Infertility: Estrogen Dominance
One condition that can affect a woman's chances of getting pregnant is estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is a condition that can affect both female fertility as well as male fertility, thereby hindering pregnancy. In addition to infertility, high estrogen levels have been linked to a variety of other conditions and illnesses. However, natural estrogen dominance treatments are paving the way for individuals seeking to improve their chances of trying to conceive.
What is Estrogen Dominance?
Estrogen dominance is a condition in which there is an excessive level of estrogen in the body compared to progesterone levels.
Estrogen and progesterone are the two principle types of female sex hormones; during a typical menstrual cycle, these two hormones take turns in the maturation and release of an egg, as well as in the preparation of the uterus for a potential pregnancy.
During the first half of the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels are high and eventually peak at the time of ovulation before declining as progesterone levels peak during the second half of the menstrual cycle.
The pituitary gland and hypothalamus regulate the levels of these hormones in the body through a complex feedback system and release follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) and luitizening hormones (LH), both of which stimulate the ovaries.
Causes of Estrogen Dominance
The causes of estrogen dominance are stress, poor diet, weight, hormone replacement therapy and exposure to environmental sources of estrogen, called xenoestrogens.
Stress results in the exhaustion of the adrenal gland, which leads to high estrogen levels and low progesterone levels, in turn causing stress and anxiety, which put extra strain on the adrenal glands.
A poor diet can lead to estrogen dominance because foods that are processed or that are high in fat and sugar can increase estrogen levels, as can caffeine. Similarly, low levels of magnesium and vitamin B6 are also linked to estrogen dominance, as magnesium and vitamin B6 help to neutralize estrogen levels. Women living in Western Europe and the United States were found to have higher levels of estrogen compared to those living in underdeveloped parts of the world, a discrepancy that is linked to diet.
An unhealthy weight can also contribute to unhealthy estrogen levels; this is because fat has an enzyme that converts adrenal steroids into estrogen. Therefore, the greater the fat intake, the greater the level of estrogen in the individual's body, meaning that obese individuals are at particular risk of estrogen imbalances.