The term estrogen dominance is less related to the amount of circulating estrogen and more related to the ratio of estrogen to progesterone in the body. Menopause and PMS are not the result of estrogen deficiency; although estrogen levels do decline during the latter phases of a womans reproductive cycle. More relevant is that the estrogen levels drop by approximately 40% at menopause or during periods of stress while progesterone levels plummet by approximately 90% from premenopausal levels.
It is the relative loss of progesterone that begins in the latter stages of a womans reproductive cycle, when the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle begins to malfunction. The malfunction is initiated when the corpus luteum, the primary source of progesterone, begins to lose its functional capacity. By about age 35, many of these follicles fail to develop creating a relative progesterone deficiency. As a result, ovulation does not always occur and progesterone levels decline. It is during this period that a relative progesterone deficiency, or what has become known as estrogen dominance, develops.
Typical Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance Include
Heavy menstrual bleeding
Short-term memory loss
Estrogen in the form of Estradiol and progesterone are two hormones that are often tested together in the saliva with a Pg/E2 ratio. This ratio allows you to determine if the patient (male or female) has “estrogen dominance.” Estrogen dominance is a risk factor for breast cancer and osteoporosis in females and prostate gland enlargement and cancer in males.
The progesterone/estradiol (Pg/E2) reference ranges are optimal ranges determined by Dr. John R. Lee, M.D. While they are not physiological ranges, they are optimal values for the protection of the breasts, heart and bones in women, and the prostate in men. Salivary values within these ranges have been shown by Lee to decrease both breast and prostate cellular proliferation, thereby providing protection to these vital tissues.