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Medically reviewed by Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull, M.D. on July 25, 2023

The MsFLASH 05 trial found that women experiencing menopausal symptoms had higher mean serum concentrations of estrone. Additionally, higher serum concentrations of estrone were associated with lower odds of bothersome joint and muscle aches.

Estrogen withdrawal in the perimenopausal period coincides with increased vasomotor symptoms, including night sweats and hot flashes in women. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the association between menopausal symptom bother and single-concentration measurements of estrone (E1), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and estradiol (E2). The findings, published in the journal Maturitas, indicate that single measurements of SHBG, E1, and E2 do not contribute to distinguishing between women who are and are not bothered by menopausal symptoms.

Study Population

The mean age of the total 359 participants was 54.2 ± 5.1 years and 60.7 ± 4.1 years in the MsFLASH 03 and MsFLASH 05 clinical trials, respectively. The mean menopause-specific quality of life (MENQOL) scores in MsFLASH 03 for hot flashes or night sweats and MsFLASH 05 for vaginal dryness during intercourse were 7.7 ± 4.8 and 6.2 ± 2.2, respectively.  

Serum Estradiol Concentrations and Menopausal Symptoms

Compared to women without menopausal symptoms, women experiencing menopausal symptoms in the MsFLASH 05 trial had higher but non-significant mean serum concentrations of E2.

Serum Estrone Concentrations and Menopausal Symptoms

Compared to asymptomatic women, those experiencing menopausal symptoms in the MsFLASH 05 trial had higher but non-significant mean serum concentrations of E1. In both trials, higher serum concentrations of E1 were significantly related to lower odds of bother associated with aching in joints and muscles. Conversely, in the MsFLASH 03 trial, there was a significant association between lower odds of bother related to sweating and higher serum concentrations of E1.

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Menopause Symptoms and Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

Higher serum concentrations of SHBG were found to be associated with a decrease in menopausal symptoms in symptomatic women; however, this association was not statistically significant.

Single measurements of SHBG, E1, and E2 do not contribute to distinguishing between women who are and are not bothered by menopausal symptoms.

Source

Crandall, C. J., Larson, J. J., Ensrud, K. E., LaCroix, A. Z., Guthrie, K. A., Reed, S. D., Bhasin, S., & Diem, S. J. (2022). Are serum estrogen concentrations associated with menopausal symptom bother among postmenopausal women? Baseline results from two MsFLASH clinical trials. Maturitas, 162, 23–30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2022.04.003