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Women's Hormone Information

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What does Women's Hormones Encompass?

Women’s hormones covers

  • Perimenopause 

  • Menopause 

  • PCOS 

What is Perimenopause? 

Perimenopause is the period before menopause. It can begin several months to 10 years before menopause. It is marked by erratic estrogen levels and progressively declining progesterone levels. This can be a particularly challenging time for women because of access to help to address hormone imbalance.

 

Symptoms can include: 

  • Irregular menses 

  • Hot Flashes 

  • Night sweats 

  • Weight gain 

  • Mood swings 

  • Sleep difficulties 

  • Breast tenderness 

  • Alteration of blood cholesterol 

  • Low bone density

I often tell women that this transition is much more difficult than menopause itself because of the fluctuation and initial decline of sex hormones. Unfortunately, we live in a time where the mainstays for hormone deficiency in perimenopause and menopause are antidepressants, antianxiety and medication to help you sleep. While there is a time and place for these medications, they are not typically our first options to help women reduce symptoms and feel better. We can help make the transition from perimenopause to menopause more comfortable and uneventful so you continue to feel like you! 

 

What is menopause? 

Most women experience menopause between the ages of 41 and 55 years with the average age being 51. The age of menopause can be affected by several factors: genetics, damage to the ovaries, autoimmune thyroid, smoking, chemotherapy and/or radiation, etc. 

Menopause marks the permanent end of fertility for women. It is the period of time in a woman’s life when she stops menstruating and is a time of major hormonal change. Physical and psychological changes occur although menopausal symptoms vary from woman to woman. 

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This results in the loss of estrogen and other hormones which accelerates both physical and mental decline. Natural menopause is typically diagnosed after a woman has not had a period for 1 year. Surgical menopause occurs at the time of a complete hysterectomy. In some cases it is harder to know if a woman is in menopause, because she may have had a partial hysterectomy or a uterine ablation. In both cases menstruation does not occur, but the ovaries still may be functioning. It is important to evaluate ovarian function in these women by additional means such as taking an in depth history and assessing FSH/LH levels. 

Symptoms of menopause: 

  • Redistribution in body weight 

  • Fat shifts from hips, thighs, and buttocks to midsection 

  • Loss of muscle mass 

  • Gum & tooth loss 

 

 

  • Vaginal dryness, dry eyes 

  • Headaches 

  • Decreased immune function-allergens 

  • Body chills 

  • Osteoporosis 

  • Metabolism decreases 

  • Joint pain 

  • Thinning hair and dry skin 

  • Night sweats 

  • Elevated blood pressure 

  • Insomnia 

  • Insulin resistance 

  • Loss of breast fullness 

  • Bloating, digestive problems 

 

Natural remedies for menopause 

Some women try home remedies to manage menopause symptoms, but the only way to restore hormones to therapeutic levels is through hormone therapy. 

THE BENEFITS OF HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY FOR MENOPAUSAL WOMEN INCLUDE: 

  • Relief from Menopausal Symptoms: 

  • HRT is often effective in reducing or eliminating symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood swings. 

  • Prevention of Osteoporosis: 

  • HRT can help prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone density, particularly important for high-risk women. 

  • Reduction of Heart Disease Risk: 

  • Studies have shown that HRT reduces the risk of heart disease in menopausal women.’ 

  • Improvement in Cognitive Function: 

  • Research indicates that HRT improves cognitive function in menopausal women, including memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills. Women on estradiol therapy for 10 years or more show a five-fold decrease in the rate of Alzheimer’s disease. 

  • Treatment of Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM): 

  • Hormone replacement therapy effectively treats GSM symptoms, which include vaginal dryness, itching, burning, pain during intercourse, and urinary incontinence, by increasing estradiol levels. 

How does hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women work? 

HRT addresses these symptoms by restoring therapeutic estrogen levels in the body after they have declined due to menopause. This carefully managed therapy helps minimize unpleasant symptoms, allowing women to feel their best during this transitional phase. HRT replaces hormones no longer produced by the ovaries and is most effective when started at the time of menopause. 

ABOUT POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME (PCOS) 

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome affects millions of women of reproductive age. Its root cause is genetic. There are also several environmental factors that can exacerbate the symptoms. 

The symptoms of PCOS can affect the skin, hair and weight of women, as well as their reproductive health. If you have PCOS, however, treatments are available that can significantly improve your condition. 

What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome? 

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. 

PCOS is a complex endocrine and metabolic disorder that is largely hereditary. However, it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors that lead to an imbalance of the hormones insulin and testosterone. For example, PCOS often runs in families.

 

In addition, insulin resistance has been linked to PCOS. Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin, which is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. When insulin resistance occurs, the body produces more insulin to try to compensate. This can lead to an increase in androgens (like testosterone) production, which can then cause the development of PCOS symptoms. 

PCOS 

At Renew we’ve successfully treated hundreds of women who suffer with PCOS and we can help you as well! 

What are the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome? 

The symptoms of PCOS can vary from woman to woman. However, the most common symptoms include: 

  1. Irregular menstrual periods: Women with PCOS may have infrequent periods (fewer than nine per year), prolonged periods (longer than seven days), or no periods at all. 

  2. Excess hair growth: Women with PCOS may experience excess hair growth on the face, chest, back, or buttocks. This condition is called hirsutism. 

  3. Acne: Acne is a common symptom of PCOS, especially on the face, chest, and back. 

  4. Weight gain: Women with PCOS may have difficulty losing weight or may notice sudden weight gain. 

  5. Male pattern baldness: Women with PCOS may experience thinning hair on the scalp. 

  6. Depression and anxiety: Women with PCOS may suffer from depression and anxiety due to the physical and emotional effects of the condition. 

  7. Fertility problems: Women with PCOS may have difficulty getting pregnant due to irregular ovulation or ovulation that does not occur at all. 

 

If you are hoping to become pregnant, weight loss can restore ovulation and make your menstrual cycles more normal, which can improve your chances of pregnancy. In order to restore ovulation we need to first fix insulin sensitivity. We use lifestyle modifications and possibly medications to lower insulin resistance and facilitate weight loss. 

Therapy for Treating Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome 

Medical therapies for PCOS can be divided into two main categories: hormonal and non-hormonal. 

Non-hormonal therapies for PCOS include lifestyle changes such as weight loss, diet modification, and exercise. 

Some providers will prescribe birth control pills for PCOS, which we do not recommend. Birth control pills contain synthetic hormones which have been linked side effects such as: 

  • Blood clots 

  • Heart attack and stroke 

  • Gallbladder disease 

  • High blood pressure 

  • Liver cancer 

 

How long does PCOS treatment take? 

Most experts now agree and understand that PCOS is the result of insulin resistance and genetics. Although there is not a cure for PCOS, with proper management symptoms may be reduced and diseases associated with it prevented. It is critical for PCOS to be treated properly in order to prevent long term complications and improve patients’ quality of life. If left untreated or under-treated PCOS can lead to the following: 

Cardiovascular Disease 

Type 2 diabetes 

Infertility 

Miscarriages 

Depression 

Mood disorders 

Endometrial, breast and other cancers 

Acne 

Unwanted hair growth 

Obesity 

 

There is no cure for PCOS, but there are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms. It is possible to reduce the risk of damage caused by PCOS by adopting lifestyle changes to reduce insulin resistance such as increasing activity levels, improving dietary habits, and implementing the use of medications. 

With proper treatment, most women will see some improvement within 3-6 months of starting treatment. 

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