Estrogen is commonly known as the female hormone. It is responsible for all of the bodily changes that take place during menstruation, reproduction, lactation, and menopause. Estrogen, particularly during menopause, can have both physical and emotional effects. Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, headaches, and night sweats can be attributed to changes in estrogen. Continue reading to find out more about the changes that take place in your estrogen levels during menopause and its effects.
Estrogen during Menopause
Menopause is the stage of a woman's life in which her body makes the transition from being reproductive to non-reproductive. The body goes through four phases: premenopause, perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. In each phase, the role of estrogen differs slightly.
Premenopause is the time from a woman's first period until she enters perimenopause. During this time, estrogen is responsible for controlling the menstrual cycle. Excess levels of estrogen during various stages of the menstrual cycle can cause:
- Abdominal pains
Perimenopause is the stage before the onset of menopause, when a woman may suffer from menopausal symptoms. During this time, the levels of a woman's progesterone may drop, leaving a disproportionally high level of estrogen in the body in a relationship known as estrogen dominance. It is this fluctuation of hormones that is responsible for many menopausal symptoms. Symptoms vary from woman to woman, and may include:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Weight gain
- Loss of libido
Menopause is the single moment when a woman's body makes the transition from reproductive to non-reproductive. It is usually defined as the time when a woman has not had a period for 12 consecutive months.
Postmenopause is the time in a woman's life following menopause, when she is no longer fertile. During this time, the woman will not menstruate and estrogen levels may drop. The symptoms of the subsequent estrogen deficiency may be particularly difficult to deal with and may be experienced over a longer period of time. Estrogen deficiency during the postmenopause phase may contribute to causing:
- Heart Disease
- Breast or uterine cancer
- Thyroid dysfunction
Symptoms such as hot flashes, headaches, and fatigue are all normal side effects of changing estrogen levels during menopause. However, these symptoms can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. For more information about the fluctuations in your hormone levels during menopause and ways to deal with the symptoms of these changes, click on the link below.