Oestrogen Dominance

For the first time in history modern lifestyles, reducing pregnancy rates, and increasing levels of pollutants are contributing to an accumulation of aggressive oestrogens in our bodies. An induced imbalance of intrinsic oestrogens and progesterone, combined with exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in the form of extrinsic oestrogens, are creating a situation we refer to as ‘Oestrogen Dominance’.

Intrinsic Oestrogen

  1. Produce ‘aggressive’ oestrogens every day of the (Estrone (E1) and Estradiol (E2))
  2. They do not produce enough Estriol, the protective oestrogen
  3. Progesterone, which protects the body and balances oestrogen, is produced only during the two weeks of the month following ovulation
  4. The level of Progesterone produced each month declines significantly after a woman reaches the age of 35
  5. During Peri-menopause (10 years prior to menopause) and menopause, Progesterone production falls to near zero

This in itself is enough for women to cope with! Combine this with the effects of extrinsic oestrogens and we are heading for a hormonal roller coaster.

Extrinsic Oestrogen


Unlike any time before in history, we are exposed today to huge amounts of “Xeno-oestrogens” -- foreign oestrogens originating outside the body. Increasing evidence points to these xeno-estrogens contributing to conditions such as type 2 diabetes, endometriosis, male infertility – low sperm count, obesity, ADHD, and autism. Pesticides such as DDT and glyphosphate found in Round-Up have proven endocrine disrupting effects. Likewise, chemical compounds found in: petrochemicals (car fumes), plastic, detergents, sanitary products, lipsticks, spermicides, canned foods, tap water, dental fillings and even till receipts create these xeno-oestrogens. BPAs found in plastics, even the shiny coating of till receipts and glossy magazines, are increasingly being linked to hormonal issues; from weight gain, accelerated aging and endometriosis to reproductive issues and breast cancer. Dioxin another example of these chemical is found throughout our environment and in increasing levels in our food supply. These chemicals behave like aggressive oestrogen in our body, further throwing hormone levels off balance. They can begin creating problems in young girls and have been blamed for increasing rates of early puberty. Xeno-oestrogens have also been linked to the huge increase in the occurrence of breast cancer over the last 30 years and to the increasing rate of infertility in females, especially those living in heavily industrialised countries.

Synthetic Oestrogens:

The birth control pill, Mirena IUD, Jadelle implant, and Depo-provera injection that all liberate women from the risk of pregnancy could raise the level of aggressive oestrogen in the body, as does oral Provera – a synthetic progestin. The pill contains only strong, synthetic forms of oestrogen, along with synthetic progestins, which are subtly different to your natural Progesterone. Likewise, the Mirena IUD and Depo-Provera injection are also synthetic progestins. Thus, they can create aggressive oestrogens without Estriol or Progesterone protection.

Below is a diagram of Progesterone and a common synthetic form: Medroxyprogesterone acetate – otherwise called MPA, Progestagen, or Provera.

diagram of progesterone

Progesterone differs significantly from Progestins/Progestagens - synthetically manufactured forms of Progesterone - present in most oral contraceptives, the Mirena IUD, and traditional HRT drugs. (eg Levonorgestrel, Norethisterone, Medroxyprogesterone acetate).

Many physicians mistakenly believe that synthetic progestins/progestagens are identical to Progesterone and that their actions in the body are identical. But this is not so.

The impact of Oestrogen dominance is evident in the myriad of hormonal imbalances reflected in our society, which were not present in past centuries!

What can you do?

While it is impossible to eliminate all xeno-oestrogens from our environment, it is possible to limit the amount we are exposed to by implementing the following guidelines:

  1. Use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food and water
  2. Drink filtered
  3. Use stainless water bottles where possible
  4. Avoid heating plastic containers wherever possible
  5. Avoid using microwaves if unavoidable use safe glass or ceramic dishes covered with wet paper towel
  6. Buy hormone free/organic meats
  7. Buy organic produce, vegetables and fruits grown without pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilisers or hormones
  8. Soak fruit and vegetables in water with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before cooking
  9. Use anti-oxidant supplementation: Vit A, C, and E to combat xeno-oestrogen effects
  10. Take Di-Indoyl Methane (DIM) to down regulate oestrogens
  11. Use a simple detergent with fewer This includes laundry detergents and household cleaners – sulphate and paraben free
  12. Avoid receipts
  13. Look for organic soaps, shampoos and dioxin free sanitary
  14. Use natural pest control not pesticides (instead use a cup of salt in 4ltr of vinegar)
  15. Don’t use herbicides instead use a cup of salt in 4ltr of vinegar
  16. Wear natural fibres which allow your skin to breathe
  17. Use condoms without spermicides instead of birth control pills
  18. Avoid parabens and phthalates used in skin lotions and beauty products
  19. Use Natural Hormones, like Progesterone and DHEA rather than synthetic HRT
  20. Turn smartphone onto airplane mode when sleeping, turn off wifi.

Reiss Uzzi. (2002) Natural Hormone Balance (6th Ed) New York, NY. Altria Books Dalton K. (1999) Once a Month. Salt Lake City, UT. Publishers Press.
Gottfried, S. (2013) The hormone cure. New York, NY. Scribner
Martin R, Gerstung J. (2005) The Estrogen Alternative. (4th Ed). New York, NY. Bear & Company
Lee J.R. (1999) What your Doctor may not tell you about Premenopause. New York, NY. Little, Brown &Co

Other pro-active lifestyle measures can help too. Constipation can inhibit the passage of hormones from food through the gut. Ensuring adequate dietary fibre intake is vital to prevent constipation. Probiotics can also help to balance gut microflora, assisting gut motility and therefore increasing the speed toxins are eliminated.

Phyto Oestrogens

Phyto-Oestrogens are plant based foods that have oestrogen mimicking properties.

Phyto-oestrogens are weak in their oestrogenic action but very quick to the receptor sites around the body. Through this mechanism they are able to block xeno-oestrogens from entering the cells, thereby reducing the risk of Oestrogen dominance.

Foods that contain Phyto-Oestrogens are:

Sesame seeds

Anise seed
Split peas

Black eyed peas
Green beans
Red beans
Sunflower seeds

Baker’s yeast
Green squash
Red Clover