|During Menopause, a woman’s estrogen significantly decreases as her ovaries where nearly all estrogen is produced, cease to function. A woman can lose 2 to 5 % of her bone density each year during the first 5 to 10 years following menopause. However, not all women develop osteoporosis despite this accelerated bone loss. For example, a woman who enters menopause with a high bone density will be less likely to develop osteoporosis because she has more bone to start with. Other factors are also important including genetics, physical activity and nutrition.
The relationship between bone health and estrogen raises great concern in women who experience premature menopause — menopause before the age of 45. Sometimes such a menopause occurs naturally, while other times it is medically induced through surgery or chemotherapy. Whatever the cause, early menopause can lead to significant bone loss.
|Amenorrhea (Missed Periods)
Amenorrhea is a condition which can develop when a girl or young woman develops an eating disorder or when she is training in sports or other intensive physical activities where she over-exercises. In such cases her menstrual cycle may be disrupted and her estrogen production will decrease.
Periods of estrogen loss during this time of life — even if temporary — can have a profound effect on a woman’s bone health over her lifetime.
As a result, even if she does not develop osteoporosis early in life, she will reach menopause at a great disadvantage and be a likely candidate for postmenopausal osteoporosis.
|Estrogen Halts Bone Loss
If used early enough this can prevent a woman’s bones from becoming osteoporotic. In cases where she has low bone density or has already fractured, estrogen can stabilize or even improve her bone density.
|Research has provided enough evidence to make a strong case for the use of estrogen as both a preventive therapy and as a treatment for established osteoporosis.