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A Brief Guide to Estrogen and Progesterone|pink pills shaped as the female symbol|woman holding pills|woman sweating|clary sage

Health & Wellness

Information About Estrogen And Progesterone

There are two specific hormones found in the female body that can bring about a lot of changes throughout the body over the years. The two hormones we are referring to are estrogen and progesterone. In fact, a lot of the years leading up to menopause are primarily brought on by these changes to the hormones that are produced by the ovaries. Below, we will be going over some of the primary functions of each of these essential female hormones and how aging can affect them.

pink pills shaped as the female symbol

Primary Functions Of Estrogen:

Stimulates Breast Tissue

One of the major functions of this hormone is the stimulation of breast tissue. This is why during pregnancy, estrogen plays a critical role in activating and growing the breasts in order to produce milk for the baby.

Maintains Blood Flow and Lubrication

Another function of estrogen is the maintenance and production of blood flow and lubrication to the mucous membranes and throughout the vaginal area.

Increases Thickness Of Uterus Lining

Another function is the thickening of the uterus lining throughout the menstrual cycle.

Impacts Energy Levels

Another primary function is to provide energy. This is why as you begin to lose estrogen production as you age, you begin to experience sudden decreases in energy levels. It can also affect both your cognitive function and your mood.

Preserve Bone Density

Another function of this hormone is to maintain optimal bone density.

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Primary Functions Of Progesterone:

Balance Levels Of Estrogen

One of the primary functions of this hormone is to ensure that the balance of estrogen is maintained.

Prepares The Lining Of The Uterus

This hormone is intended to prepare the lining of the uterus in order to provide an optimal environment for a fertilized egg and it can help to maintain a healthy early pregnancy.

During Pregnancy

When it comes to pregnancy, this hormone is produced in excess to help to soften cartilage and loosen joints in order to allow for the hips and pubic bone to be ready for the birthing process.

The female body is largely regulated by these hormones and any sudden or significant change in the production of these hormones can result in many changes. The hormones in the female body can cause the body itself to change throughout a woman's life. For a woman, the peak hormone production period typically occurs anywhere from 20 to 25. From that point on their hormones begin to fluctuate around the age of 35 and at age 40 they begin to decrease as the body begins to enter the stage of menopause. A lot of different things can affect a woman’s hormone levels and production including her age. Some of the biggest things that can impact a woman’s hormone levels and production are diet, lifestyle, medications, and more.

woman sweating

How Does Menopause Impact These Hormones?

Estrogen Production Slows Down Significantly

With estrogen, the production of this hormone slows down to a crawl and it can lead to a lot of symptoms including hot flashes, headaches , fatigue , vaginal dryness, and more.

Progesterone Production Stops

The production of this hormone stops after the final menstrual period. The lack of this hormone can cause periods to become much heavier and it can make them irregular.

Symptoms Of Low Estrogen:

While younger girls that haven’t gone through puberty and older women that are approaching menopause are much more likely to experience lower levels of estrogen, it can impact women of all ages.

Mood Swings

This is typically one of the most common symptoms that you are likely to experience if you are suffering from low levels of estrogen.

Breast Tenderness

Another symptom that you are likely to experience when you have low estrogen would be severe tenderness in your breasts.

Irregular Periods

Another symptom might be irregularities with your period cycles. Some women might even miss them altogether.

clary sage

Balancing Hormone Production:

Essential Oils

One of the best ways to balance estrogen in the body is by using essential oils. Clary sage has been shown to help reduce cortisol levels and even improve thyroid hormone levels in post-menopausal women. 1 There are a lot of health problems that can result from having excess levels of estrogen in the body and a lot of it caused by lifestyle choices and even foods that contain too much estrogen production like soy and dairy. Clary sage is capable of helping to balance out estrogen production which can improve your health in a variety of ways. When it comes to balancing out progesterone, there is no better natural option than thyme oil . Thyme oil has been studied and proven to have the ability to balance out progesterone throughout the body. 2

Diet Changes

Another good way to help balance out your hormones would be through complete diet changes. Many people are consuming too many estrogen producing foods like soy, dairy, meat, wheat, vegetable oils, and more. By consuming foods that have high amounts of estrogen, it can cause an estrogen overload in the body which can cause catastrophic health effects including but not limited to chronic fatigue, immune dysfunction, and even cancer. By simply avoiding foods that contain high amounts of estrogen, you can reduce the chances that your body produces too much estrogen causing an imbalance.

Lifestyle Changes

Another good thing that you should be able to do to improve your hormonal balance would be to engage in physical exercise. Physical activity is one of the best ways to positively impact your hormonal health. It will help to boost levels of adiponectin which is a hormone that has the ability to produce anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body. 3 However, too much exercise can actually lead to low levels of estrogen.

In Conclusion

These two hormones play critical roles in the development and maintenance of the uterus and other bodily functions for a woman. When these hormones are out of flux, serious complications could result. Estrogen is primarily responsible for the differences between male and female bodies and not having appropriate estrogen production can cause issues. This is why a lot of women end up taking either a low dose birth control pill which happens to contain small doses of estrogen or undergo full hormone replacement therapy when they are suffering from lower levels of estrogen production.

Photo credits: TeroVesalainen/, fongbeerredhot/, YAKOBCHUKVIACHESLAV/, Oxik/

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