What is Estrogen Dominance?

Estrogen and progesterone are two of the primary female sex hormones. During a normal menstrual cycle, they take turns driving the process of maturing and releasing an egg and preparing the uterus for possible pregnancy: estrogen rises in the first half of the cycle, peaks at ovulation, then falls in the second half as progesterone rises. Progesterone is released by the rupturing of the egg follicle during ovulation. If there is no pregnancy, you have a period and the whole cycle begins again. When estrogen and progesterone are doing their jobs, they work together.

During pre-menopause it’s common for estrogen levels to decrease slowly while progesterone levels plummet — a natural result of fewer ovulations, fewer burst follicles and less progesterone. This can cause many of women’s worst symptoms. How much or how little of each hormone is made at any one time relies on a complicated feedback system between the brain: specifically the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, which release LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), and the ovaries. Stress and diet affect that feedback system and so directly impact your hormonal balance.