Estrogen deficiency mainly affects women. Estrogen deficiency can occur due to illness, but often accompanies maturation processes.
What is estrogen deficiency?
An estrogen deficiency occurs when the organism of an affected person has a reduced amount of endogenous estrogens. Estrogen is a form of female sex hormones.
As a rule, therefore, estrogen deficiency occurs almost exclusively in women. In most cases, a lack of estrogen in those affected goes hand in hand with a parallel lack of other hormones ; for example, the estrogen deficiency is often accompanied by an existing progestogen deficiency. For what is the definition of diabetic ketoacidosis, please visit healthknowing.com.
Like estrogens, progestins are among the female sex hormones. Symptoms caused by an estrogen deficiency differ primarily depending on the stage of maturity of an affected woman: in sexually mature affected persons, corresponding symptoms are expressed, for example, in the absence of menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods.
Depending on the severity, an estrogen deficiency can also lead to infertility. During menopause, a lack of estrogen can result in hot flashes, insomnia and/or depressive moods.
In women going through the menopause, an estrogen deficiency is usually the result of natural processes: During the course of the climacteric (the menopause), the ovaries increasingly cease to function. As a result, the body’s own production of estrogens also decreases, so that those affected develop an estrogen deficiency.
Other possible factors can also cause an estrogen deficiency in women during sexual maturity: A corresponding lack of estrogens can be caused, for example, by malformations and/or restricted functions of the ovaries.
In addition, surgical removal of the ovaries in an affected woman can also lead to estrogen deficiency. Such a surgical intervention as a rare cause of estrogen deficiency can become necessary, for example, due to cancer.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
A lack of estrogen can be associated with numerous side effects. The symptoms that the disorder causes also depend on the extent of the deficiency and the age at which it occurs. Estrogen deficiency in teenage girls can result in delayed or non-existent sexual development during puberty.
In untreated or severe cases, this can lead to infertility. In adult women, estrogen deficiency often causes an irregular menstrual cycle or a complete absence of menstrual bleeding. In addition, the cervical mucus thickens and becomes impenetrable for male sperm.
Estrogen deficiency is therefore a common reason for unwanted childlessness in women. The disorder can also lead to elevated blood lipid levels, skin and hair problems, particularly hair loss and acne, and premature wrinkling of the skin. Furthermore, estrogen deficiency-related changes in the genitals and urinary tract can occur, which are accompanied by a constant urge to urinate and recurring, often chronic, infections of the urinary tract and vagina.
In severe cases, cardiac arrhythmias can even occur. During the menopause, almost all women experience an estrogen deficiency. The typical menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, depressive moods and sleep disorders are due to the reduced production of this sex hormone. If the hormone deficiency remains untreated, it can promote osteoporosis, especially in combination with an incorrect diet and lack of exercise.
Diagnosis & History
The diagnosis of estrogen deficiency is usually initially based on a detailed patient consultation. In the context of such a conversation, a patient transmits information to the treating doctor, for example, about individual complaints and medical history. The next step is often a gynecological (women’s) examination.
With the help of such an examination, impairments of the fallopian tubes in the case of an existing estrogen deficiency can be detected or ruled out. If necessary, a hormone analysis can also provide information about the current hormone status of a patient.
The individual course of an estrogen deficiency depends, among other things, on the respective cause of the hormone deficiency and any therapeutic measures that may be taking place.
If an estrogen deficiency is based on impairments of the ovaries, successful therapeutic measures can contribute to an increase in estrogen. A lack of estrogen and the associated symptoms associated with menopause can also be positively influenced by medical measures. Various symptoms of estrogen deficiency that are typical of the climacteric subside on their own at the end of this phase of life.
A lack of estrogen can cause various symptoms, which can lead to serious complications if they are not treated or are inadequately treated. First of all, a lack of female sex hormones promotes acute symptoms such as sleep disorders or menstrual cramps, which impair well-being and promote the development of mental illness. In the further course, depressive moods, increased blood lipid levels and various diseases of the cardiovascular system can occur.
The most serious complications include cardiac arrhythmia, osteoporosis and hair loss. In addition, a lack of estrogen changes the composition of the cervical mucus – the substance becomes thicker and makes fertilization considerably more difficult. In extreme cases, infertility can occur. There is also an increased risk of vaginal and urinary tract infections, incontinence and vaginal dryness.
Treatment for estrogen deficiency can also cause complications, such as those related to the medications prescribed or poorly matched hormone replacement therapy. Long-term therapy (more than five years) also increased the risk of breast cancer. Finally, home remedies or homeopathic preparations can also cause symptoms. Since the body is already weakened due to the lack of estrogen, remedies such as chaste tree or dietary supplements can quickly lead to serious symptoms that require independent treatment.
When should you go to the doctor?
If a woman is planning offspring, a doctor’s visit should take place to clarify the state of health. If, despite all efforts, a pregnancy does not occur for several months, it is advisable to investigate the cause. Both partners should undergo medical examinations to determine the reason for the infertility. If puberty is delayed, this is already a sign of an existing hormonal problem. Consultation with a doctor is recommended so that complications can be avoided in the long term. There is also a need for action in the event of cardiac arrhythmia, hot flashes, a depressed mood or irregular sleep patterns.
Infections in the urinary tract, an unusual urge to urinate, hair loss and acne also indicate the presence of a health impairment. If the symptoms persist for a long time or increase in intensity, you need to consult a doctor. Any abnormalities in libido or changes in sex drive should be discussed with a doctor. In many cases, they indicate irregularities in the hormonal balance. Peculiarities in behavior, loss of zest for life or visual changes in the area of the genitals are further signs of a disease. A doctor should be consulted so that relief of the symptoms can be initiated. Skin problems, emotional irregularities and withdrawal from social life are warning signs.
Treatment & Therapy
A professional treatment of estrogen deficiency is initially based on its triggering factors. If an estrogen deficiency is based on diseases or functional disorders in individual cases, treating the cause is one of the important therapy components.
If an estrogen deficiency itself is to be compensated for with the help of medical measures, this can be done with the help of various forms of hormone treatment. As part of such a treatment, estrogens are supplied to the organism on a synthetic basis. If, for example, an affected person has been diagnosed with a progestin deficiency in addition to the estrogen deficiency, preparations that combine both hormones are often used for hormone treatment.
The synthetic hormones for hormone treatment can be supplied to the organism by taking pills. The hormones can also enter a patient’s body through the skin. This is done, for example, using special patches that release hormones.
Finally, one of the diverse forms of hormone therapy for estrogen deficiency is the use of special ointments that are applied to the genital area. If necessary, individually occurring symptoms of estrogen deficiency can be treated additionally; for example with the help of sleep-promoting active ingredients in sleep disorders.
A natural estrogen deficiency in the context of an onset of a menopause cannot be prevented. On the other hand, possible symptoms associated with a natural lack of estrogen can be prevented (if medically advisable in individual cases) by early hormone therapy. Estrogen deficiency due to physical dysfunction can primarily be prevented by regular and early visits to the doctor.
You can do that yourself
Peat sitz baths can be used to support therapy for estrogen deficiency. These baths improve blood circulation in the vagina and increase its resistance to infections. Patients can take calcium and vitamin D as a dietary supplement – the recommended daily dose should not be exceeded. Sporting activities such as Nordic walking, swimming or cycling can also alleviate the symptoms based on the lack of estrogen. The often dry eyes can be counteracted with moisturizing eye drops.
Positive effects can also be observed from the administration of St. John’s wort. However, it should be noted here that the effect of the contraceptive pill may be restricted by St. John’s wort. Monk’s pepper and black cohosh also have a positive effect on the general condition, but it is advisable to consult the doctor in charge in advance. The same applies to the use of creams or suppositories containing estrogen to treat the frequently occurring vaginal dryness.
The use of intimate lotions and intimate sprays, on the other hand, is not recommended, as these destroy the vaginal flora in the long term. We also recommend wearing underwear made of cotton, which can be washed at 90° Celsius. Only with such a hot wash are pathogens killed.