Both men and women make the hormone estrogen, but women produce much more of it. Created in the ovaries, fatty tissue, and adrenal glands, this hormone plays a key role in both your reproductive and overall health.
At Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare in Fayetteville, Newnan, and Stockbridge, Georgia, our board-certified providers specialize in women’s health for all ages and stages, from puberty through menopause.
Keep reading to learn what you need to know about estrogen, the role it plays in your health, and signs you could have an estrogen imbalance.
Depending on where you are in your reproductive life, your body produces different types and amounts of this hormone. No matter your age, however, estrogen affects your health holistically.
From the formation of your breasts to the health of your vagina, estrogen enables your reproductive organs to function. But it also plays a role in your cognitive and brain health, your cardiovascular health, bone health, skin, hair, and muscles.
In puberty, estrogen levels control the onset of your periods. And the hormone plays a role in your menstrual cycle and ability to conceive and carry a baby. After childbirth, estrogen plays a role in your milk production.
As you approach the end of your reproductive years, estrogen levels start to decline. During this time of transition, called perimenopause, you may experience erratic surges and decreases in estrogen that cause some of the problematic symptoms associated with menopause.
Once you haven’t had a period for at least 12 consecutive months, you’re officially in menopause. It can take years for some women to move from perimenopause to menopause, but the average age of menopause in the United States is 51.
Estrogen levels in menopause stay at a very low level. This can mean continuing or more severe symptoms of menopause.
When your estrogen levels drop, this can affect your body in many ways. Some of the symptoms and signs of low estrogen levels include the following:
Low estrogen levels can also lead to dry skin, thinning hair, and even changes in the appearance of your breasts.
The right treatment for low estrogen levels depends on many factors, including your symptoms and goals for treatment. Your Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare provider evaluates these factors along with your medical history to create a personalized treatment plan.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a popular treatment option for addressing the loss of estrogen. This treatment delivers estrogen to your body through topical creams, rings, pills, or subdermal pellets, which are inserted under the skin.
Another option our practice may recommend is MonaLisa Touch® laser therapy, which can address certain symptoms without the need for hormonal therapy. This pain-free, outpatient treatment uses heat energy to stimulate collagen and elastin production, which can help restore your vaginal tissues.
Your provider may also suggest other treatments to address other symptoms. For example, your provider may recommend:
Do you have more questions about estrogen and your female health? To get answers, call 770-991-2200 or book an appointment online with Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare today.