Estrogen is one of the core female sex hormones. It is responsible for the formation of primary and secondary sexual characteristics, as well as for the regulation of the menstrual cycle. At a younger age, low estrogen levels point to primary or secondary ovarian insufficiency. In women after 45 hypo estrogenism may be physiological, considering the fact of imminence of the menopause. In the first case, it is required to apply specific therapy while the second case is solely about correction of irritating symptoms.
Estrogen is a collective term that refers to a group of sex hormones in women. They are synthesized in ovaries and adrenal bodies (in small quantity). Besides, the process of certain type estrogen formation in fat cells has been studied.
Estrogen determines female characteristics:
- It stimulates natural development of genitalia;
- It is responsible for the development of secondary sexual characteristics;
- In line with progesterone, estrogen regulates the menstrual cycle; specifically, it provokes the rejection of “futile” endometrium, prepared for pregnancy, which actually results in the occurrence of periods.
Apart from this, estrogens take part in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, prevent bone tissue from resorption (dispersion), etc.
Congenial primary ovarian insufficiency is the main cause of low estrogen in young women
Primary insufficiency of sex glands (POI) may develop on the background of a genetic pathology (such as Turner syndrome or true hermaphroditism). Besides, it is possible to observe traumas of the receptor system of ovaries.
Such diseases most prominently show up in puberty (maturation), when retarded development of secondary sexual characteristics becomes obvious. These characteristics include:
- Enlargement of breasts;
- Female pattern of hair growth (with no hair distribution on the face, breasts, shoulders, );
- Typical pattern of fat distribution – on buttocks and belly;
- High-pitched voice, etc.
Treatment of primary ovarian insufficiency is usually based on etiology of the condition and the level of its advancement. So, girls, who lack or have underdeveloped external genitalia, need to undergo surgical reconstruction. In other cases, substitutive estrogen therapy may be used.