Estrogen and progesterone are two hormones that play important roles in the health of women. Estrogen is actually a group of three hormones (estradiol, estrone, and estriol) produced by the ovaries. Estradiol is the main estrogen during reproductive years. Progesterone is also produced by the ovaries, but it is only one hormone rather than a group of three hormones like estrogen. In order for your body to function properly, you need to have adequate levels of both estrogen and progesterone.
If you have too much estrogen or not enough progesterone in relation to your estrogen, you may develop an imbalance in these two important hormones which could lead to a variety of symptoms related to hormonal imbalance, including periods that are irregular or heavy or no longer menstruating (menopause). It’s important that women understand what their blood test results mean so they can work with their doctor on developing an individualized treatment plan based on their needs.
What is estrogen?
You may have heard of estrogen and wondered what it is. Estrogen is a group of hormones that are produced by the ovaries. It plays many key roles in women’s health, including regulating menstrual cycles and maintaining reproductive health, helping to protect against cardiovascular disease, and assisting with brain development during pregnancy.
The amount of estrogen in your body can change over time depending on your age and the stage of your menstrual cycle. In order to keep things running smoothly, it’s important for you to know what your “estrogen to progesterone ratio” is—the balance between these two hormones will help you better understand how much progesterone you need each month.
Types of estrogen
The three types of estrogen you produce are:
- Estradiol (E2) – this is the most prevalent form of estrogen in the body, but it’s also the most harmful. It increases your risk for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease.
- Estriol (E3) – This is the weakest form of estrogen and is created when estradiol breaks down into two parts, estrone, and estradiol. Because it’s weaker, this type doesn’t cause as many issues with cancer or heart disease as its stronger cousins do.
- Estrone (E1) – This one is similar to E2 in strength and effects on your body, but it can still cause problems if left unchecked for too long (longer than six months).
All three forms are necessary for optimal hormonal balance and good overall health—and they’re all linked to progesterone production as well.
When you consider that some studies show that as many as 70% of women may experience some sort of imbalance between progesterone levels and estrogen levels at some point during their lives—and because progesterone can be difficult to monitor on its own—it’s no wonder so many women feel confused when trying to figure out how their bodies work!
You may be wondering which estrogen is most important, and the answer is estradiol. Estradiol is the form of estrogen that is most responsible for the growth of breasts and the uterus during puberty, as well as regulating your menstrual cycle. The ratio between progesterone and estradiol has a direct effect on your body’s ability to deal with stress, making it crucial for maintaining mental health.
What is progesterone?
Progesterone is a hormone that is produced by the ovaries. It’s needed for the healthy development of the uterus, breasts, and ovaries. Progesterone also regulates the menstrual cycle.
When there is an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone, it can lead to a number of health issues including infertility, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), endometriosis, fibroids, and breast cancer. If you’re wondering whether or not your body has too much estrogen or too little progesterone then use this calculator to get an idea of what’s happening with your hormones!
Progesterone is a hormone that your body produces both before and during pregnancy in order to maintain a healthy environment for the fetus. It’s also produced by the corpus luteum, which forms after ovulation. During pregnancy, it is also important to keep track of your hCG levels.
Progesterone levels are low in women who have PCOS and other hormonal imbalances, like estrogen dominance (having too much estrogen). If you’re experiencing symptoms like irregular periods—or not having any at all—you should visit your doctor as soon as possible!
Progesterone and estradiol
The total (serum) blood test will tell you your level of progesterone and estradiol. Progesterone and estradiol are measured in different units. Unfortunately, the lab results from a serum test are not helpful in determining whether you have an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone. The total estrogens (both free and bound) are included in this test. This makes it difficult to determine if you have an estrogen dominance condition or if you have progesterone levels that are too low.
It’s because your total estrogen includes E1, E2, and E3 for both free and bound forms, and your total progesterone includes both free and bound forms of this hormone. This can make it very confusing to keep track of how much progesterone you’re actually producing throughout the month.
What is the progesterone to estrogen ratio used to?
The problem with using this comparison method is that it can make it very confusing as far as determining if you have an estrogen dominance condition or if you have progesterone levels that are too low. It’s not always possible to know exactly what your Estrogen: Progesterone ratio is unless you do blood tests (which we highly recommend).
If your estrogen levels are normal but your progesterone levels are too low, then supplementing with natural progesterone cream can help balance out the two hormones. If however, both of them are high and/or elevated in relation to each other (i.e., there’s no balance), then supplementation may not be enough to bring them down—especially in cases where the problem has been going on for many years!
In these cases, we often see better results from taking our proprietary blend of phytoestrogens which mimic estrogen while still allowing the body’s natural production of sex hormones such as testosterone and DHEA (a precursor hormone) to continue without interference from man-made chemicals such as parabens that come from commercial skincare products like moisturizers and lotions–or worse yet–from drinking tap water!
Keep in mind, that this post is NOT medical advice. You should always consult your doctor before taking up any therapy.
This depends on your overall condition, and you should consult your doctor before taking any estrogen or progesterone.
According to the Mayo Clinic, normal levels of estradiol (E2) for menstruating women are 15 to 350 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL).
Symptoms include bloating, a decreased sex drive, irregular menstrual periods, fibrocystic lumps in your breasts, and many more.