Are You Getting Enough Estrogen During Menopause
MenopauseMenopause is defined as the absence of a menstrual period for a time period of twelve months. This is the end of menstruation, and is accompanied by certain signs and symptoms. It is possible for menopause to naturally occur between the mid thirties and mid sixties. The age at which menopause occurs is dependent upon a variety of environmental and genetic factors. The average age for menopause for women in the United States is 51 years.
Menopause Signs and SymptomsMenopause is cause for a variety of signs and symptoms, ranging in frequency, duration, and severity. These signs and symptoms typically are felt by all women during this menopausal period, but these factors are completely dependent upon the individual.
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Night sweats
- Irregular periods
- Mood swings
- Thinning hair
- Weight gain
- Sleep disturbances
- Breast reduction
EstrogenEstrogen functions as the most predominant female sex hormone. Estrogens are chemical messengers that are steroid compounds; natural and necessary components of the estrous cycle. As with all human steroid hormones, estrogens interact with specific estrogen receptors. Estrogen is produced by the ovaries, almond size and shaped, paired organs on either side of the uterus. The ovaries are also responsible for the production of eggs.
Types of EstrogenEstrogen is a hormone essential to the body for proper function. However, estrogen is not a single hormone, but is a combination of several hormones. The most prominent hormones include estrone, estradiol, and estriol. The ovaries are responsible for the production of estradiol. Estrone is derived from estradiol. After the completion of menopause, estrone is the most prominent form of estrogen within the female body. Estriol is responsible for the breakdown of estradiol during pregnancy. Before the completion of menopause, estradiol is the most prominent form of estrogen.
Estrogen FunctionsEstrogen is required by the body for a variety of functions. While estrogens are present within both male and female biological systems, women of reproductive age have significantly higher amounts of estrogen present. Estrogen is responsible for the formation of secondary sex characteristics in women, such as hair growth, endometrium thickening, breast formation and menstrual cycle regulation.
How much Estrogen is Necessary?The typical amount of estrogen needed by the body for proper function is 40-50 pg/mL. However, some women may experience hot flashes if more estrogen is not provided. Levels of estrogen are typically increased during menstruation and range from 400-500 pg/mL during pregnancy. There exists a laboratory blood test to determine this value.
[sniplet Menopol]Sources: http://www.medhelp.org/NIHlib/GF-326.html http://www.menopause.org/default.htm http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/90/11/0