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Estrogens and menopause: herbs, drugs, therapy

This article is co-written by Lisa Bryant, ND. Dr. Bryant is a licensed Naturopathic Natural Medicine Specialist in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from the residency in family naturopathic medicine at the National College of Naturopathy in 2014.

The number of sources used in this article is 50. You will find a list of them at the bottom of the page.

Menopause in most cases occurs in women aged 45–55 years, but its symptomatic manifestations can begin even before the menstrual cycle stops. Symptoms may include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and poor metabolism. Hormone therapy helps some women in such situations, but others want to avoid such treatment or simply cannot take estrogen drugs safely. Regardless of the severity of symptoms that cause a temporary or even permanent deterioration in the quality of your life, there are many ways to alleviate your condition during menopause without taking hormonal medications.

Determination of estrogen levels in menopause

The course of the menopause is individual. Some women experience it painlessly, others require medical services. It depends on the level of estrogen in the blood, which is determined using laboratory tests.

Venous blood sampling is done in the morning on an empty stomach. For the reliability of the results, the day before this, physical activity, sexual intercourse, alcohol consumption, and the use of hormonal drugs are excluded.

During hormonal adjustment estrogen level is 53 pg / ml and below. With reduced rates, for example, 6 pg / ml, a woman’s climax is difficult. Treatment aims to increase female hormones. Self-medication is unacceptable.

Based on the results of laboratory tests, assessing the health status and individual characteristics of the patient, the doctor chooses the treatment method. Hormone replacement therapy is considered as a separate technique. Treatment supplemented by herbal medicine and dietcontaining foods that will help stabilize the hormonal background of the patient during menopause.

Therapy to stabilize the hormonal background includes:

  • hormones with estrogen,
  • herbal medicine
  • the use of products containing phytoestrogens.

Hormonal drugs

Medication is designed to stabilize the background of female sex hormones to the level of age norms, so the use of drugs with menopause is dosed.

In large quantities, estradiol becomes the cause of neoplasms, as the tissue regeneration process slows with age.

Menopause does not imply a complete absence of estrogen; some of them continue to be produced. The main role in this period is assigned to estrone. Hormone therapy involves the pharmacological replacement of physiological estradiol (the main female hormone) with artificial substitutes. Drugs are divided into estrogen-containing and combined, for oral administration and topical application.

The pharmacological industry offers different dosage forms of hormonal drugs with menopause:

Some drugs are available in several pharmacological forms at once. For example, Ovestin is a pill, vaginal cream, suppositories.

In medicines with estrogens, natural and artificial female sex hormones are used. It is noteworthy that drugs with natural estrogen in women are less tolerated due to adverse reactions. Negative manifestations are associated with individual characteristics. The composition of the combined funds includes progesterone and estrogens.

Pharmacological formList of drugs
Estrogen pillsTablets with estrogen Ovestin, Estradiol, Premarin, Presomen, Tefestrol, Estrofem
Combined TabletsDivina, Femoston, Klimonorm, Kliogest, Norkolut, Livial
CandlesOvestin, Vagifem, Utrozhestan
CreamOvestin, Premarin
GelDivigel, Oestrogel, Menrest, Proginova, Octodiol, Dermestril
PatchesKlimara, Estraderm, Estramon, Menostar
PhytopreparationsKlimadion, Klimaktoplan, Remens, Klimaksan

The period of age-related changes lasts up to 69-75 years, so women who are difficult to tolerate menopause receive adequate hormone replacement therapy. The course of treatment can last 1–7 years and is carried out in cycles of 21–25 days per month.

The result of this treatment is a weakening of tides, skin aging retardation, maintaining the functionality of the mucous membranes of the genital organs. Estrogens have a positive effect on calcium absorption, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and also support the functioning of the cardiovascular system.

Statistics show that estrogen treatment is associated with the occurrence of malignant uterine tumors. With an increase in the dose of hormone substitutes and the time of use, the risk increases. And it has also been observed that in women who use combination therapy, cancerous tumors occur less frequently.

The negative aspects of hormone replacement therapy are associated with inadequate selection of the drug and dosage, with the lack of regular medical monitoring.

Contraindications

The use of hormonal drugs is contraindicated in a number of diseases. This list includes:

  • uterine fibroids,
  • endometriosis
  • thrombosis,
  • malignant tumors of the breast and organs of the reproductive system,
  • chronic diseases of the biliary tract
  • heart and vascular diseases,
  • autoimmune pathologies,
  • acute diabetes mellitus.

Phytotherapy

With a lack of estrogens, substances of plant origin are used, which facilitate the course of menopause. Phytoestrogens are found in such plants:

  • shepherd’s bag
  • Siberian ginseng
  • boron uterus
  • pharmacy chamomile (flowers),
  • sage,
  • licorice (root),
  • parsley,
  • linden (flowers),
  • clover,
  • hawthorn,
  • flax (seeds).

At the first signs of menopause, one of the plants is selected for the preparation of decoctions, infusions, medicinal teas. Side effects with this treatment do not occur if there are no allergic reactions to the plant itself. Being an inexpensive and at the same time natural medicine, herbs with menopause are in high demand.

The disadvantage of herbal medicine is the difficulty in determining the desired dosage. Often patients use herbal remedies only as a pleasant drink. Occasional herbal medicine does not give the expected result.

Estrogen Food

Proper nutrition helps maintain the right level of estrogen in the body of a woman. With menopause, doctors recommend including in the diet:

  • soybeans and other legumes,
  • cheese, cottage cheese, kefir,
  • cereals,
  • cabbage, asparagus, garlic, carrots, celery,
  • vegetable oils.

Climax is a natural process that occurs in the body of a woman, the manifestations of which are associated with age-related indicators of estrogen levels. In severe menopause, complex treatment is prescribed, which is based on hormone replacement therapy. The choice of the drug, its pharmacological form, dosage, duration treatment is determined only by a doctor. The replacement therapy regimen is selected individually for the patient. Each hormonal drug has contraindications. Self-medication leads to the development of cancer.

What is estrogen hormone?

A number of sex hormones are called estrogens, they exert pressure on the course of various physiological processes. There will be an impact on the development and activity of the whole woman's body.

The main role is distinguished by three of them:

  • Estradiol. The main hormone that has a dominant effect on the health and condition of women. Its development lasts from the beginning of puberty of the girl until menopause. The main percentage of the substance is produced in the ovaries, its minimum amount is formed in the liver and adrenal glands, as well as adipose tissue.
  • Estron. At the postmenopausal stage, it can be found in the body of a woman in the maximum amount. Its production does not occur at all in the reproductive organs, but in adipose tissue. If the lady is still able to conceive a child, then the presence of the substance may be in the follicles and liver. In the second stage of the cycle, estrons help progesterone prepare the body for a possible pregnancy.
  • Estriol. Production occurs in the body of the placenta during gestation.

The development of all the substances described occurs with malfunctions if the body has a deficiency of FSH and LH.

The role of estrogen in a woman's life

Due to the fact that estrogens belong to the group of steroid hormones, they are responsible for growth.

In the described case, they are responsible for the development of secondary sexual characteristics. In order for a lady to have a beautiful figure, there must be enough female hormones in her body.

Estrogens contribute to the distribution of body fat in the right places. For this reason, the desired roundness is in the right places.

Hormones of this type cannot be underestimated, since they allow you to regulate the interval between menstruation and their duration.

After all, a lack of estrogen can lead to dangerous consequences that will inhibit the reproductive system.

Main functions

A group of female hormones is responsible for the formation of anatomical features, a more pronounced pelvis than in men and a smaller amount of hair on the body. This group of substances is also present in the male body, only in smaller proportions.

What are the main functions of female hormones can be distinguished:

  • formation and activity of mammary glands,
  • menstrual cycle adjustment
  • specificity of the body structure,
  • proportions with bone growth,
  • more thorough assimilation of useful substances that contribute to improving the appearance of the skin, nails and hair,
  • maintaining sexual desire
  • stimulating the development of the female reproductive system,
  • normalization of cholesterol in the body.

Puberty

A decrease in an important indicator can occur even in a girl at the stage of puberty. Under normal maturity, the earliest signs should be detected at the age of 12 years.

Usually it is clearly visible visually, the mammary glands begin to swell, the figure gets a pleasant roundness, hair growth in the armpits and pubis is noted.

If the child does not have these manifestations, then you should start to worry about the shortage of sex hormones in the body.

Provided that the parents do not pay attention to this deviation, the formation and growth of the breast can slow down significantly or completely stop.

The main indicator of a pathological change is problems with the menstrual cycle. Usually, the first bloody discharge is found around the age of 13 years. The formation of the schedule occurs much later, after a few years. If the girl has no menstruation, then her figure is more like a man's. These are pronounced shoulders, a narrowed pelvis, and well-developed muscles.

When viewed by a gynecologist, a specialist will note a lack of uterine volume and poor development of the patient's genital organs. This is noted not only inside, but also from the outside.

We must not forget that problems with menstruation, small breasts and other symptoms of estrogen deficiency may indicate a more serious disease.

By the age of 40, the work of the female reproductive system is fading away. Therefore, low estrogen levels can be explained by the weak functioning of the reproductive system. With the onset of menopause, patients notice migraines, dizziness, heart rhythm, excessive sweating.

With menopause in the female population, the following symptoms are distinguished:

  • weight gain (as a result of a malfunction in the internal secretion organs),
  • problems with the digestive tract (dysbiosis, frequent gas formation, bloating),
  • collagen production drop (problems with the elasticity of the skin, wrinkles, stretch marks, cellulite),
  • in a short period, you can see on the body new moles or papillomas in excess,
  • circulatory problems in the brain (risk of stroke or heart attack),
  • very high pulse
  • rejection due to lack of attractiondry vaginal mucosa.

Reproductive age

Symptoms

  • difficult period before menstruation,
  • cycle issues (there is too little discharge, they are smearing type and menstruation comes with an interval of a couple of months),
  • regular relapses of inflammatory ailments (colpitis or vaginitis),
  • during sexual contact there are painful sensations and severe discomfort due to the fact that the lubricant is released in a minimum amount,
  • on the skin can be noted severe dryness and peelingacne may appear
  • heart problems and joints, jumps in blood pressure,
  • hair and nails are depressed,
  • aggression for no reason, irritability, apathy, depression is possible.

In any case, a lack of estrogen will necessarily affect the patient’s morale. The feeling that her attractiveness is leaving will be constantly depressing. For this reason, problems arise with the partner due to increased attention to this problem.

Causes of hormone decline

The main organs that produce estrogen are the ovaries and adrenal glands. Problems with the hormonal background arise due to a number of different factors, and some of them can be hereditary.

Problems in the functioning of the reproductive organs can be triggered due to:

  • unexpected weight loss
  • Hobbies for alcoholic products, narcotic substances, tobacco products,
  • history of hormone-dependent tumors,
  • a course of treatment with antidepressants or neotropic drugs,
  • thyroid problems
  • self-treatment using hormonal forms,
  • pituitary diseases
  • malnutrition, which will be traced to a lack of iron and cholesterol.

A decline in estrogen in the blood can be a natural occurrence during the onset of menopause. The recovery period after removal of the ovaries or uterus with appendages is difficult. Since during this period there is an artificial interruption in the production of sex hormones.

There are a number of factors that contribute to lowering estradiol levels. It is a rhythm of life in which there is very little movement. Moreover, strong physical activity is also detrimental to the work of the ovaries. This phenomenon occurs during sports: swimming, figure skating.

In various power disciplines, some women are required to take drugs with testosterone. This will allow them to improve their results in the sports field. Provided that the male hormone is in excess, a suppression of the formation of estrogen is noted.

Hormonal imbalance is noted in women who suffer from anorexia or adhere to a vegetarian diet. Almost always, the development of pathology provokes several reasons.

Diagnostics

Due to the fact that the symptomatology does not differ in its specificity, it is necessary to clarify the preliminary diagnosis with the help of laboratory manipulations. For this, blood is drawn from a vein for further research.

Often, a standard analysis of blood material is not enough, therefore, additionally collect urine and find out the level of FSH. The described tests will be required after the patient has determined the indicator of the amount of estrogen.

It is worth considering that, provided that they are kept at a minimum, follicle-stimulating hormone will also be in short supply.

Estrogen Level Analysis

It is recommended to take material 3 to 5 day cyclea, since during this period a peak estrogen indicator was recorded.

In some cases, a second test is carried out, venous blood is collected on the 21st day of the menstrual cycle.

Before you go for tests, it’s worth a few days to adhere to certain rules.

Do not load the body with various loads, exclude food that has an excess of fat in the composition, avoid harmful addictions.

The norm of estrogen in women

Sex hormones vary depending on the age of the patient:

  • In girls under 11 years of age, estrogen levels should not be higher than 5-22 pg / ml.
  • In reproductive age, all changes are interpreted depending on the period of the menstrual cycle. The values ​​have a huge spread; fluctuations from 12 to 190 mg / ml are quite acceptable.
  • But with the onset of menopause, due to the final stage of ovarian function, estrogen will not exceed 46 mg / ml.

Hormonal oral contraceptives

There are quite a few such preparations today, they produce mainly natural variants, they are isolated from animal urine and synthetic analogues. There are many divisions into groups, these are skipped options or unconjugated ones.

And also, combined pills or single-component. The pill can be based on any of the 3 main female sex hormones.

Among the tablet options that have estrogen in their composition, we can distinguish:

  • any oral contraceptives (even with a minimal dosage),
  • estriol and capsules similar to it (Ovepol or Ovestin),
  • with estradiol (Extrofem, Proginova or Extrememax),

The choice of the drug is carried out by a specialist, independent selection is unacceptable.

Estrogen Boosting Products

As practice has shown, not only traditional medicine and hormone therapy contribute to an increase in estradiol. If you follow the rules of the diet, then you can achieve a pronounced effect. So, what products increase female hormone in the blood and do not give a side effect?

Products:

  • Soya beans. This plant is high in protein and phytoestrogens. Doctors suggest adding oil, dairy products and soy sauce to the diet. This will improve ovarian function and lower cholesterol. We must not forget that only natural-type products give positive dynamics. The problem is that it is difficult to find useful soy products on sale, most of what is on the counter is genetically modified.
  • Linseed oil. It is a leader in products that contain estrogens. The consumption of this oil helps to rid the body of toxins, stop inflammation and allows you to fight the development of cancer. Take it several times a day before meals for a small spoon.
  • Coffee. A popular drink, as it turned out, also has enough plant-derived estrogens in its composition. But, you need to drink only a natural drink, soluble options do not give the proper effect. Sugar and sweeteners should not be added, they spoil the drink. You cannot drink more than 2 cups of coffee per day.

Other products that stabilize the hormonal background and increase estradiol:

  • milk products,
  • hard cheeses,
  • legumes, nuts,
  • fresh vegetables and fruits, berries,
  • green tea, but without additives,
  • yolk,
  • seafood, not river fish,
  • olive oil.

Vitamin therapy

Sometimes a malfunction in the production of hormones occurs due to problems with providing the body with vitamins. To remedy the situation, it is enough to replenish the balance of missing elements.

To stimulate estrogens, they are excellently suited:

  • Vitamin C. Allows you to improve the production of female sex hormones in the adrenal glands. This element can be found in citrus fruits, herbs and currants. Of the artificial analogues, ascorbic acid in dragees is suitable.
  • Vitamin R. It helps to strengthen the influence of the component described above, is found in large quantities in fresh berries and fruits, as well as herbs and some types of vegetables.
  • B vitamins. The main symptom of a lack of female hormones is considered to be severe dryness on the vaginal mucosa, these substances correct the pathological situation. Moreover, vitamin B improves adrenal gland activity.
  • Vitamins K and E. They not only improve the process of estrogen production, but also help to improve the appearance of a woman. They can be found in pumpkin, spinach, various oils, peas and eggs.

Lifestyle change

According to doctors, patients cannot do without changing their habitual way of life, patients should change the established schedule:

  • find a permanent partner, if he is not there, and make up for the lack of sexual activity,
  • get involved in medical sports, it can be yoga, Pilates or similar disciplines,
  • try to break the habit of smoking, as it is very harmful (women who take oral contraceptives are in particular danger),
  • get tired less, do not get hung up on stressful situations,
  • the consumption of sweets and sugar should be minimal,
  • try aromatherapy,
  • monitor the amount of estrogen in the blood, do not forget to go to the gynecologist and endocrinologist,

With a stable hormonal background, a woman will not only have good health, but also improve her mood. It is noticed that ladies with a good level of estrogen are more attractive and self-confident.

Aromatherapy

There are doubts about this method, since the expressed effectiveness has not been noticed.

But, you shouldn’t refuse the technique, because it has a high level of safety and the effect on the body is mild.

Regular use of various essential oils helps to improve metabolic processes in the body, improves hormonal levels, and positively affects the psychological state of women.

Often, ladies who are waiting for menopause resort to aromatherapy.

Folk remedies

In alternative medicine, you can find a lot of recipes that will improve hormonal balance. This technique focuses on the use of a large number of herbs with a rich vitamin composition.

The most important is vitamin E, which has a stimulating effect on the ovaries. Moreover, products enriched with vitamins C, P, B and K deserve special attention.

To normalize the level of estrogen, experts advise to consume the following decoctions:

  • Raspberry leaves Herbal composition will saturate the body with the missing vitamin E and improve immunity. Due to this, there will be an increase in estrogen, which is lacking in patients. It is permissible to add a pinch of mint leaves into the liquid. Reception of a medicinal solution is carried out in the second period of the menstrual cycle, twice a day - in the morning and evening.
  • Hop cones. Washed cones are poured with clean water and boiled over low heat, enough for half an hour. The cooled solution is consumed 150 g several times a day after meals.
  • Melissa and rosehip berries. There is a lot of vitamin C in the berries of this shrub, but the variety of mint improves well-being during the period when the menopause comes. It is noted that in patients the hormonal background stabilizes and the depressive state disappears. The dried plant and rosehip berries are ground in equal proportions and poured with water. Cooking on low heat takes about 40 minutes. Liquid intake is carried out at least a couple of times a day, it is possible instead of tea.
  • Nettle. Suitable leaves from a young plant that were plucked in the spring. Nettle has a powerful anti-inflammatory property, helps to stabilize the intervals in the menstrual cycle. Finely chopped leaves are poured into water and boiled for 25 minutes under a lid. Strained and cooled broth is consumed twice a day.

Red clover, hibiscus and red brush plant will restore the lack of estrogen. The use of therapeutic therapy is carried out in the second part of the menstrual cycle, this will achieve the most pronounced results.

It is worth noting that it is unacceptable to drink decoctions and at the same time consume birth control drugs or other forms to improve hormonal balance. The reason is that the results of such self-medication can be unpredictable.

Therapy in alternative medicine does not exceed 3 months. Herbal compounds are fairly well tolerated, individual reactions of the body may become an exception. Before preparing a decoction, it is required to undergo a specialist consultation.