Estrogen Dominance

“Estrogen dominance” is a term originally coined by Dr. John Lee in his book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause.  It is a diagnosis that is not recognized by the conventional medical community, but it is a topic that is discussed by natural health practitioners and appears in perimenopause and menopause self-help books. Although much of Dr. Lee’s work has now been proven inaccurate, “estrogen dominance” is still a useful concept when considering the symptoms that can occur with perimenopausal hormonal fluctuations. Symptoms of estrogen dominance include:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Foggy thinking
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased libido
  • Worsening PMS
  • Irregular periods
  • Heavy periods
  • Hair loss
  • Bloating

The theory behind estrogen dominance is that during the perimenopausal transition, the ovaries continue to produce normal amounts of estrogen (estradiol) but lower than normal amounts of progesterone, making the system out of balance.   Interestingly, the ovaries continue to produce normal amounts of testosterone usually throughout the perimenopausal transition. To make a diagnosis of estrogen dominance, precisely timed blood testing should be done.  If the progesterone level is low, progesterone supplementation can be started, and it provides excellent relief of symptoms.

Dr. Clark has helped many perimenopausal women who have symptoms of estrogen dominance.  With her background in reproductive endocrinology and as a Certified Menopause Practitioner, she can help you determine if you have estrogen dominance, and work with you to map out a treatment plan that will alleviate your symptoms.

Gynecologic Services