Most of the time low estrogen symptoms are associated with menopause, but younger women who are not yet experiencing menopause can also suffer from symptoms of low estrogen. Low levels of this hormone can be caused by a few different things and the low estrogen symptoms can vary depending on the age of the woman and the reason for decreased levels of estrogen.
What Is Estrogen?
Estrogen is actually a class of hormones. The three estrogens that naturally occur in women are estradiol, estriol and estrone. Each one of these has a stronger role at a particular phase of life.
Through a woman’s childbearing years, from her first period until menopause, estradiol is the primary one and the one most responsible for night sweats in women as it drops during the onset of menopause. Estradiol, which is produced by the ovaries, defines female characteristics and is important for bone health, but it also is responsible for female problems like endometriosis, fibroids and female cancers. Estroil, made from the placenta, is the main one produced during pregnancy. Estrone, which is weaker than estradiol, is the primary one that is still produced after menopause.
Low Estrogen Symptoms And Menopause
Menopause is one of the main causes of low estrogen levels. It begins and ends at a slightly different age for each woman, but it generally occurs between the ages of 45 and 60, with the average age being 51. Estrogen is one of the main female hormones produced by the ovaries; it helps the uterus get ready to receive a fertilized egg. One of the signs that menopause is around the corner is the decreasing levels of estrogen. The average woman’s body will begin to lose estrogen and show symptoms as early as 10 years before the start of menopause. This is typically when it is time to start looking at effective night sweats treatment options.
The first symptoms of perimenopause and signs of low estrogen levels can seem confusing and unrelated to one another until you put the pieces together or consult your physician. These can include:
- Irregular periods
- Lower energy level
- Short-term memory loss
- Sudden mood swings
- Trouble Sleeping
Common Signs Of Low Estrogen And Menopause
Sometimes women don’t associate these with one another and they may not think about talking to their doctor about these symptoms until they persist or until other well-known symptoms begin to appear. This is usually when the thought of menopause and menopause night sweats comes to light. The intensity level of the symptoms will vary from one women to the next, but the symptoms can include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Irregular periods
- Sudden mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Thinning Hair
- Reduced concentration
- Loss of elasticity in skin
Medical Conditions Related To Low Estrogen And Menopause
Once a woman realizes she may be experiencing low estrogen symptoms and the onset of menopause she may want to speak to her doctor about the some of the other possible more serious side effects of low estrogen levels and menopause including:
- Bone density and osteoporosis. With the low levels that occur as a result of menopause the risk of osteoporosis greatly increases because bone density decreases, sometimes rapidly. This makes bones more brittle and susceptible to fractures.
- Cardiovascular disease. Decreased estrogen levels also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is important to know because heart disease is still a leading cause of death in both men and women.
- Urinary problems. Low estrogen causes the skin to lose elasticity but it also causes a loss of elasticity in the urethra, which can cause mild incontinence. This can result in a loss of urine when laughing, coughing or after a sudden, strong urge to urinate.
- Weight gain. Many women experience weight gain, particularly in the abdominal area, as a result of menopause. Eating about 200 less calories a day and exercising regularly can help counteract this.
The doctor may run tests to check hormone levels, and based upon the findings, he or she may recommend hormone replacement therapy or other treatments to relieve symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.
For women who are perimenopausal or in the early stages of menopause, usually some lifestyle changes and alternative treatments, including natural remedies for night sweats in women, can provide enough relief to help them ease into the next phase of their life with fewer unpleasant low estrogen symptoms. But some women may need a different approach or a more effective treatment for hot flashes, night sweats and other menopause symptoms if they are severe enough and other methods aren’t working.
Low Estrogen Symptoms in Young Women
Low estrogen symptoms in women under 40, the most common cause of night sweats in women under 40, can be somewhat similar to those seen in menopausal women, but the root causes of these symptoms in young women are different.
Symptoms can include:
- Amenorrhea (lack of menstruation) or irregular periods
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats or sweating while sleeping
- Decreased libido
- Mood swings
- Trouble sleeping
- Trouble with memory or concentration
- Urinary tract infections
Causes Of Low Estrogen In Younger Women
There are a few possible causes of low estrogen levels in women under 40. It can be caused by a medical condition, treatment of a medical condition, pregnancy or other reasons.
Here are some of the possible causes of low estrogen in women under 40:
- Premature ovarian failure or premature menopause. This is when the ovaries stop working properly before age 40.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS. This is one of the more common endocrine or hormonal disorders seen in women of reproductive age. This syndrome disrupts normal function of the ovaries and causes excess androgen.
- Hypopituitarism. This is a less common disorder in which there is reduced secretion of hormones produced by the pituitary gland. These hormones many body processes including reproduction.
- Turner syndrome. Turner syndrome often causes non-functioning ovaries in women.
- Hysterectomy or surgical removal of the ovaries. This can cause the body to go into menopause.
- Radiation and chemotherapy. These treatments for cancer can cause premature ovarian failure in which the ovaries cease to function anymore.
- Anti-estrogen hormone therapy. This type of therapy can damage the ovaries causing low estrogen levels.
- Extremely low body fat. Women need a certain amount of body fat for proper hormone functioning. Anorexia nervosa, extreme exercising or a combination of the two can cause low estrogen symptoms.
- Pregnancy. Pregnancy causes estrogen levels to change and it can take a little while for them to go back to normal for some women. Some women experience sweating while sleeping after pregnancy. Estrogen is also usually low while breastfeeding.
Problems Associated With Low Estrogen In Young Women
If estrogen levels are low for an extended period of time it can cause a loss of bone density, which makes bones more fragile, increases the risk of fracture and increase the risk of osteoporosis. If this goes on for too long it can be difficult to repair the lost bone density.
Many health conditions associated with low levels of this female hormone can also cause fertility problems or make it difficult for the woman to get pregnant.
It is important for younger women to consult a doctor to test hormone levels if they suspect any of these conditions because the low estrogen symptoms they are experiencing could be a sign of an underlying health condition.