October 4th, 2021 | Posted By: Magdalena Wszelaki | Posted in Adrenals, Articles, Estrogen Dominance, Menopause, PCOS, Thyroid | Tagged , , , , , , ,

What is Estrogen Dominance as a Hormonal Imbalance in Women?

PMS, fibroids, cellulite, menopause, hair loss, allergies, hip fat, belly fat, thyroid nodules or cancer, breast or uterine cancer, endometriosis or infertility? It could all be due to your estrogen.

Fibroids, fibrocystic breasts, hot flashes, endometriosis, sleep problems or thyroid nodules? It could all be due to estrogen dominance.

What You Will Learn in This Article:

  • Understand what Estrogen Dominance is and the 3 common reasons that cause it.
  • Learn how to identify if you have Estrogen Dominance and if you do have it, why you should quickly take proactive actions to address it.
  • The steps you should take if you show symptoms of Estrogen Dominance.

What is Estrogen Dominance?

You might have heard of the term before used loosely in magazines and conversations.

That’s hardly surprising – Estrogen Dominance is one of the most common hormonal imbalances women experience today.

In fact, it is so common, that we assume that having fibroids, feeling PMS, and being menopausal is pretty normal. I want to show you that it is not—and there is a way to fix it. You can also download my free supplement guide to learn the best supplements to address Estrogen Dominance.

Which 3 Reasons Cause Estrogen Dominance?

You can experience estrogen dominance if you have one or even all three of the below:

1. E1, E2 and E3 ratio: When there is too much estrone (E1) and estradiol (E2), also known as the “aggressive estrogens”, as compared to estriol (E3), which is the “protective estrogen.” This measurement is called the “Estrogen Quotient” and can be measured with a simple saliva test.

2. Progesterone: Estradiol ratio: When there is insufficient progesterone to oppose the more aggressive estradiol (E2) – this shows up as a ratio of progesterone to estradiol in saliva or urine tests.

3. Metabolites: When estrone metabolites called 2:16 hydroxy-estrone get broken down unfavorably towards the “dirty” metabolite – 16 hydroxy-estrone (that tends to be highly estrogenic and act on the estrogen receptor).

What Are Estrogen And Progesterone?

Before we go any further, let me first explain the role of these hormones. In very simplistic terms, think of estrogen as the “builder” and progesterone as the “differentiator,” and as the name implies, “pro-gestation” hormone.

Estrogen and progesterone do a beautiful dance together. We can’t function without them and can only function well with both these partners in a delicate balance.

Take a look at the below chart to gain an understanding and appreciation of how these two hormones dance together.

estrogen and progesterone Source: DrLam.com

Do You Have Estrogen Dominance?

estrogen dominance symptoms

If you have not done any tests yet, that’s OK. A good diagnosis is always based on lab work, symptoms and family health history, especially from your mother’s side (this applies to women).






Why Address Estrogen Dominance Proactively?

If you are already diagnosed with Estrogen Dominance you are probably motivated to do something about it. Some women experience painful PMS or other symptoms and learn to live with it. However, there is a far greater question:

“How is estrogen affecting me in the long run?”

The evidence that worries me the most is that of the clear connection between Estrogen Dominance and breast cancer.

Breast cancer is second only to non-melanoma skin cancer as the most common cancer among women in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 192,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States. Other conditions that have been linked to Estrogen Dominance are uterine cancer, autoimmune diseases, and infertility.

Why Do We Become Estrogen Dominant?

Estrogen Dominance is a complex condition and can be caused by some of these:

  • Eating non-organic food – which is grown “conventionally” (this term is ridiculous, in my world), contains a high amount of pesticides, fertilizers as well as growth hormones and antibiotics that are fed to animals. They contribute to endocrine disruption in every way you can imagine
  • Excess exposure to environmental xenoestrogens – a number of chemical compounds (like phthalates, BPA, SLS, and many others) found in consumer products such as detergents and skincare products.
  • Use of synthetic estrogens such as the birth control pill and hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Digestive issues which inhibit the estrogen detoxification process in the liver and overproduce cortisol which blocks progesterone receptors
  • Chronic stress which strains the adrenals and the thyroid,
  • Unresolved emotional issues from the past and present-day
  • Poor diet
  • Poor liver function, as the liver is responsible for eliminating metabolized or “used up” estrogens
  • Lifestyle choices such as drugs (prescription and recreational), smoking, and alcohol
  • Genetic variants that make some women more prone.

What Should Be Your Next Steps In Regards To Estrogen Dominance?

estrogen dominance

Here is the good news. You can do many things to help yourself right away.

There is always an option of taking topical creams but I do not recommend this as an immediate solution. Build a healthy foundation for yourself so you can prevent other conditions – like autoimmune conditions which are also becoming a pandemic. Your food and lifestyle choices can take away the underlying causes of Estrogen Dominance. Here is how:

1. Test First

It’s important to confirm your suspicion of experiencing Estrogen Dominance. You can get your doctor to test it for you at your next appointment (be sure to get urine or saliva, not blood testing) or you can start by taking a Free Estrogen Quiz. I’ve designed it to help women discover Estrogen Dominance. The truth is Estrogen Dominance symptoms occur to 75% of women, but a whopping 90% of them don’t even realize they have it.  

2. Go Organic

If you think that organic food is just a hype or a “hippie thing” to do, think again. Most of the chemical compounds used in raising “conventional” food and growing animals are highly detrimental to your hormonal balance. If you are on a tight budget, there might be surprising options in your neighborhood like food co-ops. Many people like to get their food directly from an organic farmer (dropped off in the city).

3. Eliminate Xenoestrogens

Xenoestrogens are compounds found in general consumer products such as creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, perfumes, hair sprays, and room deodorizers. Such compounds often have chemical structures similar to estrogen and indeed act like estrogen.

Other sources of xenoestrogens include: car exhaust, petrochemically derived pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides; solvents and adhesives such as those found in nail polish; paint removers, and glues; dry-cleaning chemicals; practically all plastics; industrial waste such as PCBs and dioxins, and synthetic estrogens from urine of women taking HRT and birth control pills that are flushed down the toilet and eventually find their way into the food chain and back into the body. They are fat soluble which means we need the engage the liver to get rid of them.

4. Improve Your Liver Function

Your liver is responsible for the evacuation of metabolized estrogens (the methylation pathway in the liver) to make way for more healthy estrogens.

Please note that in order to detox your liver, you need to make dietary and lifestyle changes for a period of time. Powders, pills, and supplements alone will NOT be effective enough to help your liver. To learn more about the supplements that can help estrogen dominance and improve liver function, download the free supplement guide here.

5. Restore the Health of Your Digestive System

The health of your gut is central to your overall health as much as your hormonal balance. I am yet to meet a person who is healthy but has digestive issues. When I say “digestive issues” I mean chronic constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea, acid reflux, burping, and frequent stomach aches.

A distressed digestive tract will prompt the adrenals to release cortisol. Cortisol is a progesterone blocker at the cell level. Can you see now why any form of stress (emotional, physical, digestive, etc.) can lead to Estrogen Dominance?

Another interesting data point is the recent findings on the estrobolome – a subset of the gut bacteria that helps metabolize estrogen. Who would have thought that the poor gut bacteria would bring on Estrogen Dominance?

“The estrobolome provides a framework for understanding how an individual’s resident gut bacteria may modulate lifetime estrogen exposure,” said Dr. Plottel. “States of estrogen excess are associated with an increased risk of developing estrogen-related cancers, so knowledge and characterization of the estrabolome represent a novel area of promising scientific and biomedical research.” Dr. Martin J. Blaser, The Cell Host and Microbe Journal

Download The Supplement Guide For Balancing Hormones

Supplement Guide

72% of women experience estrogen dominance, but most don’t realize it.

Most of our lives, we are told that fibroids, fibrocystic breasts, hot flashes, endometriosis, sleep problems, and thyroid nodules are simply part of being a woman. Estrogen dominance is one of the most underestimated and ignored hormonal imbalances that can lead to more serious issues, such as estrogenic cancers.

Our lives can be impacted by our hormones in ways big and small. The bottom line: no woman should suffer from estrogen dominance. The good news is that this hormonal condition is easily reversible with the right diet and supplements.

My free supplement guide helps you understand the best supplements to use to address symptoms of Estrogen Dominance. Download the FREE supplement guide here.

62 Comments to What is Estrogen Dominance as a Hormonal Imbalance in Women?

  1. One year into menopause, only problem is painful intercourse – What is most likely cause & what can be done?

    • It helped me to find a PT who specializes in pelvic floor issues. The PT can correct muscle imbalances/atrophy of the pelvic floor muscles that make sex a painful experience. You can find lots of good reading on the subject online.

        • I have lyme disease, I do have high estrogen, low progesterone, I did have very low testosterone and I also did have very low cortisol. My testosterone has come up as well as my cortisol. I have the MTHFR Gene along with several others that cause issues with detoxification. I’m homozygous C677TT. I read a study about estriol helping reduce estrogen. I have been using a compounded progesterone cream, was wondering what your thoughts are on adding the estriol. I have always been a smaller size person until about 3 or 4 years ago when I was I was on my journey to battling lyme disease and I went from 120lbs to 185lbs in a year. 2-1/2 years of antibiotics was definitely part of the problem even though I was taking some pretty good pre and probiotics.

          • Hi Angela, we recommend working with a practitioner who specializes in bio-identical hormones and the Dutch test to determine what hormone are out of balance. If you need help locating a practioner in your area, please contact us at [email protected].

            ~ Jeanne HB Team

        • Hi! I Had very low testosterone, which means high estrogen, so I started pellet therapy through a true hormone specialist.
          Aside from that, check out the Celery Juice cleanse by a guy who goes by Medical Medium. I stalked his Instagram account for a long time before actually going for it (I use a blender bc it’s easier and cut it with a little lemon juice). For the first time in years my liver levels look good! It helps in healing a bunch of issues, even those related to antibiotics.

          Side note: I was also low in a bunch of vitamins (B’s, D’s, etc), and
          found that the ones on this site have high quantities and are of excellent quality.

          I hope this helps

      • Hi Crystal,
        This is interesting. Have you had it done? We will look more into this. ~Deanna HB Team

  2. I had a total hysterectomy because of BHRT pellets. I now take nothing. What to do?

  3. Thanks for this wonderful article (and all the others)! I have many of the symptoms of OD and a strong family history of hormone cancers. Recently genetic testing showed I have a greatly reduced capacity for detoxing estrogen (via CYP enzymes). Could you give me some more information on how I can support the detoxification of estrogen metabolites and if a dietary approach is enough or whether I should be taking supplements (someone recommended DIM but it’s not available in Ireland). Thanks!

    • Hi Mona, Try Quicksilver Scientific’s website. They do sell a liposomal DIM (which has good absorption). Think you can purchase it retail from several websites which carry Quicksilver Scientific’s products.

  4. This is a good topic, more than 20 yrs ago, I had heavy periods that would last for 30 day’s or more off and on, so my gynocologist started me on estrogen therapy injection, then my period would slow down for a few days the start back I would hemmorage, this went on for 8 month’s and after a series of test and extreme weight gain, my doctor finally figured it out, he said my body was producing to much estrogen, I finally had to have an emergency d and c, for year’s I suffered with this most of my life my doctor started giving me progestrogen injection which slowed down the bleeding when I had a period, he said I have inbalance hormones. So most of my life I have suffere with uncontrollable weight gain. I have been off the hormones for several year’s, now that I am menopausal I looking for a natural solution, these hot flashes and nights are uncontrollable this is had a negative effect on my skin so I am seeking help. I’m so glad for your site and the topic estrogen dominance finally someone who understands.
    thank you.

    • Hi Deborah,

      Yes, this article has helped many women find better answers. To learn more you can check out Magdalena’s free workshop here https://hormonesbalance.com/cfb. You can learn about boosting the good estrogen and clearing the “dirty” estrogen. ~Deanna HB Team

  5. Great info. Thank you so much. I had a saliva test done last August and I was showing no adrenal function and estrogen dominant. But no one explained that to me???. My Dr put me on birth control just to help prevent migraines. It’s the only thing that helps that. Been on that about 6 years. Been on thyroid meds for about 3 years. I want to be off both of these!!!! I have been on a no gluten no dairy. Very low sugar diet for 3 months!! It works. I can feel the difference. Less inflammation. Less pain. My next step is to get new saliva test. And a hashimotos test. What do you think? ??

    • Hi Amanda,
      Good for the changes you have made. Were you able to get off the BC pills? If you have any questions, please contact our support team at [email protected] ~Deanna HB Team

  6. Hello, I find your information very educational! I am a RN who developed DVT and multiple bilateral pulmonary emboli twice in the same year after taking Bio identical hormone pellets and the use of Testosterone cream.

    My hormones have only been checked via blood and never via saliva.

    This info could also help my mom also. She’s 78 with a plethora of issues including Polymyositis, poor appetite, weight loss, years of taking Prednisone and Prandin. Long story. She’s lost over 40 lbs in the past year. Been to several Dr.’s and multiple labs. They have found nothing except to say it’s probably the Polymyositis. I’ll stop now. Thank you for the great information you have provided.

  7. Hi Renee – thanks for the positive feedback! Good health to you and your mom:-)

    Customer Support

  8. Gee Wiz , everything mentioned here I have or had . No one ever mentioned this to me . Do doctors not know this ?

    • Hi Verna,
      Unfortunately doctors are not taught this in med school. We hope we can help you and the Cooking for Balance Program focuses on estrogen dominance.

  9. Isn’t every women “estrogen dominant” during the follicular phase? Why no recommendations for timing in relation to the menstrual cycle for the test?

  10. Thank you for all of your support and help. My sister’s and I are experiencing many of the named symptoms. Both older sisters and mother have had breast and ovarian cancer. All ED and progesterone plus. Our local health food store seems to be profiting by taking loads of expensive suppliments. Thank you for your shared knowledge.

  11. hi! excellent blog! excellent article! 100% true – I started this change 2 years ago, I never had a healthy period neither balance hormones – but at my 43 years old I got pregnant Im on my week 10th, and I was wondering how to keep my hormones balanced thru pregnancy Because Im afraid some herbs or juices or liver detox pills I used to take will harm my baby, I used to take Dong Quai and used to made Celery Parsly and Cilantro Juice to keep me healthy plus a hormone health nutrition. I stopped the juices and Dong quai – how can I keep a great hormone balance during my pregnancy? Thanks

    • Hi Jezabel,

      Magdalena does not make any recommendations during pregnancy or breastfeeding as it is such a special time. Please come back when the baby is older and you are no longer breastfeeding. Wishing you all the best~Deanna HB Team

    • Hi Lauri,

      My functional medicine practitioner recommends Thermography. Please check it online out to see if it is for you ~Deanna HB Team

      • I will never get mammograms again because of the discomfort, the x-ray exposure, the high rate of false positives and the possibility of causing a rupture of a cancer tumor, if one exists. The only advantage is that insurance pays for it.

        I will ALWAYS get thermograms. There is no physical contact, no x-rays (it uses an infrared camera), you can go as often as you want and do not need a doctor’s order, especially if you want to track the progress of a treatment or a disease progression. You can look at the photos immediately but must wait a day or two for a report. You might talk to the thermographer if you want to go often and see if she will give you a good price if you just want to view the pictures (and compare them with previous ones) to follow your progress and only need an occasional report. Please know that some herbs and supplements you take can influence the outcome of the pictures, especially pau d’arco. It really “lights up” your lymph system. Conventional doctors read these pictures and make their reports on what they see and they don’t know how homeopathic remedies affect the outcomes. They once told me that my cancer had spread all over in my lymph system, when actually it was the effects of the pau d’arco. I didn’t believe that so I did several saunas and drank a lot of water for a few days and went back for another look. My thermographer and I agreed that my pictures looked much better and that it was the pau d’arco effect. We did not send the pictures for a report. There are probably other herbs that have similar warming effects so some searching might be required before going for a thermogram, maybe even asking the thermographer for wisdom. My thermographer is a registered nurse but leans heavily on holistic healing and herbalism. The only disadvantage of a thermogram is that most insurance plans don’t cover them.

        • Pau d’arco is not a homeopathic remedy. It is an herb. So now I wonder do homeopathics “light up” thermograms, or do certain herbs?

  12. Help. Post menopause and hysterectomy at age 61. All of a sudden, weight gain, anxiety, painful sex, varicose veins at age 62. On Premarin vaginal cream for dryness. Should I stop the cream and treat with diet??? Estrogen dominance??

    • HI Jamie, Here is what Magdalena says about vaginal dryness and estrogen dominance:
      “Vaginal dryness is often due to low estrogen levels, especially one estrogen called estriol (or E3). As much as lubes and other topics creams can offer temporary relief, they often do not address the underlying reasons why our ovaries (or adrenals in the case of someone who lost her ovaries) are struggling with producing adequate amounts of estrogen. Or, why is our body not metabolizing and using whatever estrogen there is, efficiently.

      This is where food and striving for a balanced body come in. On one hand, we can add foods like flax seed to help boost estrogen levels and the metabolism of estrogen that also promotes estriol (E3). This can help but if your body is imbalanced, then flax seed alone might not help. This is where restoring the health of the gut, liver and sugar levels play a big role even though most of us do not connect these three body systems to our hormonal balance and symptoms such as vaginal dryness. I have seen women’s vaginal dryness going away by just stopping to eat gluten, drinking too much coffee and stopping sugar/carbohydrate binges. When the body is in a state of a relative balance, wonderful healing can start happening. I hope this gives you a sense of perspective – to add foods like flaxseed while restoring the health of your gut, detoxing your liver and rebalancing your sugar levels.” ~Jeanne HB Team

  13. There is no free sample at Annmarie Gianni. They want 10 bucks that will ‘go toward the next purchase.’ how do they know we will want to purchase again? It’s supposed to be a trial.

    So that’s not true.

    • Hi Trill,

      It is not listed as free but it is a relatively small price to pay for getting to try a few products without committing to the full size. They are really wonderful and we hope you check it out ~Deanna HB Team

  14. My daughter is very overweight. I’m afraid she might have estrogen dominance. Which of the canary tests do you recommend. Also, do you have a practitioner you would recommend in Portland Oregon?

  15. I had a full hystorectomy where do I start on balancing hormones I do not have anymore?

    • Hi Josie, some women need BI (bio-identical) hormones after a full hysterectomy but we have had women in the community who did not need any BIs because their adrenals step in to produce estrogen and progesterone in sufficient amounts to live a normal albeit post-menopausal life. For that to happen, the adrenal need to be in good health and there must be no to little inflammation in the body (which is what the Cooking for Balance program is about.)

      Interested in learning more about how to find hormonal balance with proper nutrition? Get our exclusive, free 8-day access to lectures from the full program, here:

      ~ Jeanne HB Team

  16. I called Canary Club today and left a message to find out exactly which one of their tests are for the estrogen dominance. I haven’t heard back yet. Does anyone else know?

  17. Please can you let me know how to distinguish between oestrogen and progesterone dominance?
    My symptoms are extreme exhaustion, brain fog, memory issues leading to depressed mood during ovulation and after (ie. 3rd week in cycle) until day 1 of period. My cycle is 25 days. My doctor thinks that I need to stop ovulation with POP, but I have refrained as I want to try and balance my hormones naturally. I am not sure which hormone is more dominant as I have read articles that suggest both. I have had chronic stress so I believe my cortisol is all over the place. I am 38 yrs old, and been suffering for a few years.
    Many thanks

    • Hi Victoria,
      Magdalena says “the symptoms of progesterone dominance are often the same as estrogen dominance such as weight gain, fluid retention, causes sluggishness/sleepiness, depression due to increased monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity and decreased dopamine, and decreased sex drive due to lowered testosterone. Elevated progesterone also diminishes sex drive through several other mechanisms. It decreases pheromone perception, decreases the sense of touch including in the genitals, and decreases orgasm by relaxing the uterus and by inhibiting oxytocin.” Since you are unsure, you may want to investigate further with testing. Here is a link for testing you can order yourself https://hormonesbalance.com/articles/what-lab-tests-to-order-to-manage-your-hormones/ I hope that helps ~HB Team

  18. Can you recommend a company that meets your standards for not containing Phalates,,BPA, SLS. and other harmful chemicals in shampoos etc.
    I have to use Fragrance Free products as I have asthma.
    Your help would be greatly appreciated as it is difficult to sort through
    what companies are best

    • I use Young Living products. They have done the research and refuse to use harmful chemicals in their products. Using their products takes the guesswork out of it for me. Any fragrance they use is from essential oils and they declare all ingredients on every product they sell.

  19. I’ve been experiencing symptoms of low progesterone/estrogen dominance since I got my mirena IUD removed three weeks ago. My mood has been the most seriously affected. The general advice has been to just wait until things balance out naturally but I’m supplementing with a natural progesterone cream. Is this a good idea or will it just delay my body from making its own natural progesterone again? I went to see a gynocologist but she was quite dismissive of my symptoms. Help much appreciated 🙂

    • Hi Amy,

      It may be a good idea to find a trusted practitioner to discuss this with. Many of our clients have had great success with functional medicine doctors. https://www.ifm.org/find-a-practitioner/

      We cannot speak to other companies products, however we offer our own topical progesterone that can be found at wellena.com. We offer suggested recommendations on how and when to take this specific product on the purchase page.

  20. I just did some hormone testing and my Progesterone/Estradiol Ratio is low at 8. Would something like the Wellena Progestpure be helpful? There is so much info out there and it’s just confusing. 🙂

    • Hi!

      I have brain fog, memory issues, weight gain, cellulite and now diagnosed with fibroids. I did a liver detox 2 years ago and side effects were aura migraines. I assume my body wasnt ridding itself of toxins quick enough? Question is since I may not be sweating enough (hypothyroidism – hard for me to sweat) will I perhaps have same side effects?

      Thank you

      • Hi Tanya,
        Yes, I guess that is still possible until you’ve used all your resources in full. We recommend using the elimination diet, detoxing your liver, and balancing your blood sugar. Once these options are used, we can supplement with things like brocco powder and calcium d glucarate to help everything become eliminated. However, it really depends on each individual and their health. .Please feel free to send us an email at support@hormonesbalance,com for more assistance.
        Healthy Regards,
        HB team

      • Tanya, I’ve found the mildest way to detox the liver is 8oz of celery juice with juice of 1 large lemon every morning before eating, then wait 1-2 hours before eating OR boldo tea taken 2x day. You’ll start feeling better after 2 weeks on this but for a good yet gentle cleanse you need to do this religiously for at least 3 months.

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