Other Conditions & Exposures

Expert reports about Other Conditions & Exposures


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE ESTROGEN DEFICIENCY DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is estrogen deficiency during pregnancy?

Also known as hypoestrogenism, estrogen deficiency is a state in which the level of estrogen hormones in your blood is lower than normal for a woman of your age and condition, one prime example being whether or not you are pregnant and how advanced you are in the pregnancy. Estrogen hormones include estradiol (E2), the principal estrogen during your reproductive years, estrone (E1), estriol (E3), and estetrol (E4). Sources of estrogens include the ovary, which secretes estradiol in a cyclic pattern over the course of each menstrual cycle that typically lasts about 29 days. Other sources of estrogen include adipose (fat) tissue including adipose of the breast, certain bone cells, the lining and muscle cells of certain blood vessels, and various sites in the brain. During pregnancy, beginning in the third month, the placenta begins releasing estrogens, which rise dramatically as pregnancy advances. Prior to menopause (the time when your ovaries stop making estrogen), estrogen deficiency can occur outside of pregnancy if your ovaries aren't working right. During pregnancy, deficiency means your estrogen level is not as high as it should be given the dramatic contribution from the placenta.

Deficiency in estrogen can result in a variety of conditions that affect the ability of estrogen-producing cells to function, or from a genetic defect that causes deficiency of the enzyme aromatase, which is needed for the synthesis of estrogens from "male" hormones (androgens).


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