Irregular periods are a common symptom of menopause. As a woman goes through the menopausal transition, estrogen levels decrease and she slowly stops ovulating until menstruation has stopped. To understand your ovulation, you must first understand why your estrogen levels are dropping and how that affects your body's functions.
Why Are My Estrogen Levels Low?
During menopause, the body decreases its production of estrogen and other sex hormones because they are no longer needed for reproducing. As the levels fluctuate, the body attempts to adjust to the new levels – the reason why many women experience menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and irregular periods.
Ovulation and Estrogen Levels
If ovulation is not occurring because of low estrogen levels. There are several possible causes.
The ovaries are not being told what to do
Women who have a low body weight, who are frequently under high stress, or who are in perimenopause tend to have irregular periods. This is because very low estrogen levels in the body cannot communicate to the ovaries that eggs need to be released, and ovulation does not take place.
The ovaries are incapable of producing an egg
If a woman has been diagnosed with having low estrogen levels, the next step would be to test the blood level of the pituitary hormone follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) - a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that tells the ovaries to make estrogen and to prepare the eggs for ovulation. When one ovary doesn't have any eggs, or if it can't release them, the pituitary gland sends out more and more FSH in an attempt to get the ovary to respond.
The uterine lining is not being shed
Even if ovulation has occurred, the changes in hormone levels may mean that the shedding of uterus lining is not being triggered when it normally should. This can cause the lining to build up, and when a menstrual period does finally occur, it may be heavy and painful due to the accumulation of the lining.
When a woman is experiencing irregular periods, one of several phenomena could be happening in her body. If you are experiencing other symptoms alongside irregular periods, such as abdominal pain, it is important to see a doctor to rule out other, rarer conditions. Click the following link to learn more about how to deal with irregular periods
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