What Happens To Hormone Levels During Menopause And Postmenopause
During menopause, your hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease. This results in both estrogen and progesterone deficiency, which can cause a variety of menopausal symptoms. Some of the most common ones are vasomotor symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats. Low progesterone can also cause abnormal uterine bleeding.
Low progesterone and low estrogen levels both during and after menopause can increase the risk of developing heart disease and osteoporosis. Thankfully, one of the benefits of progesterone after menopause is that it can help improve many menopause symptoms, stabilize a hormone imbalance, and reduce certain health risks, such as abnormal bleeding after menopause.
Breastfeeding And Childbearing Tied To Lower Odds Of Early Menopause
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– – Women who have babies and breastfeed may be less likely to go through menopause early than those who dont have children or nurse their infants, a U.S. study suggests.
Researchers tracked 108,887 women, ages 25 to 42, who had not yet gone through menopause. Just over half had experienced at least one pregnancy lasting at least six months and more than half of these mothers exclusively breastfed their babies for at least one month.
During follow-up for up to 25 years, women who had one pregnancy were 13% less likely to experience menopause before age 45, and the risk declined with subsequent pregnancies, the study found. Breastfeeding appeared to explain at least some of the reduced risk; after accounting for that factor, a single pregnancy was still associated with an 8% lower risk of early menopause.
While most women may not be thinking about menopause timing when deciding how many children they plan to have, we feel our breastfeeding findings add new insight into ways to prevent early menopause, said lead study author Christine Langton of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. And they align nicely with recommendations of both the American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization that U.S. women exclusively feed their infants breast milk for at least six months and continue breastfeeding for up to one year.
A total of 2,571 women, or 2.5%, went through menopause before age 45.
Does Food Play A Role
Some have suggested that menopause was much easier for Asian women than for Westernersat least while women followed traditional, mostly plant-based diets. Hot flashes have been reported by only about 10 percent of women in China,1 17.6 percent of women in Singapore,2 and 22.1 percent of women in Japan.3 In contrast, it is estimated that hot flashes are experienced by 75 percent of women over the age of 50 in the United States.4 Whether these differences might be partly due to reluctance in reporting symptoms among Asians is not entirely clear. And as Asias diets gradually westernize, these differences are likely to disappear anyway.
But we do know that, throughout their lives, Western women consume much more meat, and about four times as much fat, as women on traditional Asian rice-based diets, and only one-quarter to one-half the fiber. For reasons that have never been completely clear, a high-fat, low-fiber diet causes a rise in estrogen levels. Women on higher-fat diets have measurably more estrogen activity than do those on low-fat diets. At menopause, the ovaries production of estrogen comes to a halt. Those women who have been on high-fat diets then have a dramatic drop in estrogen levels. The drop appears to be less dramatic for Asian women who have lower levels of estrogen both before and after menopause. The resulting symptoms are much milder or even nonexistent.
Also Check: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
Natural Solutions For Dryness
At menopause, vaginal blood flow falls. Dryness and irritation can occur, and bacteria infections that pass to the urinary tract are more likely.
What is to be done? First of all, even after the ovaries stop, the adrenal glands and the fat tissue continue to contribute to estrogen production after menopause. In addition, phytoestrogens in plants provide weak estrogen effects. Soy products, such as tofu, tempeh, and miso, contain huge amounts of these natural compounds.
The plant-derived estrogen and progesterone creams described above can be helpful. Used on a regular basis, these creams maintain a moist vaginal lining. However, please note that they should not be used as a sexual lubricant. Estrogen cream is a medication, not a lubricant, and it goes through any skin it touches, including mens. Many women prefer to avoid hormone creams entirely and use ordinary lubricants or moisturizers instead.
What Is Normal Breast Development
Breast development is a vital part of a womans reproduction. Breast development happens in certain stages during a woman’s life: first before birth, again at puberty, and later during the childbearing years. Changes also happen to the breasts during;the menstrual cycle;and when a woman reaches menopause.
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What If You Want To Get Pregnant After You’ve Hit Menopause
Okay, so let’s say you’ve already hit menopausemeaning you haven’t had a period in 12 months or morebut you would still like to get pregnant. Luckily, if that’s your choice, science is on your side through a process called in vitro fertilization .
According to the US National Library of Medicine;, IVF is essentially the joining of a woman’s egg with a man’s sperm, outside of the woman’s body . In women who are of childbearing age, there are five steps to IVF: stimulation, egg retrieval, insemination and fertilization, embryo culture, and embryo transfer. However, because women who have already gone through menopause are not producing eggs, they do not need to go through the first two steps, and will instead have to use eggs from a donor.;
From there, it’s like any other IVF pregnancy: Once a fertilized egg divides and become an embryo outside of the body, per the NLM, it’s placed inside the woman’s womb, where she can carry the embryo, then fetus, to term.;
The bottom line: If you havent yet reached menopause but are perimenopausal, you can definitely still get pregnant. But if youve already hit menopause when you decide you want to consider motherhood, its not necessarily too late” for that, either.;
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Why Menopause Timing Matters
When we look at the things that are the greatest determinants for when someone is going to go through menopause, genetics seems to be the one of the most important things, according to Streicher. Theres a lot of truth in that you may follow what happened with your mother, if she went through menopause late, you may, too, she says.
Read Also: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
What Is Male Menopause
Because men do not go through a well-defined period referred to as menopause, some doctors refer to this problem as androgen decline in the aging male or what some people call low testosterone. It is normal for men to experience a decline in the production of the male hormone testosterone with aging, but this also occurs with conditions such as diabetes.
Along with the decline in testosterone, some men experience symptoms that include:
- Sexual problems
The relationship of these symptoms to decreased testosterone levels is still controversial.
Unlike menopause in women, when hormone production stops completely, testosterone decline in men is a slower process. The testes, unlike the ovaries, do not run out of the substance it needs to make testosterone. Healthy men may be able to make sperm well into their 80s or later.
However, as a result of disease, subtle changes in the function of the testes may occur as early as age 45 to 50 and more dramatically after the age of 70 in some men.
Adoptive Breastfeeding: The Ultimate Guide
One helpful resource that answers the question, Can a woman produce milk without being pregnant? is Adoptive Breastfeeding: The Ultimate Guide. Many adoptive moms have found this a helpful tool for learning how to breastfeed their baby. This guide includes information about the benefits of breastfeeding and how to get started nursing your baby.
This guide was created by Mardie Caldwell, the Founder of Lifetime Adoption and a Certified Open Adoption Practitioner. As an adoptive mom herself, she successfully nursed her adoptive son. Because of her experience, she believes that all moms can breastfeed a baby, whether they carry a pregnancy or not.
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Hyperprolactinemia Or Excess Prolactin
In certain situations, such as the use of medication or an abnormality in the pituitary gland, which produces hormones, women can produce excessive amounts of prolactin.
This, in turn, can cause a reduction in estrogen production.
Excess prolactin is a less common cause of ovulatory dysfunction.
Ovulation can be induced by fertility drugs.
These medications are known to regulate or trigger ovulation. Doctors may to treat anovulation, or the cessation of ovulation.
Brand names are included in brackets.
- Clomiphene citrate : This oral medication increases pituitary secretion of FSH and LH, stimulating ovarian follicles.
- Letrozole : This works by temporarily lowering a womans level of the hormone progesterone to stimulate ovum production.
- Human menopausal gonadotropin or hMG and FSH : These injectable medications are known as gonadotropins and stimulate the ovary to produce several eggs for ovulation.
- Human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG : This matures eggs and subsequently triggers their release during ovulation.
- Metformin : This medication is typically used in women with PCOS to treat insulin resistance and increase the chances of ovulation.
- Bromocriptine and Cabergoline : These medications are used in cases of hyperprolactinemia.
Be aware that taking fertility drugs can increase your chances of having twins or triplets. The above may trigger side effects, including:
- abdominal pain
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Do You Need Progesterone Therapy After Menopause
Hormone replacement therapy with progesterone can be a great option to address common postmenopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats. Another one of the benefits of progesterone after menopause is that it can also help with other symptoms and concerns.
- Vaginal symptoms, including dryness, itching, burning, and painful intercourse
- Bone loss and fracture due to osteoporosis
- Heart disease and stroke
- Mood changes and disorders like depression and anxiety
Researchers have also found several other possible benefits of progesterone after menopause.
- In one study, taking progesterone at bedtime was associated with a higher quality of deep sleep and less severe night sweats.
- Another study found that taking progesterone may improve visual and verbal memory in menopausal women. However, other studies didnât find these same cognitive benefits.
While estrogen is often the primary ingredient in many forms of hormone replacement, youâll also want to consider including progesterone to reduce menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms.
This is especially true if you still have your uterus. Progesterone helps thin the uterine lining and prevents endometrial hyperplasia . Doing so helps reduce the risk of developing endometrial, or uterine, cancer. Thereâs also evidence that taking estrogen and progesterone together may reduce the risk of getting colorectal cancer.
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Using The Surrogates Breastmilk
For intended parents who feel strongly about the benefits of breastfeeding, another option is to use the surrogates breastmilk.
Many surrogates are willing to continue pumping for up to six weeks following the birth of the baby. This milk can be used to feed the baby with a bottle or with the supplemental nursing system, allowing the infant to receive all of the same benefits of breastmilk regardless of whether the intended mother decides to breastfeed.
Surrogates are not required to pump, and those who choose to do so spend a considerable amount of time and energy pumping and shipping the milk to the intended family. If you or your partner decide to induce lactation, you will quickly discover exactly how trying pumping can be. Similarly, if your surrogate agrees to pump for you, she will need to do so every few hours, even during the night, and it can be an inconvenience that requires serious dedication.
For these reasons, surrogates need to be compensated for their extended commitment to the intended family. Most agencies suggest $200$250 per week of pumping, including shipping costs and all of the supplies necessary to the process.
Relactation After Menopause: What To Do About It And Its Benefits
Even if a mother is menopausal, due to surgical removal of her reproductive organs or because of age, she can still bring her milk back.
Can relactation after many years, even after menopause, still happen? Talk to any woman in menopause and youll likely hear her complain about hot flashes and constant weight gain. And if she has a baby in this condition then relactation after menopause might seem impossible.
How will she breastfeed a baby with so much weight and constant hot flashes? you might ask.
But its actually quite possible. Even after menopause, a woman can breastfeed with ease.
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How Do I Monitor My Progress In Relactation After Menopause
Apart from physical changes in your breast, you may also notice a few visible signs of relactation. So keep an eye on the following:
- A darker coloured areolae
- Increase in the size of your areolae
- Your nipples will become wider
- Your breast size will increase by as much as one or two cups
- You will be able to see more dominant blood vessels right below the surface of your breasts’ skin
- You may express fluid from your nipples
- Pain or tingling in your breasts may occur
Once you notice these changes, you should be assured that your hard work is bearing fruit. You may now be in the process of starting breast milk production. However, you may still need some help.
This is where breast milk boosters come into play.
Supplements You Should Be Taking After Menopause
Hormonal shifts are responsible for most of the wonderful side effects of menopause, including an increased risk of certain diseases and conditions. When estrogen drops, the risk for osteoporosis and heart disease risesas does the tendency to suffer from symptoms such as;hot flashes, mood changes, and vaginal dryness.
To combat this, vitamins and supplements can be a key component of a woman’s care during and after menopause, but the process of deciding which ones to take can be overwhelming. “When it comes to supplements for menopause, there isn’t just one pill,” says Jacqui Justice, a clinical nutritionist at the NY Health & Wellness Center. “It’s a process. It’s a complex system.”
Keep in mind that supplements are not regulated or evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, but you can often get a better quality supplement with fewer fillers and more of the key ingredient when you purchase them through a certified practitioner, says Mark Menolascino, MD, a board-certified physician in internal medicine, holistic medicine, and advanced hormone management and anti-aging medicine, and key medical opinion leader at Lycored.;”Functional medicine practitioners like me use pharmaceutical-grade supplements that have been tested prior to and after manufacture. They are 99% pure, whereas the average retail supplement may be only 1 to 20% pure and full of binders,” explains Menolascino. “If you work with a practitioner who understands the quality, then there is a huge benefit.”
Also Check: Dizziness During Menopause
If It Has Actual Nutrients Does That Mean It Has Calories
Yes, but not as many as you might think. Contrary to popular belief, sperm isnt highly caloric.
Each teaspoon of ejaculate the average amount of ejaculate produced at one time is around five to seven calories, which is about the same as a stick of gum.
Theres no single description of what semen tastes like because it can vary from person to person.
To some, it can taste bitter and salty, while for others, it can taste sugary sweet.
Although there isnt a direct link proving that a persons diet directly affects the taste of their sperm, theres some anecdotal evidence.
There are a few foods that could make semen taste more palatable, or less acidic, such as:
Menopause Occurs After Ovaries Stop Producing Estrogen
What causes things to shut down so that their ovaries are no longer producing estrogen? Dr. Streicher asks. A lot people think its when you run out eggs. This isnt going to happen were born with millions and millions of eggs its really about the aging of eggs and what causes them to age more quickly, she says.
If someone has pregnancy or if someone is breastfeeding, is this going to delay the aging of the eggs? On the basis of this observational data, this research would suggest that this is the case, says Streicher.
The numbers in the prospective study are meaningful and it appears that there is an association between women who breastfeed and have pregnancies, that they tend to go through a later menopause, says Streicher. But do we know why thats the case? No, she adds.
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Our Hormones Change Rapidly Post
Heres how it works: During the postpartum period, estrogen levels decline after you deliver your placenta. Your placenta is the primary source and contributor to high estrogen levels during pregnancy. On top of that, breastfeeding mimics menopause due to the production of the milk-producing hormone, prolactin, temporarily blocking estrogen production, which keeps your estrogen levels low .
, temporarily decreasing elasticity, blood flow, and thinning of the tissue. These vaginal changes cause symptoms like vaginal dryness, itching, burning, irritation, painful intercourse, urinary frequency, and urgency.
Breastfeeding My Way Through Menopause
Local mom Amy Nielsen humorously recounts what it was like for her to experience menopause while simultaneously nursing her child.
Hi, my name is Amy. I am, uh, here because I am in menopause. Saying these words feels like an out of body experience.;
Welcome, Amy. They smile at me, revealing faint laugh lines brought on by years of giggling.
Im standing before a room filled with silver-haired beauties, grandma-types. Most are bundled up in layers of polyester and wool. I should be in spin class, not at a Golden Girls support group! Why am I here? I nervously tousle my freshly colored brunette hair, attempt to furrow my Botoxed-brow and rock awkwardly back and forth on my black Converse. I have a child in diapers! How can I be in menopause? I start to get more anxious. I dont belong here. I begin to feel heat radiating from my core and racing out to every nerve ending like a fast-spreading brush fire. My entire body is scorching and sticky. My skinny jeans feel like they are melting into my skin. Ive got to get out of here!;
The face of menopause isnt what it used to be. Because of advances in fertility medicine, more and more women are able to have children later in life. This means more and more mothers of young children find themselves just where I am, balancing life with a new baby AND menopause. What years ago may have been an unlikely duo is becoming a more common occurrence.;
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