Estrogen is a hormone vital to a woman’s reproductive health and general well-being. When there’s an imbalance in your estrogen levels, it can affect you physically and mentally.
At Primary Care Walk-In Medical Clinic, our experienced physicians understand the toll low estrogen levels can take on your health. You may not even realize that the symptoms you experience are related to a hormone imbalance.
What to know about estrogen
Estrogen is a hormone that contributes to your sexual development. Estrogen levels naturally rise and fall each month, with your menstrual cycle starting in puberty. These rises and dips before, during, and after your period can trigger occasional irritability, fatigue, bloating, and breast tenderness.
As you age, your body slows down its production of estrogen, which sets the stage for menopause — the type when your periods stop for good. During your transition to menopause, you can experience a wide range of symptoms due to low estrogen levels.
Some women also develop an estrogen imbalance because of issues that affect their body’s hormone production. Before menopause, you may experience symptoms of low estrogen due to:
- Genetic conditions
- Autoimmune disease
- Eating disorders
- Cancer treatments
You might also experience premature menopause if you undergo a hysterectomy — a surgery to remove your uterus and other reproductive organs. You may need this type of surgery if you have large fibroids, endometriosis, or other gynecological conditions that aren’t treatable with medications and nonsurgical therapies.
5 Signs you might have low estrogen
Because the symptoms of low estrogen can affect your physical, emotional, and mental well-being, it’s important that you learn to recognize the warning signs of an estrogen imbalance.
Low estrogen levels can cause:
1. Irregular periods
You may not get a regular monthly period when your estrogen levels are low. Some women may also bleed for a shorter or longer time due to an estrogen imbalance.
If you have an irregular period or miss one or more periods, you must schedule an evaluation with our primary Care Walk-In Medical Clinic team. We can run tests to confirm or rule out pregnancy and assess your estrogen levels.
2. Vaginal dryness
A loss of estrogen can cause your vaginal tissues to shrink (vaginal atrophy) and ultimately lead to persistent vaginal dryness and itching.
Pain during sex is also a common side effect of low estrogen because the hormone plays a role in your vagina’s natural lubrication.
3. Low sex drive
Low estrogen levels can reduce your desire for sex and make arousal and orgasms more difficult to achieve.
A low sex drive and pain with intercourse can hurt your intimate relationships and trigger feelings of anxiety or depression.
4. Hot flashes
An imbalance in estrogen levels can affect your body’s ability to regulate temperature. This can result in hot flashes, where you suddenly feel overheated and flushed.
Additionally, low estrogen can cause night sweats — episodes of excessive sweating that soaks through your clothes and bedding.
5. Increased belly fat
Estrogen helps regulate many of your body’s functions, including your metabolism. As your estrogen levels diminish with age or underlying health issues, you may notice an increase in fat deposits in your belly.
Hormone-related belly fat can be difficult to lose, even with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
If you have any of these signs of low estrogen, we can evaluate your hormone levels during a simple blood test. We also offer customized hormone therapy plans to rebalance your estrogen levels and ease your symptoms.
Call the Primary Care Walk-In Clinic office near you or book an appointment online today. You can also visit the clinic on a walk-in basis to address your urgent care needs.