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ask: What approximate level of estrogen in a woman is needed to sustain the "protective benefits" from high blood pressure and heart/cardiovascular disease?

By Anonymous
 
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I keep seeing article from the medical community about estrogen's protective effect and the threats that menopause has on heart disease and high blood pressure. What are the safe or "protective" estrogen levels needed? I know every woman is different, but even an average to guage?

Add a Comment19 Comments

Diane Porter (reply to maku)

Maku, do you mean estradiol?

And if so, what day of your cycle were your levels measured? I ask because it is one of the hormone levels that changes throughout the month. They can be <50 at menstruation and <200 at ovulation, or more. Here is one chart that explains this:

http://www.fertilityplus.org/faq/hormonelevels.html

Does that help you?

May 12, 2010 - 8:34am
drtenney

Hi Sue,

Thanks for you questions, the endocrine changes in menopause and perimenopause can be complicated and confusing and different for every woman.

First off, different labs have different reference ranges for normal values and it is important to look at the units the lab is reporting the values in. FSH also changes throughout the cycle and the best day to test for it is day 3 of the cycle. Normal FSH in the first half of the cycle (day 1-14) is 4 IUs, in perimenopausal women it is 14 IUs. In perimenopause we see elevated FSH as well as LH hormones.

In general we see fluctuating estrogen levels throughout perimenopause, but mostly women experience elevated estrogen levels and decreased progesterone levels.

Perimenopause is different for every woman and one of the ways we evaluate a woman's menopausal status is by her menstrual cycle and by symptoms. The perimenopausal transition can begin as early as the late 30's although the average age is 47.5 years.
Here are some general guidelines for determining perimenopausal status.

Perimenopause is the period of time before a woman reaches 12 continuous months without a menses.
Early perimenopause is characterized by a varying cycle length greater than 7 days different from normal.
Late perimenopause is when there are two skipped cycles and an interval of no menses for 60 days. This is often the phase when women begin to experience hot flashes.

I realize you dont have a cycle due to your hysterectomy, but your hormone levels along with your symptoms can help you and your doctor determine if you are perimenopausal.

October 23, 2009 - 11:40am
Rosa Cabrera RN

Dear Anon,

Thanks for this question. I am posting this response on behalf of one of our experts, Dr. Lishan Aklog:

Unfortunately there isn’t a simple answer to this question as it varies from woman to woman. There was a time when it was felt that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was protective for most post-menopausal women. Then data came out that showed that was not true and that in fact it was it increased the risk of heart disease and stroke in some women. In most women, HRT should be used to treat other conditions, not simply to decrease the risk of heart disease. It should not be used in patients with prior history or at high risk for heart disease or stroke, blood clots, breast or uterine cancer.

September 25, 2009 - 5:51am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Thank you for your question.
FSH stands for follicle-stimulating hormone. Below are the normal ranges for FSH.

Before puberty: 0-5.0 IU/L
During puberty: 0.3-10.0 IU/L
Follicular phase of the menstrual cycle: 3.5-12.5 IU/L
Mid-cycle: 4.7-21.5 IU/L
Luteal phase of the menstrual cycle: 1.7-7.7 IU/L
Postmenopausal: 25.8-134.8 IU/L

You are currently in the luteal phase which means (premenstrual) according to the test. When a womans body enters menopause, the FSH rises while the ovaries begin to decease in productivity. Here is a link from Medicine Net that will provide more information. According to Medicine Net, there is no clear test to predict menopause. I hope this helps your question.
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=17348

September 19, 2009 - 9:06am
SUE22 (reply to Anonymous)

i mean 7.78, i feel hot alot

September 19, 2009 - 2:40pm
SUE22 (reply to Anonymous)

many thanks, my estrogen is 7.70 is that ok

September 19, 2009 - 2:39pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Hi Sue!

Thanks for your question and welcome!

Estrogen levels vary from woman to woman, as we discussed. How old are you? If you are post-menopausal, as Diane mentioned, the average levels are around 9 to 20 so you are slightly below that.

Are you experiencing ill-health or discomfort? Why did you have your levels checked?

September 19, 2009 - 5:50am
SUE22 (reply to Susan Cody)

hi, i am 50 ,plus had a hysterectomy last september , womb only took away my fsh is 24.7 does slightly below mean i am not premenopauselmany thanks again,

September 19, 2009 - 8:13am
SUE22

hi please could you tell me if my estrogen boold test level is normal it is 7.78 thanks

September 19, 2009 - 1:25am
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