Why is Estrogen So Important?

3 minute read

By: Sharon D. Malone, MD|Last updated: March 14, 2024
Microscopic view of body cells. AW177

Did you know that women have over 400 estrogen receptors, in our brains, bones, muscles, hearts, eyes, lungs, guts, hair, skin, and blood vessels? The way women feel, both physically and emotionally, is tied to their hormone levels on any given day. In perimenopause, the formerly smooth, undulating wave of estrogen production becomes a sawtooth jagged mess. Some days, estrogen levels overshoot wildly, only to rapidly decline days thereafter. 

These changing estrogen levels are what contribute to menopause symptoms. The breast tenderness, bloating, headaches and moodiness that typically show up the week before your period can appear without warning. The same goes with your period --too soon, too late, too heavy, and too long are common complaints during perimenopause. And as women get closer to menopause, they start to experience hot flashes, sleepless nights, vaginal dryness, and dry skin. 

Well, What’s a Woman to Do?

Fortunately, we have answers. Since most of the symptoms during perimenopause are due to these wildly fluctuating hormones, it makes sense that treatment aimed at smoothing out some of these erratic changes would help. Low and ultra-low dose birth control pills do just that. The hormones (estrogen and progestin) in the pills control cycle irregularities and other symptoms of perimenopause while also providing birth control, which, yes, you still need!

From Perimenopause to Menopause

​​Perimenopause typically starts when women are in their mid-forties and ends one year after the last menstrual period, when menopause begins (on average at about 51). For healthy women who are symptomatic at menopause, menopausal hormone treatment (estrogen and progesterone) is the most effective solution. Since menstrual irregularities and birth control are no longer an issue after menopause, much lower doses of estrogen and progesterone are needed to control symptoms. 

Estrogen is Both Effective and Safe

The good news is that estrogen is, for most women, not only effective, but extremely safe. In addition to the relief from hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and vaginal dryness, menopausal hormone treatment also decreases the risk of osteoporosis and Type 2 diabetes. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the North American Menopause Society, and other leading global healthcare authorities, agree that for healthy women who start menopausal hormone treatment less than 10 years from the date of their last period or are less than 60 years of age, the benefits of estrogen replacement far exceed any risk. 

Get the Relief You Need Today From Alloy

At Alloy, we think it’s important for women to have access to the most current science so they can make informed choices about their own health and quality of life. Alloy offers menopausal hormone treatment in pill, gel, evamist®/estrogen spray, and patch form, a low-dose birth control pill to even out the hormonal fluctuations of perimenopause, topical vaginal estrogen cream, and a synbiotic (a no-prescription-required prebiotic and probiotic in one). After you choose the form you prefer and complete our assessment, a menopause-trained doctor will review and approve the treatment that’s right for you.

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