What is Estrogen? Should I Consume Estrogen for My Menopause?

Q: I what to know more about estrogen. Should I use it for my menopause signs and symptoms?
Expert Answer

Estrogens are steroid compounds that play a very major role in generating the functions of female species during the fertility period in females, and are usually produced by the follicles in the ovaries. Besides the ovaries, the production of estrogen also takes place in the breasts, fat cells and the liver, among other tissues. Having secondary sources for estrogen production is an instrumental for women who are going through the various stages of menopause, since estrogen levels are known to dwindle during this stage.

Side Effects Due to Less Estrogen

Consume Estrogen

Given the absolute importance of estrogen in women, its deficiency can have far reaching side effects, subject to previous medical conditions of respective women as well as their ages.

  • Affecting Fertility: Less estrogen can affect one’s fertility especially by stopping ovulation during the monthly cycles. During this period, less estrogen can also result in failure of the uterus to thicken to levels that can necessitate the implantation of eggs that have been fertilized. In the end, the possibility of a woman conceiving and bearing children becomes very negligible. Women below the age of 40 may suffer a major blow here, marking the end of their having periods, albeit prematurely.
  • Problems With Sleep: For most women, low levels of estrogen brings about menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, which leads in to the reddening of the skin around the neck, the chest and the face. These spots are can be very itchy and disturbing, causing one to fail to get adequate sleep, if any. On the other hand, cases of sweating excessively during the night are a common occurrence, again leading to sleeping problems especially in the night.
  • Irregular Monthly Cycles: Reduces* estrogen levels affect the monthly cycles in several ways. To begin with, the interval from one period to another may lengthen or shorten, and this may differ from one woman to another. Either way, the thickness of the blood coming out during the cycles may alter, as well as the amounts.
  • Decreased* Sexual Functioning: As estrogen levels continue to reduce*, a woman loses a greater percentage of her sexual touch, making it very difficult to be sexually aroused. The body becomes less sensitive to stroking and touching. Consequently, women also suffer from vaginal dryness which only worsens the situation by making sexual intercourse a painful endeavor.
  • Disorders: Some of the health challenges that may come along include ovarian failure, loss of bones and increased chances of bone fractures, as well as higher risks of heart diseases due to increased supply of bad cholesterol that comes with low estrogen levels.

Necessity of Estrogen

To women, estrogen is necessary for reproductive purposes during menstruation and for the thickening of the endometrium; as for men, estrogen is quite instrumental in the regulation of sperms’ maturation.

Estrogen Containing Food

This would include fat cells, foods high in vitamin B6, as well as processed foods that are rich in sugar, and magnesium.

Consuming Estrogen During Menopause

You may need to consult with your doctor to establish your estrogen levels, to strike a healthy balance, since less or excess estrogen levels will still have serious repercussions. This should be checked against your age and health history.

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Contributor : Lisiana Carter (Consumer Health Digest)

Lisiana Carter has been a freelance health writer for over ten years having written books, blogs and articles. She is the author of a number of websites and teaches people how to enter the freelance writing field.

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