Category Archives: Womens Hormone Therapy

Perimenopause: Defined

Perimenopause: Defined

Perimenopause is the transition to menopause. This phase usually begins several years before a woman reaches the period of menopause or at around her early to mid-40’s. In some women, it can start at as early as their 30’s. A woman’s period becomes irregular due to the hormonal level decline. Although a woman’s menstrual cycle is irregular, she can still bear offspring. If a woman no longer wants to get pregnant at this age, she needs to continue using birth control that will prevent it.

Perimenopause comes from the Greek words perí (meaning near, about, around), mēn (meaning month), and pausis (meaning pause). With these we can literally define this as “at around the end of the monthly cycle”, which is about right. It is defined as “around menopause” and is referred to as the time in a woman’s life wherein her body undergoes a natural, biological transition to infertility, or menopause. It is also known as “transition to menopause”.

During this phase, a woman’s estrogen and progesterone (the female sex hormones) levels rise and fall erratically. A woman can have either a shorter or a longer period, and a lighter or a heavier menstrual flow. There will be changes to the menstrual cycles as well wherein instead of the 28-day cycle, a woman may experience shorter cycles of 24 to 25 days.

Some of the symptoms of perimenopause are irregular menstruation, hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood swings, vaginal problems, bladder problems, sexual function changes, decrease in fertility, bone loss, and change in cholesterol levels.

Due to the erratic change in a woman’s sex hormones, she can have irregular periods which may be shorter or longer. A woman may also experience lighter or heavier menstrual flow. If a woman is experiencing a difference in her menstrual cycle of seven or more days, then she is in the early phase of perimenopause. But if the difference is two months or more, then she is already in the late stage and is nearing the menopause stage.

A lot of women experience hot flashes during this time. This may be linked to the change in a woman’s body circulation. Hot flashes also cause night sweats.

Due to hot flashes and night sweats, a woman may experience sleep disturbances. Although sleep disturbances is not restricted to hot flashes and night sweats, a woman in this phase can experience sleep disturbances for no exact reason. She can just find herself awake at night and may have difficulty returning to sleep.

Mood swings may be attributed to the fact that a woman during this phase experiences sleep disturbances which make her irritable.

Due to the decrease in estrogen levels, a woman’s vagina may lose elasticity and lubrication. In this case, intercourse may be painful. A woman is also at risk of vaginal infections.

A woman’s estrogen levels also affect a woman’s urinary tract system. Due to the loss of the vagina’s elasticity, a woman may experience incontinence and there is a higher risk or urinary infection.

A woman’s sexual function changes during this time. Because of the decrease in the female’s sexual hormones, there is a change in the sexual urge and arousal. It can also be attributed to the fact that due to the loss of lubrication, a woman may find intercourse a painful experience.

There will be a decrease in a woman’s ability to conceive as ovulation becomes irregular. But this does not mean that a woman can no longer get pregnant. As long as a woman is still getting her period, she is still able to conceive.

There is an increase risk of osteoporosis as women enter the perimenopause phase. Estrogen is responsible in replacing the bones so with the decrease of its production, a woman is likely to acquire osteoporosis.

Because of the decline in the levels of estrogen production, there is also a critical change in the level of blood cholesterol. The decline in estrogen level leads to the increase in the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol level. With this increase in bad cholesterol, there is also an increased risk of heart disease.

This phase occurs years before a woman’s menopause and it has several phases. On the average, the length of time that a woman is in this stage is four years, but some women may experience it in as short as a few months to as long as 10 years.

Phase A is when a woman’s estrogen levels become unusually high which causes breast soreness, unevenness, and swelling. Due to this change, a woman could experience longer or heavier periods. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) could also occur at this time which includes mood swings and irritability. A woman could also start to get migraines, night sweats, and sleep disturbances. Others also become anemic due to the heavy flow accompanied by cramps.

Phase B is almost the same as Phase A but with the addition of the hot flashes. A woman may also experience shorter menstrual cycles. Instead of a 28-day cycle, a woman can have her next cycle in the next 24 to 25 days.

Phase C is determined by a woman’s irregular periods. A woman could either have a shorter period or longer period alternately.

Phase D is characterized by the time a woman skips her period. This is when a woman has not had her period for two months. During this time, breast soreness begins to get better. The only time that a woman will experience soreness of breast is when her next period is about to begin.

Phase E is simply explained as a woman’s final period. It is from this time that a woman can start counting up until she reaches the 12th or 13th month that she does not have her period. And when that happens, she can finally declare that she has entered the stage of menopause.

If the symptoms of perimenopause are no longer tolerable, a woman can seek medical attention. However, for those whose symptoms are manageable, a change in lifestyle and diet could ease the discomforts of this phase in a woman’s life.

Menopause and Weight Gain

The Relationship of Menopause and Weight Gain

Menopause naturally occurs to every normal female. It is like the reverse of arriving at the puberty stage when girls experience their first menstrual cycle or known as menarche. When females mature and reach their forties or fifties, their menstrual cycles may cease to happen. If the cessation of monthly periods lasted for a year, it will already be referred to as menopause.

Monthly periods are indicative of women’s fertility. The absence of such entails the absence of women’s capability to bear a child as well.

In the U.S., the average age of women who arrive in their menopausal stage is 51 years old. Menopause and Weight Gain may occur altogether to those in their menopausal stage,
The cessation of menstrual cycles happens when the ovaries stop releasing ova. An ovum is the female sex cell; it is a staple element in reproduction. Aside from the release of ova, their ripening or development stops as well.

In addition to the cessation of ovum release, the secretion of estrogens and other hormones by the ovaries also stops in menopause. One of the primary functions of the ovaries is the production and secretion of estrogens. Estrogen helps maintain the good condition of the uterus and the uterine lining. It also affects the build-up and the ensuing shedding of the uterine lining. Menstrual period is actually the shedding of the uterine lining. It comes out as the blood during periods.

Signs and Symptoms

Before Menopause and Weight Gain, early signs and symptoms appear in the stage known as perimenopause. Weight gain is accompanied by slowed metabolism as signs. Apart from those signs, irregular menstrual cycles are also an indication of perimenopausal stage. Other indicators of perimenopause/menopause are as follows:
• Sleeping problems
• Night sweats
• Hot flashes
• Moodiness
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Fatigue
• Dizziness
• Easily gets distracted
• Memory lapses
• Dry and itchy skin
• Thinning hair or balding
• Loss of breast fullness and breast pain
• Vaginal dryness and irritation
• Loss of libido or the desire to engage in sexual intercourse.

Menopause and Weight Gain

Women in their menopausal stage usually gain more weight around the abdomen. Lack of balanced diet and physical activities are lifestyle factors that may contribute to such. Apart from those factors, the natural deterioration of the muscle tissues is considered culprits as well. In terms of menopausal factors, the decrease in estrogen secretions is to be blamed for the additional weight.

Estrogen is known as a female sex hormone relevant to pregnant women and would-be moms. This ovary-secreted chemical substance affects the distribution of fats in the body as well.

Females have the tendency to have a pear-shaped body as they grow. This is in preparation to pregnancy. But when menopause happens, the pear-shaped body tends to turn into an apple shape due to the accumulation of weight in the abdomen. Menopausal and postmenopausal women are not the only ones experiencing weight gain in the abdomen but men as well. For men, their alcoholism may also be a factor in their bloated abdomen.

Lack or decrease of estrogen, lowered metabolism, and muscle tissue deterioration are also factors to weight gain to menopausal women. Another common factor to women in their forties and fifties is the lack of exercise.

Proper Diet for Menopausal Women

Instead of watching your weight, you should watch more what you eat. Proper diet is still the best remedy against the signs or effects of menopause. In sleeping, there is a recommended hours of sleeping according to your age range. Just like that, there is also a recommended diet according to your body’s needs. Proper diet entails balance in your intake of vegetables, fruits, meat, fishes, and so on. That is why the recommended diet for each person should be tailored according to the excess and insufficiency in their diet, lifestyle and medical conditions.

For women in their menopausal stage, 2 cups of vegetables daily is highly recommended. It should be accompanied by 1 ½ cups of fruit each day. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins and minerals that may improve the state of various organs in the body. These foods are rich in fiber as well. When it comes to fiber, 21 grams is the recommended amount for menopausal women. Foods that are rich in fiber include rice, pasta, cereals, and whole-grain breads. Iron-rich foods are also a must-eat. Eight milligrams or three servings of these foods a day is the proposed dietary allowance for menopausal women. Enriched grain products, nuts, eggs, fish, poultry, and lean red meat are sources of iron. Menopausal women are also advised to obtain sufficient calcium. Milk is a basic source of calcium. Aside from milk, there are dairy products such as yogurts that women may take in as well. Legumes, broccoli, canned salmon and sardines are other options to get calcium. Two to four servings of these calcium-rich foods are recommended.

A balanced diet is a product of the subtraction of this and addition of that. What to add are mentioned previously. What you need to cut in your diet are fatty foods. These foods don’t just increase your weight; they also increase your chances of having heart problems. Fatty foods that you need to be wary of are cheese, ice cream, margarine, whole milk and fatty meats.

Salt and sugar should be taken in moderation. Meanwhile, it will be good if you opt to drink alcohol sparingly. But it will be better if your simply remove it in your diet.
Exercise for Menopausal Women

Physical activities are a great help in Menopause and Weight Gain even to older women. Just because you arrive in your menopausal stage doesn’t mean you may stop exercising. Physical activities may be exercises or dances. They should be done at least 30 minutes a day. They help in weight management by boosting metabolism. Menopausal women should also lessen their strenuous physical activities such as gardening and cleaning the house. These are just things that you cannot do once you arrive at that age. Menopausal stage also needs to be accepted by the one experiencing it.

Hormone Imbalance’s Causes, Effects and Remedies

Hormone Imbalance’s Causes, Effects and Remedies

Hormones serve as guide in numerous bodily operations. These chemical substances come from ductless endocrine glands. Due to the absence of ducts, these secretions pervade the bloodstream right away. Hormones are important chemical messengers. In case there is a Womens Hormone Imbalance, illnesses may appear.

Major endocrine glands include hypothalamus, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, pineal gland, pancreas, adrenal glands, ovaries and testes. The hypothalamus produces hormones that influence the production of hormones by the pituitary gland. The latter secretes eight kinds of hormones; one of which is the growth hormone. Meanwhile, thyroid gland’s secretions influence metabolism while parathyroid gland’s secretions affect bone development. Pineal gland produces melatonin: a hormone that impacts the circadian rhythm of the body. Pancreas releases insulin which controls the blood sugar level in the body. On the other hand, adrenal glands are known for their production of epinephrine or better known as adrenaline. Ovaries and testes are collectively called gonads in the medical field. Testes produce testosterone in males. Meanwhile, the ovaries release estrogen, progesterone, and surprisingly, testosterone.

The term estrogen or the female sex hormones (sometimes spelled as oestrogen) is a collective term for estriol, estrone and estradiol. These are actually hormones that have similarities in their chemical composition. Estriol (E3 or oesterol) is the safest among the three hormones. Estrone, on the other hand, is referred to as E1 or oestrone and the weakest among the three hormones. Lastly, estradiol or 17β-estradiol is a hormone that is more prevalent in the reproductive age of women. It is also considered as the most active and strongest type of female sex hormone.

Estrogens function for women’s reproductive and sexual development. Estradiol alone serves as the counterpart of pituitary gland for its secretion of growth hormone for the reproductive organs. Without these organs, pregnancy won’t be possible. It doesn’t stop there. This hormone also supports the lining of the fallopian tubes. These tubes serve as the passageway of a fertilized egg to the uterus. Aside from these parts of the reproductive system, estradiol supports the endometrium, cervical glands and the lining of the vagina as well. When there is a Womens Hormone Imbalance caused by the excess or deficiency in this kind of female sex hormone, pregnancy may become more difficult than the usual.

Meanwhile, the hormone progesterone can be either natural or artificial. The natural ones are manufactured by the ovaries. On the other hand, the artificial type of progesterone is made in laboratories. Lab-made progesterone products may come in the form of oral medications or creams. These products may be availed even without a health professional’s prescription.

So what made this hormone worth buying? Progesterone is necessary prior and during the pregnancy period. That is why it is also dubbed as the pregnancy hormone.

Prior the bearing of a child, progesterone makes sure that the uterus will be ready. The uterus or womb is the place where the zygote will develop until it becomes a fetus. The womb will enlarge as the baby grows inside it. It will be active for several months. If preparation fails, the life of the mother isn’t just the one life at stake. The life of the baby inside is also in danger.

Progesterone has another function in the course of pregnancy. It renders assistance in the nourishment of the fetus. As mentioned earlier, it supports the endometrium which in turn supports the developing fetus.

Some women only know estrogen and progesterone as the female hormones relevant in reproductive and sexual terms. The truth is, women also have testosterone. This hormone is also vital sexually and reproductively speaking. However, testosterone is mistaken as produced by male sex organs and possessed by men alone. Women and men have testosterone but not just the same in their amount. This hormone is more prevalent in men and comes in greater amount as compared to women. Excess amount of testosterone in women results to bodily changes that are usually male-like.

Causes and Risk Factors

Womens Hormone Imbalance refers to the excessive or insufficient production of hormones. This is nothing strange, actually. However, there are just some cases of serious medical conditions arising from such kind of imbalance in the bodily chemical substances.

The imbalance may come as a natural occurrence in the female body. Age is one and is considered a risk factor. Girls experience this phenomenon as they hit puberty stage. Menstrual cycle is a recurring event that may trigger or worsen hormonal imbalance. As women age and go menopausal, they will have another risk factor in experiencing hormonal imbalance. Pregnancy is another triggering factor as well.

Genetics also plays a role in the determination of the occurrence of hormone imbalance in women. Some are more prone to this condition if their descendants had it.

Apart from genetics, having other medical conditions may be the culprit. These medical conditions include diabetes and thyroid problems.

Diabetes may also fall as a risk factor to imbalance under the group of lifestyle causes. Poor diet, lack of exercise, and lack of quality rest usually cause diabetes. However, these three unhealthy lifestyle habits may also directly cause the hormonal imbalance of women.


Weight gain is one of the by-products of unbalanced hormonal levels. This may be related to diabetes and lifestyle habits too.

Irritability, depression and anxiety are also signals that a woman has excessive or insufficient of one or more hormones. These emotional effects are common to girls prior or during their menstrual cycle.

Diet and digestion are affected as well. Slow digestion and bloating are usually experienced by women having hormonal imbalance. There’s also a chance of diet shifting due to cravings.

An imbalance in the female hormone testosterone levels may cause acne. Aside from that, women who suffer from it may cause deepening of their voices and enlarged clitoris.

There are several available solutions to Womens Hormone Imbalance. There are over-the-counter products that women can choose from. Certain foods may also be taken in such as avocados, coconut oil and other fruits and vegetables. Proper sleep, lowered coffee intake, exercising and proper diet are the best solution as always.