Estrogen includes three kinds of hormones - estriol, estradiol, and estrone. Estriol is made from the placenta and is made during pregnancy. Estradiol is formed from developing ovarian follicles and
is the main sex hormone produced before menopause. Estradiol is responsible for female characteristics and sexual functioning. Estrone is found throughout a woman's body and is the only hormone present after menopause.
Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. Once the last egg reaches maturity and is ejected from the ovaries, a woman enters menopause and will barely produce estriol or estradiol. Menopause is not the only reason women expeirence estrogen changes. Levels of estrogen also drop after childbirth and during breast feeding. Other disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), anorexia nervosa, extreme exercise or training and some medications like clomiphene may reduce hormone levels as well. Since estrogen is also produced from fat cells, those individuals with low body fat may not produce sufficient amounts of estrogen.
Estrogen is the main "player" in reproduction, but after menopause it really does very little to rejuvenate aging tissues like muscle and bone. After menopause, the only reason to consider taking an estrogen replacement would be if a woman is experiencing hot flashes or night sweats. Estrogen replacement can help alleviate or reduce these symptoms.
If you have questions, please contact our office, Dr. Motazedi is more than happy to address your concerns.
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