms such as:
- Hot flushes
- Irregular periods
- Dry skin
The best thing to do is to consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. They will be able to send you for a blood test to determine exactly what is wrong. Once you are given a diagnosis, you will be able to begin receiving the right treatment to make you feel well again.
Foods That Increase Estrogen
Estrogen is essential for maintaining good health and plays a significant role in a womans body. Although research is ongoing on the effects of dietary estrogen, preliminary studies have indicated they can mimic or enhance estrogens natural effect, making foods that naturally increase estrogen a viable strategy for managing your hormone levels.
Some foods contain phytoestrogens naturally occurring nutrients derived from plants that are similar to estrogen. While the jury is still out, the majority of research has linked phytoestrogens to a variety of health benefits. Foods that increase estrogen levels in females may help offset health problems associated with low hormone levels.
The best dietary sources of estrogen can be found in the following foods:
What Is Estrogen And Why Does It Matter
Your body naturally produces estrogen, a hormone, in small but mighty amounts. Estrogen can affect everything from your weight and body composition to your mood and energy levels and when estrogen levels are out of whack, it wreaks havoc on your body.
Usually, low estrogen levels are something that you dont have to think about until youre crossing the threshold into your forties or so. However, its not unheard of for young women to experience issues with hormonal imbalance as well. But no matter your age, symptoms, or family history of hormonal issues, you should know that you have options: an effective treatment for low estrogen is out there.
If youre a woman thats been feeling off, whether its physical, mental, or emotional symptoms that youre facing, Focal Point Vitality can help. As the leading hormone replacement therapy specialists in Phoenix, with specialized expertise in womens health and wellness, were proud to have helped countless women restore hormonal balance and reclaim their lives.
Today, the Focal Point Vitality team is here to demystify the confusing and sometimes complex topic of how estrogen production plays a role in how you look and feel and what you can do when you feel like hormonal imbalance is controlling your life.
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Changing Your Lifestyle And Diet
Foods That Increase Estrogen Level
There are several estrogen-rich foods that may help boost your estrogen level. These foods contain phytoestrogen, which is a plant-based estrogen that mimics estrogen once it is processed by the body.
The following is a list of foods that are known for containing excessive amounts of phytoestrogens. It is important to keep in mind that estrogen rich foods may have unwanted effects in men.
Soybean products: Soy is a rich source of phytoestrogen and comes in a variety of easy to consume forms like soy milk, tofu, or edamame. Soy products are the greatest source of isoflavones, a class of phytoestrogen that can be easily consumed in your diet. Soy is also a great source of protein, making it an ideal meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians.
Flaxseeds: These little seeds contain up to three times the phytoestrogens of soybeans, but your body will not reap their benefits unless they are cracked or ground prior to consumption. Also high in fiber, flaxseeds will make you feel full and may aid in weight loss and in the reduction of cholesterol.
Sesame seeds: Whole seedsor even sesame oilcontain lignans that possess phytoestrogens. The seeds are also loaded with fiber and are a great source of minerals.
Beans: They are relativity high in phytoestrogens, but they dont get much attention. Beans are known for having a high fiber content, which helps to control cholesterol levels. Types of beans include peas, pinto bean, and lima beans
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What Are The Symptoms Of Low Estrogen
First off, it is worth saying that low estrogen symptoms can be also a result of smoking, hereditary predisposition, and excessive exercising. So, whenever a woman wants to prevent the fast onset of menopause, she should avoid such activities, and inform a dedicated expert about signature genetic details. In such a case, he will be able to appoint hormone replacement therapy or recommend health supplements that will stabilize the levels as much as possible. Besides, such treatment can alleviate the symptoms of low estrogen, and let the woman live a comfortable life.
What Is A Normal Estradiol Level In Women
Normal estradiol levels in women vary based on factors like age, pregnancy, and menstrual cycle phases. In adult women who experience regular menstrual cycles , normal estradiol levels range between 15 and 350 picograms per milliliter . Levels can fluctuate significantly during the menstrual cycle and may be as high as 800 pg/mL and still be considered normal. During pregnancy, normal estradiol levels can reach 20,000 pg/mL. After menopause , estradiol levels are typically below 10 pg/mL for women who arenât on estrogen therapy.
Thereâs one key thing to keep in mind when it comes to normal levels: estradiol reference ranges can differ depending on the laboratory conducting the test. This is a normal part of the lab testing processâso itâs best to interpret your estradiol test results using the reference ranges provided by the laboratory used for testing.
When To See A Doctor
If you notice signs and symptoms of low estrogen, you should contact your doctor to discuss whats happening. You can discuss with your doctor if there are blood tests recommended to check your overall health. Make sure you are up to date on your Pap smear test, which checks for cervical cancer.
- Youve missed a period or more: This could be a sign of pregnancy or the result of certain medications, an underlying illness, or perimenopause.
- Youve not had a period for a year and start bleeding or spotting: In women who have gone through menopause, spotting or light bleeding could be caused by endometrial cancer or other serious health problems.
- You are 16 or older and have not started menstruating: This could be a sign of delayed puberty due to hormonal imbalance.
- You think you may have an eating disorder: Eating disorders can wreak havoc on your physical and mental health. They can cause deficiencies that can compromise estrogen production.
- You are feeling overwhelming sadness or having suicidal thoughts: Reach out to a mental health professional to get the help and support you deserve, and talk to your doctor about possible treatment options.
Can A Low Estrogen Level Affect Pregnancy
Certain conditions associated with low estrogen levels can make it harder to get pregnant. One condition, known as primary ovarian insufficiency, occurs when ovarian function declines even though a woman hasnât yet entered menopause. Sometimes this is due to a genetic condition, but it is thought that up to 90% of women with primary ovarian insufficiency do not have an identified cause.
Women who have had cancer and received chemotherapy are at risk for primary ovarian insufficiency because chemotherapeutic medicines can cause the death of egg cellsâwhich are needed for conception.
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What Are The Benefits Of Hrt
Benefits of hormone replacement therapy for post-menopausal women, include:
- Increased elasticity of the blood vessels, allowing them to dilate and let the blood flow more freely throughout the body
- Improved short-term symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and mood swings, as well as vaginal dryness, dry skin, sleeplessness and irritable bladder symptoms
- Possible decreased incidence of Alzheimers disease
- Possible improvement of glucose levels
Is Estrogen Deficiency Really A Thing
The catchall term plays into a cultural notion that estrogen is what makes a woman a woman
Estrogen deficiency is a common phrase. It is often used to describe people who are one year or more beyond their last period. However, estrogen deficiency has been diagnosed in 13- or 14-years-olds who have just experienced their first period. Or in a thin or stressed university student whose menstruation suddenly stopped. It could also be found in a teenager who is eventually diagnosed as having polycystic ovary syndrome after persistent adolescent acne, unwanted facial hair and irregular periods. Finally, someone with estrogen deficiency might be having irregular or skipped periods as a perimenopausal 35-plus-year-old.
Odd, isnt it, that so many people lack estrogen?
Estrogen deficiency can be a serious condition in cisgendered women. It is linked to serious diseases like osteoporosis and heart attacks. A teenager whose period has stopped has low estrogen levels she is losing bone density and risks later life fractures. Women living with PCOS are also at increased risk for diabetes, heart attacks, and endometrial and ovarian cancers as well as infertility. The typical perimenopausal woman develops high cholesterol and may be at increasedrisk for heart attacks. Menopause itself is linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis and heart attacks, as well as vaginal dryness and decreased interest in sex.
Does estrogen deficiency even exist?
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Why Do Estrogen Levels Rise
During puberty, it’s normal for levels of estrogen to rise. Thatâs because this hormone fuels changes in a young girl’s body. For example, it plays a role in the development of breasts, a more mature curved figure, fuller hips, and pubic and underarm hair.
In addition, high levels of estrogen are seen in women who are extremely overweight. Estrogen levels rise during a healthy pregnancy, and increased estrogen levels may be seen with tumors of the ovaries, testes, or adrenal glands.
Some drugs, such as steroid medications, ampicillin, estrogen-containing drugs, phenothiazines, and tetracyclines can increase estrogen levels.
Changes In Weight Distribution
As estrogen levels decrease in women who are postmenopausal, they may notice they gain more weight around the abdomen and arms. This central obesity, as it is known, is dangerous because it increases a woman’s risk of cardiovascular disease. In one study, postmenopausal women who received hormone replacement therapy did not experience weight gain in the trunk and arm areas compared to women who did not take HRT. Women treated with hormones gained an insignificant amount of weight during the study in their legs. This pattern of fat distribution is not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The treated women had better bone mineral density compared to those who did not receive hormone therapy, too. Talk to your doctor if you notice you’re gaining more weight around your middle. Hormone therapy, if it’s appropriate and safe for you, may help.
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Symptoms Of Low Estrogen
Hot flashes, flushes, and night sweats are the most common symptoms of low estrogen. At times, blood rushes to your skins surface. This can give you a feeling of warmth . Your face may look flushed. Hot flashes while you are sleeping are called night sweats.
Mood swings are another effect of low estrogen. You may feel sad, anxious, or frustrated. Shifting hormone levels and night sweats may disrupt your sleep. This can cause fatigue, which may make mood swings worse.
Thinning tissues may cause discomfort. Skin may appear more wrinkled. Thinning in the urinary tract may lead to bladder infections. You may also have an urgent need to urinate. Or you may lose bladder control . Thinning of the vagina may cause dryness and painful sex.
How To Track Your Estrogen Levels At Home
Whether you are looking to achieve your fertility goals, or tap into valuable information about your health, tracking hormone levels at home can help you and your doctor uncover valuable information about your cycles and hormone levels.
The science of tracking fertility hormones at home can be difficult to grasp. A personalized lab-quality and data-driven solution such as Mira Fertility can allow you to identify your unique patterns and offer personalized fertility insights. With its clinically proven accuracy, the Mira Analyzer tracks luteinizing hormone and estrogen giving you real-world data you can track and use, not to mention share with your healthcare provider. Mira takes the guesswork out of tracking and can help you make informed decisions about your reproductive cycle.
Medically Reviewed by Banafsheh Kashani, MD, FACOG
Banafsheh Kashani, M.D., FACOG is a board-certified OB/GYN and specialist in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Eden Fertility Centers, and has been treatingcouples and individuals with infertility since 2014.
Dr. Kashani has conducted extensive research in female reproduction, with a specific focus on the endometrium and implantation.
Additionally, Dr. Kashani has authored papers in the areas of fertility preservation, and fertility in women with PCOS and Turners syndrome. She also was part of a large SART-CORS study evaluating the trend in frozen embryo transfers and success rates.
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Perimenopause And Menopause Estrogen Levels
After menopause, estrogen levels drop dramatically, as there are few follicles in your ovaries. Additionally, these follicles are no longer growing and producing the estradiol spikes that occur during the menstrual cycle . The laboratory estradiol levels of postmenopausal women are generally less than 20 pg/mL .
During perimenopause, people may notice that their body changes in response to these lower levels of estrogen.
Symptoms of low estrogen during perimenopause and menopause
Hot flashes are associated with decreasing levels of estrogen, and can be treated using estrogen therapy . Phytoestrogens, or estrogens from food, may be moderately beneficial, but more research is needed .
Osteoporosis is a risk for post-menopausal people as estrogen levels decrease .
Selected Sources & Further Reading
Farhi, J., Homburg, R., Ferber, A. Non-response to ovarian stimulation A clinical sign of impending onset of ovarian failure pre-empting the rise in basal follicle stimulating hormone levels.Human Reproduction 1997 12 241-243.
Okeke et al. Premature Menopause.Ann Med Health Sci2013.
Gold, E. The Timing of the Age at Which Natural Menopause Occurs.Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2011.
Youre Getting Frequent Headaches
It’s a known fact that people with uteruses are more likely to get headaches and migraines overall the hormonal reasons why this is aren’t super well understood, but fluctuations in estrogen levels are one potential reason. You might notice that you get headaches during your luteal phase, right before your period starts, when your estrogen is at its lowest during your cycle. If your estrogen is low throughout your cycle, it could lead to more headaches, but it’s important to check with a doctor to make sure your headaches don’t have another, potentially more serious cause.
What Causes Low Estrogen In Women
The cause of low estrogen can vary, and there are many different factors and medical conditions that can affect your hormones. The ovaries are responsible for estrogens primary production, so anything that changes ovary function can impact estrogen levels.
Easily the most common cause of estrogen imbalance is approaching menopause. Known as perimenopause, this stage of life usually shows up around your fortieth birthday. Its normal, but the symptoms that come with it can be treated with hormone therapy .
For younger women that are facing decreased levels of estrogen, theres typically a medical reason behind it, such as:
- Premature ovarian failure
- Excessive exercise or extreme dieting
- A family history of hormonal issues, including ovarian cysts
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Treatment Options To Restore Your Estrogen Levels
If youre between the ages of 25 and 50, you may benefit from estrogen therapy treatment. Dr. Morris prescribes a high dose estrogen medication that restores your internal balance, protecting you from the risks of low estrogen. Your medication can come as an oral dose, an injection, or even a topical cream. Long-term use may increase your risk of some cancers.
If youre approaching menopause, HRT might be the right choice for you. In this therapy, we enhance your natural hormones, maintaining balance to mitigate your symptoms of menopause. Your dosage is fully adjustable, so we can customize your HRT treatment for your health and wellness needs. HRT can increase your risks of cardiovascular disease, blood clotting, stroke, and breast cancer.
To guide you through the process of diagnosing and managing your low estrogen levels, contact Dr. Morris today. The team at Morris Medical Center can evaluate your case, and recommend the best treatment to re-balance your hormones and your life. You can schedule your initial consultation appointment at Morris Medical Center by giving us a call, or you can book with the online tool.
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