Why Do Women Need Estrogen?
Ladies, let’s talk about estrogen. We know we have it, and we know it’s largely responsible for what makes us women (fun fact: men have it too, just not as much!). But, what does it do? What role does it play in our bodies? And, what happens when our estrogen levels get lower with age? Here’s what you need to know. (You should be an estrogen-ius by the end of this!)
What is Estrogen?
Estrogen is a hormone primarily created by women’s ovaries. In layman’s terms, it’s what gives ladies the characteristics commonly associated with being female, which is why it’s referred to as the primary sex hormone for women. Estrogen starts making waves when girls hit puberty: it causes menstruation, breast changes, pubic hair growth, and all those other fun developments that thirteen-year-olds love to talk about. As girls become women, estrogen continues to control their cycles, make the changes that accompany pregnancy, and play a major role in their reproductive health.
Estrogen doesn’t just impact specifically lady parts, though. Estrogen levels are a main player in the general health and wellbeing of women because they can affect so many other bodily functions, including but not limited to metabolism, insulin sensitivity, body weight, bone and cholesterol metabolism, energy, moods and emotions, and more.
At What Age Do Estrogen Levels Fall?
Hopefully it’s been made clear that women need proper levels of estrogen to function optimally. But, here’s the kicker: every single woman’s estrogen levels will drop. It happens with age. Most women start to experience this as they approach menopause, but it can happen to a woman of any age for different reasons!
Since estrogen is made in the ovaries, if something happens to a younger woman’s ovaries, her levels might be affected. Women under 40 might experience low estrogen as a result of eating disorders, excessive exercise, kidney disease, low-functioning pituitary gland, Turner syndrome, or premature ovarian failure (often from an autoimmune disease, genetic condition, or toxin exposure.) However, most commonly, low estrogen is a sign of perimenopause – estrogen production will begin to slow and eventually come to a stop when menopause is reached.
What are the Symptoms of Low Estrogen?
To young women, menopause might seem awesome – no more periods, yay! But, there’s lots of uncomfortable symptoms that accompany the drop in estrogen. Symptoms of low estrogen include irregular or absent periods, mood swings, hot flashes, painful sex due to lack of vaginal lubrication, breast tenderness, headaches, fatigue, depression, weight gain, brain fog, sleep disturbances, and more. So, whether you’re approaching menopause and experiencing these symptoms as part of the normal aging process or you have these complaints as a younger woman for a specific health reason, it’s not fun. The good news is that there are treatments that can help!
What Treatments Do We Suggest?
One of the most effective treatments currently available is hormone therapy, specifically bioidentical estrogen replacement. Unlike hormone treatments of the past, the modern bioidentical hormones have been developed from plant estrogens to be chemically identical to the hormones created by the human body. Old versions of hormone replacement used hormones that were similar, but not exactly the same (some even derived from horse urine – yuck), so women naturally had complaints about the negative side effects. In contrast, bioidentical hormones function the exact same way as the hormones you produce yourself, so the side effects and risks are negligible and the effectiveness is through the roof.
Here’s the bottom line: if you’re reading this as a person with ovaries, you need estrogen to function. If you’re experiencing one of the symptoms listed above, you don’t have to just live with it! Unlike our ancestors, modern women often live to 80 and beyond, and you should not have to live over half your life (or more!) with low estrogen levels. Contact us today to find out how we can help!
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How to Get Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
If you are interested in bioidentical estrogen replacement therapy through MedHealth360, sign up for one of our complimentary consultations! We will talk with you about your symptoms and how this treatment could work for you. If you decide the program is right for you (we hope you do!), we’ll run some labs and base your personalized program off of your specific results. The actual hormones are administered as pellets under the skin; the procedure is short and needs no recovery time. During the next few weeks, we will monitor your results and hopefully witness your quality of life improve!
To find out more whether MedHealth360 can help you, contact us online or at 703-729-5553 to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced practitioners. Dr. Phillip Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia and an expert in a wide variety of cosmetic treatments.
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