If you are taking estrogen replacement therapy but experience severe breast tenderness, the first thought is that you’re probably getting too much estrogen. This is one of the most classic first signs, and it will show up pretty quickly. But what happens when everything else feels balanced except for this one thing? What happens when lowering the estrogen dose relieves the breast tenderness but now everything else starts feeling off?
One of the things that we can do to combat this situation is to adjust the TYPE of estrogen you are getting. Estrogen is commonly thought of as just one hormone, but did you know that estrogen actually comes in three different forms? Estrogen is actually made up of Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), and Estriol (E3). They each have a different purpose, come in different strengths, and show up at different times.
Estrone (E1): This is a weak estrogen. It is produced by the ovaries and fat tissue. Sometimes other hormones can convert into more Estrone (E1). After menopause, Estrone (E1) is the more dominant type of estrogen produced.
Estradiol (E2): This is the principle form of estrogen in a woman’s body; it is the most plentiful and most active type of estrogen produced by the ovaries until menopause. Typical estrogen replacement therapy uses this type of estrogen to help prevent hot flashes, night sweats, and other typical signs of menopause.
Estriol (E3): This is the weakest of the three estrogens and is made in highest quantity during pregnancy.
Your estrogen replacement therapy is typically made up of Estradiol (E2). If you are feeling good on your current dose but experience breast tenderness, we will make a plan to reduce the amount of Estradiol (E2) you are getting and supplement with another form of estrogen.