Estrogen my friend…

Estrogen my friend…

There is something these times have uniquely in common – postpartum blues, PMS, the hot flashes and insomnia of menopause… They are marked by low levels of the profoundly important hormone estrogen. There is arguably no greater hormonal shift than the sudden drop of estrogen with the delivery of a baby, hence the surprisingly common incidence of postpartum blues. At a time that should be one of the happiest, a large number of new mothers feel depressed. I have understood the physiology behind postpartum blues and depression, but have wondered how estrogen levels affect us (and my teenage patients) on a day-to-day level. What is the mind-body impact of hormonal fluctuations within our monthly cycles? What oral contraceptives make the most sense for patients seeking cycle regularity, acne treatment and/or cessation of painful periods?

First, let’s analyze the impact of estrogen — Estrogen has a weighty impact on brain function – it has…