Estrogen is the broad term applied to a group of ovarian hormones with similar characteristics. Generally, the role of hormones in the body is to regulate the body's growth, development, tissue and sexual function, and to act as chemical messengers between different groups of cells. The term estrogen refers not to one single hormone but, collectively, to a group of female sex hormones. Estrogen, which is responsible for the development of female sexual characteristics, is also involved in menstruation; it causes the lining of the uterus to be secreted vaginally during every cycle, this is commonly known as a period.

Normal estrogen levels help the body defend against heart disease.

Stable estrogen levels help the body defend against heart disease and osteoporosis, assist in the lactation process, promote healthy blood flow within the uterus, and maintain, regulate, and instigate the production of different hormones. Needless to say, it is very important to maintain normal levels of estrogen.

Continue reading to find out more about the estrogen levels in the female body.

Low Estrogen Levels

Average Estrogen Levels

Age (yrs)

  • 20 - 29
  • 30 - 39
  • 40 - 49
  • 50 - 59
Estrogen (pg/ml)
  • 149
  • 210
  • 152
  • 130

Although estrogen levels can decline for many reasons, the most common cause is menopause. Many women going through this phase of reproductive life will suffer from a host of symptoms associated with this transition such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and depression. While these symptoms are often non-related and can begin before menopause, they can also be a result of low estrogen levels and fluctuating levels of ovarian hormones.

In addition to menopause or perimenopause, a low level of estradiol can also indicate conditions such as anorexia nervosa and problems with the pituitary gland. This may interfere with the production of the follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) that are used during the menstrual cycle. The most common long-term side effect of low estrogen levels is osteoporosis, which 20% of postmenopausal women are thought to be affected by.

A woman suffering from low estrogen levels during menopause will usually have an estrogen reading of 10-20 pg/ml (pictograms/milliliter). To keep reading about this important topic for menopausal women, go to the low estrogen levels section.

Normal Estrogen Levels

Since estrogen controls a number of important bodily functions, normal estrogen levels are critical for every woman's body. A normal estrogen level is capable of affecting the expansion of the uterine lining during the first stages of the menstrual cycle, a process linked to the later fertilization of an egg and the growth of a fetus.

If normal estrogen levels fluctuate in any way, it can cause a variety of negative effects and, during menopause, these manifest through symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and irregular menstrual periods. Continue reading to learn more about normal estrogen levels.

High Estrogen Levels

Estrogen levels during pregnancy

Many factors can prompt high estrogen levels in women. Pregnancy, ovulation and the time leading up to menopause are all periods in a woman's life when hormone fluctuations will occur. Fortunately, by understanding the causes of high estrogen levels, it is possible to overcome them.

Levels of the estrogen, estradiol, are averaged at 400 pg/ml for the majority of women during ovulation. However, while pregnant, a womans levels can rise to 100 times this amount.  High estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause can result in headaches, breast tenderness, and in some cases, breast and uterine cancer, if left untreated. A woman suffering from high estrogen levels during menopause will usually have an estrogen reading of 200+ pg/ml.

Often one of the first signs of menopause is a drop in progesterone production, which prompts the body to increase estrogen levels as compensation. These two hormones exist concurrently, but become unbalanced during perimenopause, the stage before actual menopause begins. Estrogen levels can often be affected by diet and lifestyle.

When the body produces too much or not enough of certain hormones, a condition known as estrogen imbalance is created. Any imbalance can have great effects on a woman's body and health due to the fact that hormones influence countless functions and cells. Many factors such as stress, body weight, exercise, or lack of it, and menopause affect a woman's hormone levels,  resulting in a range of unpleasant symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings, depression, and fatigue. To learn more, click on the following link about high estrogen levels.

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