How estrogen deficiency occurs

Estrogens belong to the class of steroid hormones and are the most important female sex hormones

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Estrogen deficiency - briefly explained

Estrogens are mainly produced in the ovaries and to a lesser extent also in the adrenal cortex. The estrogen level is slightly different in every woman. During ovulation, the value of the "main estrogen", estradiol, is usually between 400 and 1600 pmol (picomole) per liter.

Women are particularly affected by a lack of estrogens. The estrogen deficiency can occur due to illness, but it often accompanies normal aging processes such as menopause.

Causes: What Causes Estrogen Deficiency?

In women going through menopause (climacteric), the ovaries increasingly cease to function. As a result, the production of the body's own sex hormones also decreases. The lack of estrogen is therefore often associated with a lack of other hormones; for example, it is often accompanied by a progestin deficiency.

But women can also be affected by the hormone deficiency before the menopause: The cause is, for example, an incorrect development and / or restricted function of the ovaries, which in turn can have numerous different causes. Surgical removal of the ovaries, for example in the context of cancer, also leads to an estrogen deficiency. Weakness of the adrenal gland (adrenal insufficiency) can also result in a lack of estrogen.

Symptoms: how does an estrogen deficiency manifest itself?

A lack of estrogen can impair sexual development. During sexual maturity, the lack of female sex hormones often manifests itself in menstrual cycle disorders, for example intermenstrual bleeding or lack of menstruation up to infertility.

During menopause, a lack of estrogen is responsible for symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, poor concentration, depressed mood and insomnia. In addition, some women complain of loss of libido and dryness of the mucous membranes and vagina. However, all of these symptoms can have other causes as well. Whether and which menopausal symptoms occur also varies from person to person. In the long term, an estrogen deficiency can promote the development of osteoporosis.

Therapy: How do you treat an estrogen deficiency?

The therapy for an oestogen deficiency depends on the cause and can vary accordingly. If menopausal women suffer from severe symptoms, hormone treatment, also known as hormone replacement therapy, may be considered. Artificial estrogens or estrogens and gestagens are supplied from the outside. This can be done locally, as an ointment or suppository in the genital area, or systemically with tablets or plasters to stick on the skin. Detailed advice on hormone replacement therapy from your doctor is very important. Desired benefits and possible risks must be carefully weighed against each other. Some diseases can also speak against hormone replacement therapy, for example breast cancer, severe heart and liver diseases or blood clotting disorders. Herbal medicines such as black cohosh can be tried for menopausal symptoms. But here too, it is important to consult your doctor. Because even herbal remedies are not always suitable and can have undesirable effects.


Pschyrembel: estradiol. Online: (accessed 01/2021)

Pschyrembel: climacteric. Online: (accessed 01/2021)

Important NOTE:
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor. Unfortunately, our experts cannot answer individual questions.