Estrogen is the name given to a family of ovarian hormones which all have similar characteristics. It is the main female sex hormone. Estrogen is found in both sexes but is generally higher in women, especially those who are fitted for reproduction.
Estrogen is the dominant hormone in the first half of the menstrual cycle and continues to play a part throughout the second half as well. A natural menstrual cycle is greatly coordinated to work with the hypothalamus and pituitary. A woman who lacks estrogen experience headaches, hot flashes, night sweats and lessened vaginal fluid.
Normal Estrogen Levels
During ovulation, estrogen levels are typically normal which controls the growth of the uterine lining during the first part of the menstrual cycle, what makes the receiving and nutrition of a fertilized egg and later a developing fetus possible. Normal estrogen levels also balance other metabolic processes such as cholesterol production and bone growth and density. Estradiol determines the ranges of normal estrogen levels. During a menstrual cycle, the estradiol level of normal reproductive age women ranges from 50-400 pg/ml. This range can vary during different parts of the cycle. In menopause, the general range may be 10-20 pg/ml.
Low Estrogen Levels
There are two possible causes for a woman not to ovulate due to low estrogen levels: the pituitary gland does not tell the ovary to produce the hormone, or the ovaries are not capable of releasing eggs. Excessive exercise, low body weight, and eating disorders also affects low levels of estrogen. A woman with low estrogen level can test for the blood level of the pituitary hormone FSH. Sufficient FSH enables the ovary to produce estrogen and prepare the eggs for ovulation. On the other hand, a very high FSH level is an indication that the pituitary and the ovary are not working together for the production of necessary hormones.
Low estrogen levels is not only limiting in terms of physical capabilities. It can likewise have adverse effects in the emotional and psychological well-being of a woman. Effects which arise from late puberty or restricted fertility. Estrogen-containing medications can help to induce ovulation to counter these limitations and boost the woman’s whole-being.
Pregnancy is the most common reason for a high level of estradiol (the predominant type of estrogen circulating in the body). During pregnancy, estradiol levels rises to about 100 percent! Another reason for an elevated estradiol level is estrogen replacement. Very high levels can be achieved with higher doses of hormone replacement, but such very high levels increase the risk of abnormal clotting of the blood.