Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women
Natural menopause is a condition that every healthy woman will experience
as she reaches middle age, typically between the ages of 35-59. The gradual
process occurs when a woman’s ovaries produce less estrogen and
progesterone, and her lifetime supply of eggs becomes depleted.
A woman is considered to be in menopause when a full year has passed since
her last menstrual cycle.
Perimenopause describes the time when a woman’s body transitions
from her fertile, childbearing years into middle age. During this natural
transition, the body undergoes biologic changes resulting from declining
ovarian hormone production and the aging process starts to make itself
Benefits of successful bio-identical hormone therapy
Improved cognition, memory and focus
Improved cardiovascular health
Increased bone density
Slower appearance of aging
Dramatic reduction in menopausal symptoms (see below)
Increased sex drive
Improved quality of life
Restored sleep cycle
You feel like yourself again!
Women, who are going through menopause and perimenopause, experience many
symptoms. However, every woman’s experience is different. Women
often experience a combination of some, if not all of the following symptoms:
Hot flashes: Are a very common symptom for women as they
enter menopause. They can be experienced during the day and or at night.
The estrogen levels produced by the ovaries decrease during this time
and the surging waves of heat in the daytime cause flushed red skin. Hot
flashes during the night can result in sudden rushes of heat waves causing
Night sweats: Are usually more intense
than hot flashes and women can experience symptoms ranging from severe
to mild, all with varied duration periods. Depending on the intensity,
night sweats, chills, nausea, headaches or an irregular heartbeat can
accompany night sweats. This commonly causes disruption in sleep patterns.
Irritability/Mood swings: Are a result of an imbalance of hormones greatly
affecting the level of neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for
the stability of emotions. Estrogen has direct influence on the amount
of Serotonin produced, progesterone affects Gaba, the sleep neurotransmitter,
and testosterone affects Dopamine, which gives you brainpower. Mood swings
and depression can be experienced due to the drops in Estrogen levels
that are responsible for production of serotonin, the mood- regulating
hormone in the brain. Sadness, irritability, difficulty sleeping, irrational
anger, foggy thinking, memory loss and feeling like you are going a little
crazy are all a result of neurotransmitter imbalance from declining hormones.
Loss of Libido: Is the decrease in the desire to be sexually
active. The drop in Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone levels are
the hormones responsible for lower energy and decreased sex drive. Sexual
activity may become less unenticing although arousal and orgasm are still
Vaginal Dryness: Estrogen is the hormone
that keeps the vaginal walls moist, thick, and elastic. During menopause,
the levels of estrogen decrease, which causes thinning of the vaginal
walls, resulting in less lubrication and elasticity, which can increase
irritation, itching and pain frequently causing a decreased desire to
engage in intercourse.
Irregular Heart Beat: Do you know what hormone can be
responsible for the symptoms of an irregular heartbeat? Estrogen levels
fluctuate and have correlation to the cholesterol levels in the blood,
as well as the fluctuation of blood pressure affecting the vasodilatation
of the arteries and affecting the autonomic nervous system that affects
Urinary Urgency/ Incontinence: Is the inability to keep
urine in the bladder during sneezing, laughing or coughing. Estrogen and
testosterone are the hormones that help the strength of the bladder muscles.
As estrogen decreases during menopause so does control of the bladder.
Incontinence includes feelings of constant need to urinate due to an overactive
or oversensitive bladder. Another form of incontinence occurs when the
bladder doesn’t empty completely and dribbling occurs.
Insomnia: Is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
for a long enough time to feel rested and rejuvenated. Night sweats or
other symptoms of menopause such as bizarre dreams, anxiety, racing thoughts
or incontinence can contribute to insomnia. This is usually due to falling
levels of progesterone.
Disorientation: It can feel like one is out of touch
with their surroundings. Often this symptom is directly associated with
feeling dizzy and lightheaded. Some women experience vertigo, which is
a constant spinning sensation or light-headedness when standing up too
Anxiety: A state of being worried fearful, on edge, uneasy
or a sense of urgency that is often out of proportion to the precipitating
event. This is commonly due to an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone
and is commonly an early sign that progesterone levels are falling.
This is just a short list (believe it or not) and description of the most
common symptoms women often experience through perimenopause and menopause.
Because women can experience so many other warning signs, it is best to
review and discuss each of your symptoms with Dr. Kafka to determine the
cause, have your hormones levels tested and find out if Bioidentical Hormone
Replacement is right for you.