What is Oestrogen?
The oestrogens are a group of female sex hormones produced mainly by the hormones in the ovaries and fat cells. Estrone (E1) is the primary post-menopausal oestrogen. Estradiol (E2) is the non-pregnant reproductive age oestrogen. It is also present in males at low levels. Estriol (E3) is the main oestrogen during pregnancy.
What does Oestrogen do?
Estradiol aids cyclic release of eggs from the ovaries and multiplies the endometrial lining of the uterus in preparation for egg implantation. It also assists in heart, bone, brain and colon function. Estrone is broken down into different compounds that can be protective against, or triggers for, estrogen-dependent cancers. The balance between these compounds is modifiable.
Oestrogen Deficiency Effects
During the Climacteric (leading up to the last menstruation), which usually starts at 35-45 yo, there is decreased progesterone production, leading to a relative excess of oestrogen (oestrogen dominance). This leads to overgrowth of the endometrium, fibroids, breast cysts, worse premenstrual syndrome, menstrual irregularities, breast / uterine / colon cancer. During the Menopause (after the last menstruation), oestrogen production decreases, and menstrual bleeding ceases. Oestrogen deficiency leads to hot flashes, insomnia, emotional liability, urogenital atrophy, bone loss, atherosclerosis, poor memory and cognition, dementia.