Posted by Gretchen Jones on Apr 30, 2019
Women of all ages can have hypoestrogen. Hypoestrogen is when the level of cycling estrogen falls below the normal range of 150 pg/ml to 550 pg/ml. The symptoms are felt by women in many ways. And every woman knows when “the change” happens. Some women even know when slight changes begin to occur. Even the women who are lucky enough to never experience a hot flash often have probably experienced one of the following other hypoestrogen symptoms: heart palpitations, insomnia, mood swings, joint aches, headaches, fatigue, low libido, vaginal dryness, bloating, skin dryness, brain fog….just to name a few.
When just a few symptoms began to occur with me at age 42, I did NOT think it was from hypoestrogen. I knew that to be “menopause,” and I was still cycling every 28 days having a 3-4 day period and just had two babies 15 months apart. When my doctor told me I should start on beta blockers to control my anxiety feelings and onset of heart palpitations, I decided to dig really deep and figure out what was causing the changes in my body to occur. I knew these changes came out of nowhere started to occur shortly after my last pregnancy at age 41. At that time my estrogen level was 48 pg/ml. I didn’t know much about fractionating the estradiol out of the estrogen total at that time. I didn’t know what the significance was about timing the cycling and checking blood. I didn’t realize that fluctuations in estrogen can be pretty significant just days apart in a cycle. I also didn’t know that if estrogen wasn’t peaking and I wasn’t ovulating, I was not getting any progesterone and therefore had periods with unopposed estrogen.
I’ve been treating women who have hypoestrogen levels and have seen the dramatic changes that occur when estrogen and progesterone are replaced in a cyclic dosing schedule and reach their own therapeutic range in the blood serum. Like I said earlier, estrogen peaks around 350-550 pg/ml and is around 100-150 pg/ml on baseline days. Progesterone peaks around 10-15 ng/ml and is around 2-5 ng/ml on baseline days. Hormones that are too low cause symptoms that women feel and experience. They are real symptoms.
How long would you replace your thyroid if you were hypothyroid? I believe you would say forever. Well, I say that is how long we should replace our estrogen and progesterone if we have hypoestrogen. The results are amazing. It’s easier to replace hormones when receptors are still present and active. But, it is never too late. I have patients who are doing amazingly well that are in their late 70’s. I also have patients as young as 19 whose symptoms are resolved dramatically using bioidentical hormones in cyclic dosing and the results cannot even compare to that of traditional care, which is oral birth control pills (synthetic estrogen and synthetic progestins) given in static doses using low amounts of hormones. I know many women who cannot stand how they feel on the pill. Maybe some women don’t even realize that it is the pill causing some of the symptoms they experience.
Women can change the standard of care. My goal is to educate women and then we have a choice what we want to do with that information. We cycle. Let’s keep on cycling.