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Low Estrogen in Women Could Actually Be Low Testosterone

The primary reason that women come to our clinics is that they are seeking relief from symptoms they believe to be caused by menopause or perimenopause, which are usually related to low estrogen. In women, this period of hormonal change can be unpleasant at best, and can even be detrimental to their quality of life.

Low estrogen in women, much like these women pictured who have fought breast cancer, can be a serious problem with serious repercussions.

Sometimes, though, the symptoms they’re experiencing aren’t actually low estrogen. In women, low testosterone can also cause significant issues that resemble commonly diagnosed low levels of the female sex hormones.

It’s important to determine the exact nature of the problem, and then design an appropriate treatment plan.

Low Estrogen in Women — What Causes Menopause?

There is a period of hormonal decline that occurs as part of women’s natural aging process when the ovaries produce less and less estrogen.

This process is commonly known as menopause.

It’s actually broken down into two indistinct stages, perimenopause and full menopause.

Perimenopause describes the earlier periods marked by up-and-down fluctuation of ovarian hormone production (including estrogen, progesterone, and female testosterone) and the onset of symptoms.

Eventually, a sharp decline in hormone production brings on further symptoms, which is the commonly accepted indicator that full menopause has begun.

Symptoms of Menopause and Low Estrogen in Women

The onset of perimenopause and the march towards full menopause are characterized by the well-known symptoms of female hormone imbalance, such as the following:

  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased libido (sex drive)
  • Worsening premenstrual syndrome and irregular periods
  • Urinary difficulties — urgency and some leakage
  • Breast tenderness
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain

The good news is that there are treatment options available, usually hormone replacement therapy, to alleviate the symptoms of hormone imbalance, including low estrogen in women (and men, too — read more here).

Low Estrogen in Women Is Sometimes a Misdiagnosis

Since nearly every woman will eventually experience menopause, the symptoms of hormone imbalance are almost always blamed on low estrogen. In women, low testosterone can also cause similar symptoms, and it’s far more common than most people would think.

Here’s a list of symptoms commonly associated with female low testosterone:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings (including mild depression)
  • Exhaustion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Decreased libido (or sex drive)
  • Hair loss

Notice that the list of symptoms of low estrogen in women is very similar to the list for female low testosterone. No wonder you might find it difficult to distinguish between the two!

That means the best course of action when symptoms occur is to get your levels checked by a medical professional. The key to relief from the symptoms of hormone imbalance is to bring the key hormones back into harmony with each other, which requires an accurate blood test to determine your current levels.

With that concrete information in hand, your healthcare provider can design a treatment plan that’s tailored to meet your body’s specific needs.

Do Low Estrogen Levels in Women Cause Weight Gain?

Low estrogen in women has been linked to weight gain and increased difficulty losing weight.

Women report this problem as being particularly distressful — their feminine figure may become more of a masculine shape. You might find that you’re carrying more weight around the midsection rather than the hips and thighs.

Low estrogen in women is treatable. Learn more about the hormonal roots of weight gain — click the button to get started.

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(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C

(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C started his career in healthcare as a fireman/paramedic in West Texas where he served on the Midland Fire Department from 1998-2004.   He became interested in testosterone treatment after seeing how hormone replacement doctors helped those suffering from low testosterone.   After graduating from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Physician Assistant Program, he moved to DFW where he currently lives with his wife and three children.

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