Hormones are responsible for numerous processes within the body. It is a delicate balance in which too little or too much hormone can disrupt your body’s harmonious ecosystem. While all hormones are necessary, you may notice symptoms when specific hormones are out of balance. Estrogen, for example, is a crucial hormone linked to menstruation, fertility, and reproductive health in females. While your estrogen levels tend to fluctuate depending on which stage of womanhood you are in, low estrogen can occur.
If you find yourself experiencing things like night sweats, loss of menstruation, or dry skin due to too little estrogen, you’re likely wondering what can be done. Can you increase estrogen naturally?
We always advise discussing hormone issues with your doctor. But if you’ve already had the conversation and are looking to boost estrogen naturally, this article is for you!
What is Estrogen?
First, let’s refresh our knowledge about what estrogen is. Estrogen is a hormone that plays a role in both males and females. However, for the purpose of our article, we’ll primarily stick to how it affects women. Estrogen is tied to bone health, cognitive health, cardiovascular health, and, most notably, reproductive health.
Estrogen has different forms in the body. Estrone is a weak form of estrogen that is found after menopause. Estradiol is found in men and women and is most present during a woman’s reproductive period. Estriol is present in rising levels during pregnancy and peaks just before birth.
Estrogen is commonly balanced by progesterone, your body’s other primary sex hormone.
What Does Estrogen Do?
Estrogen is responsible for many functions, including stimulating the growth of the egg follicle in the ovaries, supporting the uterus’s mucus membrane, maintaining the vaginal wall’s thickness and lubrication, and ceasing milk production after breastfeeding is ended.
Throughout your life, estrogen levels may rise and fall. Life milestones like puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause can affect estrogen levels. As can things like being significantly over or underweight, medications, diabetes, PCOS, and ovarian tumors.
Estrogen is essential to female reproductive growth during puberty, fertility, and pregnancy. Too little or too much of the hormone can have adverse effects.
Signs of Low Estrogen
If you have too little estrogen, you may notice some uncomfortable symptoms. These can include:
Lack of a period
Abdominal weight gain
These symptoms can be associated with specific life changes, like menopause. Therefore, your doctor may recommend that you continue a healthy and balanced lifestyle while you wait for the symptoms to fade as your body gradually regains balance. In other cases, medical treatment may be necessary.
How Can I Boost Estrogen?
Increasing estrogen isn’t always medically necessary, although, in some cases, it may be advised.
Women who require treatment for low estrogen, either in menopause or postmenopause, may be advised to begin hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Generally, this treatment is only recommended for women suffering from low bone mineral density or intense and frequent hot flashes. Your doctor will prescribe you a synthetic form of the hormone estrogen and sometimes progesterone as well. Estrogen therapy and estrogen-progesterone/progestin hormone therapy (EPT) are the most common forms. Estrogen therapy is only prescribed for women who have had a hysterectomy.
In the case of EPT, you’ll take both so that the hormones can balance one another. The synthetic hormones are absorbed through your skin via a patch or taken orally in pill form. These forms are known as “body-wide” estrogen treatment. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe vaginal estrogen, which can be taken as a suppository or in the form of a ring. Usually, vaginal estrogen is a treatment for painful intercourse or vaginal dryness.
Because HRT can include risks, it isn’t recommended for everyone.
If you are not a candidate for HRT or your doctor suggests a wait-and-see approach to your hormonal imbalance, you may desire to seek natural hormone remedies. A combination of lifestyle changes and a supplement may be beneficial. Consider these natural hormone treatments if you seek a way to boost your estrogen levels without synthetic hormones!
Add phytoestrogen-rich foods to your diet.
Phytoestrogens are plant-based estrogens that mimic your body’s natural hormones. They can bind to your body’s estrogen receptors and can result in reduced symptoms of low estrogen. Foods with these plant-based estrogens include soy products, legumes like lentils or beans, nuts, and seeds, certain fruits such as plums and pears, whole grains, eggs, milk, and specific veggies like alfalfa, cabbage, and broccoli.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Along with diet, maintaining a healthy weight can help you regulate hormones. When you’re too far above or below a healthy weight, your body can struggle to keep up with hormone production.
Almost everyone knows that stress can wreak havoc on your body. High levels of chronic stress can negatively impact hormone production thanks to too much cortisol (the stress hormone). Taking steps to lower your stress through meditation, gentle exercise, and self-care may help you relax and decrease your cortisol levels.
Get better sleep
Your body needs sleep to function properly, which includes hormone production and balance processes. For most adults, at least seven hours of restorative sleep is recommended each night. If you have trouble falling asleep, you can try removing electronic devices from the bedroom, instituting a sleep/wake cycle, or adding a relaxing supplement like Golden Milk to your diet.
Consider a supplement
Supplements that support hormonal balance and the female reproductive system can be an excellent addition to your daily routine. Some contain phytoestrogens, while others can aid your body in different ways (like adaptogens). Our favorite herbal ingredients for hormonal balance include:
Red clover: a plant that contains phytoestrogens in the form of isoflavones.
Chasteberry: also known as Vitex, is a traditional ingredient known to help with PMS symptoms by promoting estrogenic effects in the body thanks to apigenin (a phytoestrogen).
Ashwagandha: a classic adaptogen that can help your body manage the negative effects of oxidative stress, helping you sleep better.
Tulsi: also called Holy Basil is another adaptogen that can help promote hormonal balance through its cortisol-reducing properties.
Shatavari: nicknamed the one who possesses 100 husbands, contains phytoestrogens that may help to boost estrogen along with progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicular-stimulating hormone (FSH) to act as a complete female reproductive tonic.
A Remedy for Low Estrogen and More
Freshly Moms has two products that can be excellent for women looking for natural low-estrogen support. Womb Rebalance is formulated for women coming off birth control, those who have experienced a miscarriage, or those looking to reset and rejuvenate their womb. Many of the above ingredients and deeply nourishing herbs like Moringa come together to restore and replenish the female reproductive system.
For women looking for hormonal support post-childbearing years, Hormonal Support and Mood Balance is a fantastic way to boost your energy, clear brain fog, promote sleep, and, most importantly, support hormonal balance to improve uncomfortable low estrogen symptoms! It contains the ingredients listed and other powerful plants like Rhodiola and motherwort.
Adding an easy-to-take supplement can be the simplest part of your self-care routine, helping you to feel more energized, have healthier skin and hair, and be ready to tackle whatever womanhood throws your way!
Womb Rebalance for Women
Formulated by Ayurvedic experts and made with organic, ethically-sourced herbs to support female uterine health.
Horomonal Balance and Mood Support
Helps balance your hormones and mood with natural Ayurvedic herbs.
Shruti is the founder of Freshly Moms. She is a professional plant-based chef from Natural Gourmet Institute, NY and a certified IIN health coach. She has been working with Ayurveda, food & nutrition for over 10 years and is also a fresh mom herself.
This article is not a medical advice and is not meant for every situation. Every woman's body is different and may respond differently to treatments or supplements.