Why Estrogen is Important to Women
Estrogen is the female sexual hormone. It has a large effect on developing sexual characteristics, as well as other functions like blood clotting and bone formation. It even influences mood by directly interacting with your brain.
Hormones are complex and interact, so differing levels of estrogen will influence the levels of other hormones in your body. Either increased or decreased levels of estrogen can cause an excess or deficiency in other hormones, which can lead to many conditions.
Lack of estrogen often comes with menopause, since the ovaries produce the majority of it and they function less and less efficiently as you age. This is not the only way to develop an estrogen deficiency, however. Eating disorders or low body fat can cause them, as well as pituitary, thyroid, or genetic diseases. Low estrogen is associated with a number of difficulties. These include:
- Hot flashes
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Decreased sex drive
Estrogen is also useful in keeping parts of your body working well and painlessly. An example is how estrogen aids in replenishing bone density, which becomes more important as bones naturally break down as the body ages. Less estrogen can increase the risk of osteoporosis because it reduces how quickly your bones can rebuild themselves.
Additionally, not only is the sex drive decreased through low estrogen, but it can also make sex painful and orgasm more difficult to reach. Estrogen is what keeps the vaginal walls from becoming thin and dry, preventing these problems.
Bioidentical estrogen replacement can address all of these conditions, as well as having several anti-aging benefits.
Having too much estrogen is also possible, which is often associated with dietary issues that involve ingesting other hormones from outside of the body. Some of the conditions of excessive estrogen include:
- Weight gain
This also affects hormone balance, which can critically lower the amounts of progesterone, another hormone. This can cause you to feel stressed simply from the imbalance of hormones, which snowballs into your body actually producing even less progesterone, which only makes the estrogen in your body more excessive.
Treating Estrogen Imbalances
It’s best to determine if there is a deficiency or excess of estrogen before beginning any sort of hormone therapy. In case of a deficiency, bioidentical estrogen replacement treatments can sort the problem out, but with an excess, a different type of hormonal treatment will be required. Options for estrogen therapy are pills, gels, creams and injections. Pills, creams and gels are all fairly equal in potency, though it does depend on some factors such as digestive health when comparing oral supplements to those applied to the skin. Injections can be the most potent, since they can be place directly where the hormone is naturally needed, and require less frequent use.