Estrogen and progesterone have a working relationship to keep the body healthy. The ovaries produce estrogen and decreases as we get older or during pregnancy.
During our female cycle, it stimulates the uterine lining to thicken to prepare for ovulation. The first cycle called the Follicular Phase pushes your body toward ovulation. At this time, the follicle-stimulating hormone causes the ovaries to produce the hormone.
The second phase is the Luteal Phase. The egg is released for ovulation and progesterone kicks in. The progesterone helps keep the uterine lining safe in case the egg becomes fertilized. If the egg does not become fertilized, progesterone will decrease as your menstrual cycle occurs.
Estrogen dominance is when it and progesterone are not balanced. In many women, its levels are too high because the body is making too much and can’t detoxify it. In other cases, its levels can be high or normal and progesterone levels low.
Estrogen Dominance Symptoms
- Ovarian Cyst
- Thyroid Nodules
- Irregular Periods
- Insulin Resistant
- Thyroid Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Autoimmune Disease
- Elevated Anti- Thyroglobulin Antibodies
- Lower Libido
- Brain Fog
- Hypothyroid symptoms
Estrogen & The Thyroid
Progesterone stimulates thyroid hormone and estrogen suppresses the thyroid hormone and increases the need for TSH. So if you have high levels of estrogen and low levels of progesterone you can develop hypothyroidism.
We also know that autoimmune issues have a connection with thyroid issues. Research has shown, the longer you suffer from increased amounts of it, the higher your TPO antibodies will be. If you don’t know your TPO antibodies, I suggest testing them to see if your body is suffering from an autoimmune disease.
What Causes Estrogen Dominance?
Hormonal Birth Control
Birth control pills come in between the production of your body’s ability to produce both hormones. These pills give out high amounts of estrogen and progesterone which causes our body to shut off our natural production. Doing this prevents ovulation and thins our uterine lining. This often can cause hormonal imbalance, leading to estrogen dominance.
Chemicals called Xenoestrogens are found in non-organic foods, plastics, water, personal care products, and more. These chemicals are known to mimic the body’s estrogen which can increase an autoimmune response as well as your TSH.
Some examples of Xenoestrogens are: BPA, Soy, Parabens, and Phthalates
Fat cells can produce an excess amount of it. An enzyme called aromatase has the ability to convert testosterone into estrogen.
Estrogen is detoxified by the liver and eliminated through the colon. Many people with autoimmune disease or thyroid issues have a sluggish liver.
If you suffer from constipation when the hormone is ready to be released it may re-circulate through the body, keeping your its levels unbalanced.
High or Normal Estrogen But Low Progesterone
Here are some causes of low progesterone:
Stress is a very big cause of low progesterone. When the body is under stress and we are in a fight or flight mode, it wears on our adrenals. Also when the body is under stress, making sex hormones are not the main priority. The body starts to slow down progesterone to produce more stress hormones.
This happens very often because we as humans stress over everything. But in reality, stress hormones are supposed to be used for life or death situations, not daily life stressors. This stress leads to HPA-Axis dysfunction or adrenal fatigue which can directly impact your thyroid.
This occurs when there isn’t an egg released for ovulation. When this happens your body does not produce any progesterone. This may be caused by:
- Birth control
- Having a baby
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Chronic stress
- Low body weight
How To Test?
The easiest way to test your levels is through blood testing. Your doctor can order this test. They will check all three forms of estrogen (E1, E2, and E3) as well as progesterone.
Estrogen dominance will show if your level is high or estrogen to progesterone is high.
Normal Estrogen Levels For Menstruating Women
15 – 350 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL)
Normal Estrogen Levels For Postmenopausal Women
Below 10 pg/mL
If you are taking any synthetic hormones when you get a test it won’t give accurate results. (It is also important to test during the second half of your cycle Luteal Phase).