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The function of oestrogen
Oestrogens are the most important of the female sex hormones. Oestrogen is actually made up of a group of hormones: oestrone (E1), oestradiol (E2) and oestriol (E3), although oestradiol is biologically the most active during the fertile years of women.
Oestrogens are responsible for:
The development of the female body, from girl to woman
- The monthly regeneration and protection of the endometrium (womb)
- Breast growth
- The elasticity of the blood vessels
- Radiant skin and healthy hair
- Moist eyes and mucous membranes
- Clear thinking processes
- Stabilisation of moods
Together with the sex hormone progesterone, the oestrogens regulate the menstrual cycle.
In the case of a typical 28 day cycle, the lowest oestrogen levels are measured during menstruation. The production of oestrogen then increases until ovulation, decreases slightly, and then rises again, reaching another smaller peak value on the 21st day of the cycle. Afterwards, the oestrogen levels continually decrease until the next period starts.
The sensitive balance between estrogen and progesterone
Oestrogen values tend to fluctuate throughout a woman’s lifetime, not just during the menstrual cycle. The strength of these fluctuations is different for each individual and the body reacts to them with different symptoms. It is not just a deficiency in oestrogen that can cause physical complaints: an excess, or oestrogen dominance, can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms, such as water retention, nausea, depressive moods, tiredness, listlessness, lack of concentration, anxiety, breast sensitivity, cysts and fibroids, painful menstruation, and weight gain.
Although it may sound contradictory, an oestrogen dominance can occur at the same time as an oestrogen deficiency due to the fine, coordinated balance between oestrogen and progesterone. The oestrogen levels define how much progesterone is needed. An oestrogen dominance can occur if the body is not producing enough progesterone for the level of oestrogen. This means it can also occur if the body is not producing enough oestrogen (oestrogen deficiency) if the body is also not producing the relative amount of progesterone.
Therefore, in the case of an oestrogen deficiency it is important to not only determine the absolute values of the individual hormones, but also the ratio of oestrogen to progesterone. An imbalance can, under medical supervision, be treated with herbal remedies or bio-identical oestrogen and progesterone creams/capsules if necessary.
How Verisana can help
If you are suffering from one or more of the symptoms stated above, we recommend a Verisana saliva test on the 19th , 20th or 21st day of your cycle (in the case of a 28 day cycle), to determine the progesterone and oestrogen values.* The sample needed can be easily obtained by yourself at home. The evaluation report is then sent in the post along with:
Your hormone values in graphical form – making it quickly possible to determine whether your progesterone and oestrogen values are within the reference range and how the values are connected with one another.
- An easy to understand explanation regarding the functions of the tested hormones.
- A summary of the complaints that can come from a deficiency or excess.
*for the oestrogen determination oestradiol is measured; oestradiol is a hormone belonging to the oestrogen family.