Signs and symptoms of high and low estrogen levels

There are natural changes in estrogen levels throughout our lifetimes and our menstrual cycles, but when they drop too low or rise too high, that can lead to health problems down the line. Read all about the hormone (and why it’s so important) below.

Table of Contents

What is estrogen and why is it important?

Estrogens are a group of sex hormones in people with ovaries. They include estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3), and they’re produced by the ovaries, the adrenal gland, and the placenta during pregnancy.

At puberty, estrogen leads to the growth of breasts, pubic and underarm hair, and kick off (and later help control) our menstrual cycles.

Estrogen also plays a role in keeping our cholesterol levels in check, maintaining our bone health, and producing hormones that affect our brains, hearts, and skin (among other parts of our bodies). (Source)

Diagram of ovaries and uterus
Estrogen is produced in the ovaries, the adrenal gland, and the placenta during pregnancy.

What are low estrogen symptoms?

First, let’s talk about causes. Women may have lower levels of estrogen when they’re postmenopausal, after an oophorectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries), or when they have a lower body-fat percentage.

If you have lower levels of estrogen, you might experience:

  • Infrequent or disrupted periods
  • Hot flashes and/or night sweats
  • Sleeping issues
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Mood swings
  • Dry skin
  • Menstrual migraines
Estrogen effects on body
Estrogen can affect many parts of a woman’s body

What are high estrogen symptoms?

Women can have higher levels of estrogen (aka estrogen dominance) because of hormonal birth control or a higher body-fat percentage.

If you have higher levels of estrogen, you might experience:

  • Weight gain
  • Changes in your period
  • Worsening of premenstrual syndrome
  • Non-cancerous breast lumps
  • Uterus fibroids
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Anxiety or depression
How do normal estrogen levels change with age?

During the reproductive years, estrogen levels naturally fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle — they’re highest toward the middle and lowest during your period. 

At the onset of menopause, when periods come to a complete stop, estrogen levels drop.

Changes in female estrogen hormones by age graph
Estrogen levels change over time.
Can you test your estrogen levels?

Yep — and Modern Fertility makes it easy to check in with your hormone levels at home. Depending on your birth control, you can test up to eight hormones, including E2 (an estrogen), and get customized, physician-reviewed reports based on your results. 

Here’s what else you’ll get:

  • A free 1:1 consult with our fertility nurse
  • Online tools to track hormone changes over time and help you plan your timeline for kids
  • Access to our weekly live Q&As
  • An invite to the Modern Community to connect with others and get your questions answered
FSH and E2 test online reports
Estrogen testing is easy (and affordable) with Modern Fertility.

Meet Modern Fertility

We’re on a mission to revolutionize women’s health, starting with our at-home fertility hormone test. Whether you’re years away from kids or thinking of trying soon, we’ll guide you through your fertility hormones now so you have options later.


Test your estrogen hormones