What Happens To Our Bodies After Menopause
In truth, menopause, while it is usually thought of as a discrete period in our 50s, has long-lasting effects on our bodies. Many of the hormonal changes that take place, stay with us for the rest of our lives.
In my recent conversation with , a naturopath and nurse, we discuss some natural ways to get your hormones back in balance after menopause. I hope that Julies tips help you to understand what is going on in your body.
More importantly, I hope that her comments inspire you to give your aging body the nutrition and exercise that it deserves.
Hormone Therapy After The Whi
Over the years, the number of prescriptions for hormone therapy has reflected scientific findings. In the 1970s, the number of prescriptions increased to approximately 30 million per year. This practice was likely due to data suggesting the cardioprotective effects of hormone therapy.
In the 1980s, reports of increased rates of endometrial cancer with unopposed estrogen lead to a decrease in annual prescriptions to about 15 million. Then, the addition of progestogen for endometrial protection renewed interest in hormone therapy, and prescriptions again increased.
Between 1995 and 2002, annual prescriptions peaked at about 91 million. Termination of the estrogen-progestin arm of the WHI in July 2002 and release of the HERS II data received considerable media attention and raised serious questions about the safety of hormone therapy in postmenopausal women. Many women stopped taking hormones and began to seek out alternative therapies. Prescriptions for hormone treatment immediately decreased. Of note, prescriptions for vaginal preparations did not change during this time.
Do Estrogen Levels Fall At Menopause
Yes. Estrogen levels fall at menopause. This is a natural transition for all women between ages 40 and 55. The decline in estrogen can happen abruptly in younger women whose ovaries are removed, resulting in so-called surgical menopause.
Perimenopause is the period of transition before menopause. The first natural decline in estrogen levels starts during this phase. Other physiological changes also start. Women going through perimenopause may experience weight gain along with other menopause symptoms. For instance, there may be irregular menstrual periods, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness.
On average, menopause occurs at age 51. When it does, a woman’s body produces less estrogen and progesterone. The drop of estrogen levels at menopause can cause uncomfortable symptoms, including:
Some women experience moodiness. That may or may not be related to the loss of estrogen. Lower levels of estrogen may also increase a woman’s risk for heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and fractures.
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Will Hormone Therapy Help Prevent Long
The benefits and risks of hormone therapy vary depending on a womans age and her individual history. In general, younger women in their 50s tend to get more benefits from hormone therapy as compared to postmenopausal women in their 60s. Women who undergo premature menopause are often treated with hormone therapy until age 50 to avoid the increased risk that comes from the extra years of estrogen loss.
Can I Get Pregnant During Menopause
The possibility of pregnancy disappears once you are postmenopausal, you have been without your period for an entire year . However, you can actually get pregnant during the menopause transition . If you dont want to become pregnant, you should continue to use some form of birth control until you have gone fully through menopause. Ask your healthcare provider before you stop using contraception.
For some women, getting pregnant can be difficult once theyre in their late 30s and 40s because of a decline in fertility. However, if becoming pregnant is the goal, there are fertility-enhancing treatments and techniques that can help you get pregnant. Make sure to speak to your healthcare provider about these options.
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Fenugreek Extract Clinically Tested For Menopause
The research comes from the Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore, India. In this randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled study, 88 women with an average age of 59 were tested for three months. Each of the women had clinically significant menopausal discomforts including those listed above.
The women were divided into two groups. One group was given a daily dose of 1,000 milligrams per day of a standardized extract of fenugreek in the form of a supplement called FenuSMART. The other group was given an inactive placebo.
To gauge their menopause discomforts before and after the trial period, the researchers utilized clinical examinations and blood testing, the Greene Climacteric Scale and the Short-form 36 for quality of life testing.
After the 90-day treatment period, blood estrogen levels more than doubled on average among the 44 fenugreek-treated women. Their blood estradiol levels went from 131.22 to 288.46pmol/Liter.
The reduction of critical symptoms among the fenugreek group included a 57 percent drop in night sweats, 68 percent drop in mood swings, 75 percent drop in insomnia and 54 percent drop in headaches.
The researchers also found the fenugreek decreased other symptoms related to menopause.
The researchers wrote:
How Long Does Perimenopause Last
The length of each stage of the menopause transition can vary for each individual. The average length of perimenopause is about four years. Some women may only be in this stage for a few months, while others will be in this transition phase for more than four years. If you have gone more than 12 months without having a period, you are no longer perimenopausal. However, if there are medications or medical conditions that may affect periods, it can be more difficult to know the specific stage of the menopause transition.
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Menopause And Hormone Therapy
Although decreasing estrogen levels alone do not cause all menopausal symptoms, estrogenwith or without progestogen has been prescribed for many years to manage menopause. Estrogen was often prescribed to help alleviate symptoms of menopause, as well as to prevent cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
Some have recommended that the term hormone replacement therapy in menopause be changed to hormone therapy or menopausal hormone therapy , to reflect the shift in focus from replacing hormones to using them for symptomatic relief.
The Clinical Practice Guidelines of the Endocrine Society, 2015, note that for menopausal women < 60 years of age or < 10 years post menopause with bothersome vasomotor symptoms who do not have a contraindication; or excess risk of cardiovascular disease or breast cancer and who are willing to take menopausal hormone therapy , that estrogen therapy or estrogen and progestin therapy be initiated.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved hormone therapy for four indications: bothersome VMS, prevention of bone loss, genitourinary symptoms, and estrogen deficiency caused by hypogonadism, premature surgical menopause, or premature ovarian insufficiency . This does not encompass the management of POI in young or adolescent women, which requires different management protocols.
How Can I Reduce These Side Effects Of Hormone Therapy
In most cases, these side effects are mild and dont require you to stop your HT. If your symptoms bother you, ask your healthcare provider about adjusting either the dosage or the form of the HT to reduce the side effects. Never make changes in your medication or stop taking it without first consulting your provider.
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How Long Should I Take Hormone Therapy
In general, there is no time limit to how long you can take hormone therapy. You should take the lowest dose of hormone therapy that works for you, and continue routine monitoring with your healthcare provider to reevaluate your treatment plan each year. If you develop a new medical condition while taking HT, see your provider to discuss if its still safe to continue taking HT.
Will I Still Enjoy Sex After Menopause
You should still be able to enjoy sex after menopause. Sometimes, decreased sex drive is related to discomfort and painful intercourse. After treating the source of this pain , many women are able to enjoy intimacy again. Hormone therapy can also help many women. If you are having difficulties enjoying sex after menopause, talk to your healthcare provider.
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What Is Hormone Therapy
During menopause, your body goes through major hormonal changes, decreasing the amount of hormones it makes particularly estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone are produced by the ovaries. When your ovaries no longer make enough estrogen and progesterone, hormone therapy can be used as a supplement. Hormone therapy boosts your hormone levels and can help relieve some symptoms of menopause. Its also used as a preventative measure for osteoporosis.
There are two main types of hormone therapy:
- Estrogen therapy : In this treatment, estrogen is taken alone. Its typically prescribed in a low dose and can be taken as a pill or patch. ET can also be given to you as a cream, vaginal ring, gel or spray. This type of treatment is used after a hysterectomy. Estrogen alone cant be used if a woman still has a uterus.
- Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy : This treatment is also called combination therapy because it uses doses of estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is available in its natural form, or also as a progestin . This type of hormone therapy is used if you still have your uterus.
Hormone therapy can relieve many of the symptoms of menopause, including:
- Hot flashes and night sweats.
- Vaginal dryness.
Tests To Determine Menopausal Status
In the midst and even in the aftermath of treatment for breast cancer, it can be difficult to tell whether youve gone into menopause for good. For instance, maybe your periods stopped during chemotherapy but still havent returned a few months after finishing treatment. The younger you are, the better the odds are that they will return.
Knowing for sure whether or not youre permanently in menopause is likely to matter most to you if you still want to have biological children. However, you may simply be curious about where you stand.
Your doctor may use the following blood tests to help you gauge this:
These blood tests are not the final answer to whether or not you are in menopause, however. Even if you have postmenopausal levels of FSH and estradiol, these levels can change over time. The longer you go without a menstrual period, and the longer that repeat testing suggests you are menopausal, the more likely it is that you are in this stage of life for good.
You may encounter other menopause tests that you can do at home, on your own, using urine or saliva. However, these tests arent considered reliable. If youre interested in testing, be sure to discuss it with your doctor.
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Breast Cancer And Hormone Replacement Therapy
Menopause can trigger unpleasant side effects such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness. Hormone replacement therapy eases the symptoms by boosting sex hormone levels. It also reduces the risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.;
Since some breast cancers depend on oestrogen, women taking HRT for a long time have a 0.3-fold increased risk. Women who undergo HRT for shorter periods have the same risk of breast cancer as women who have not used HRT. The health benefits of HRT in women in early post-menopause may outweigh the risks in many cases.
Why Does Menopause Happen
Natural menopause menopause that happens in your early 50s and is not caused by surgery or another medical condition is a normal part of aging. Menopause is defined as a complete year without menstrual bleeding, in the absence of any surgery or medical condition that may cause bleeding to artificially stop As you age, the reproductive cycle begins to slow down and prepares to stop. This cycle has been continuously functioning since puberty. As menopause nears, the ovaries make less of a hormone called estrogen. When this decrease occurs, your menstrual cycle starts to change. It can become irregular and then stop. Physical changes can also happen as your body adapts to different levels of hormones. The symptoms you experience during each stage of menopause are all part of your bodys adjustment to these changes.
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What Makes Fenugreek So Special For Menopause
Research has established that fenugreek contains beneficial steroidal saponins, which modulate hormones. Steroidal saponins in fenugreek include diosgenin, protodioscin and yamogenin. Fenugreek also contains trigonellin, hydroxyisoleucine, galactomannans and numerous polyphenols.
In addition to the steroidal affects, trigonellin and hydroxyisoleucine have the distinction of binding to estrogen receptors. When estrogen receptors are bound, the cells do not respond with the same dysfunction as when they are left unbound.
These and other compounds in fenugreek give it a special quality that pharmaceuticals cannot compete with: The ability to naturally modulate the hormonal system as needed.
For example, in those women who had higher estrogen levels, the fenugreek therapy did not boost estradiol levels much. For those with lower levels, the therapy significantly increased estadiol levels. The researchers wrote:
The rate of increase of estradiol among the individuals having varying baseline levels was found to be different, with a relatively low enhancement among those who are having high levels of baseline estradiol levels and vice versa.
The fenugreek also stabilized the womens calcium levels. They stated:
Fenugreek supplementation was also found to have a beneficial effect in the management of healthy serum calcium levels .
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Estrogen And What It Does To Your Body
She agreed, and I got my estrogen levels tested. I received a call with my results telling me my levels were very low and I’m now considered post menaposal. How does a body go from peri menopause to menopause to post menopause in 14 months. I have ordered Estrogen Fix and should receive it tomorrow. I’m hopeful I’ll find the answers I. There is a connection between low estrogen levels and joint pain in postmenopausal women. In many patients we see, there has been a long history of joint problems that have become progressively worse at a more accelerated level after menopause
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Artificial Estrogen And Natural Estrogen
With the side effects mentioned above, many doctor advise the intake of natural estrogen. Natural estrogen can be found in beans and fruits. Estrogen that are found naturally in plants is called phytoestrogen. Significant amount of phytoestrogen can be found in soya beans and papaya. See health benefits of wholegrains.
Moreover, phytoestrogen contained in plants are easier to be absorbed, and has just the exact amount needed by our body. It is also easier to be elliminated from our body. Nowadays, it is easy to find soya bean products worldwide, such as tofu, tempe , soya milk, and energy bars that contain soya. Papaya can be found in any fruit market now, although the price can be expensive in subtropical countries. However, the highest amount of phytoestrogen is found in soya milk.
Soya products are cheap in Asian countries, therefore much more economical than artificial estrogen.
To get the best result of getting rid of pre-menopause syndrome, it is advised to combined estrogen with regular exercise, not smoking, consuming calcium and foods that contain calcium, and consuming a lot of fruits, vegetables and beans. Young women can also take natural estrogen, to prevent osteoporosis and pre-menopause syndrome which could happen decades later.
Low Estrogen Levels And Weight Gain: Is There A Connection
Sex hormones, such as estrogen, influence the amount of fat in the body. Estrogen regulates glucose and lipid metabolism. If your estrogen levels are low, it can result in weight gain.
If your estrogen levels are low and its affecting your weight, speak with your doctor. They can assess your symptoms and advise you on next steps. Its always a good idea to try to eat a balanced diet and exercise as often as possible. Talk with your doctor about developing a diet and exercise plan thats right for you.
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Peri Meno & Post: When Does The Change Happen
Your hormones can begin decreasing in your 30s and may continue well into your 40s and 50s. This is called perimenopause or the transition to menopause for most women.
The average age of menopause for US women is 51. Most women reach this milestone somewhere between ages 45 and 55.
Once your period has stopped for 12 months, you are considered in menopause and enter the postmenopause stage of life.
What Are The Long
There are several conditions that you could be at a higher risk of after menopause. Your risk for any condition depends on many things like your family history, your health before menopause and lifestyle factors . Two conditions that affect your health after menopause are osteoporosis and coronary artery disease.
Osteoporosis, a “brittle-bone” disease, occurs when the inside of bones become less dense, making them more fragile and likely to fracture. Estrogen plays an important role in preserving bone mass. Estrogen signals cells in the bones to stop breaking down.
Women lose an average of 25% of their bone mass from the time of menopause to age 60. This is largely because of the loss of estrogen. Over time, this loss of bone can lead to bone fractures. Your healthcare provider may want to test the strength of your bones over time. Bone mineral density testing, also called bone densitometry, is a quick way to see how much calcium you have in certain parts of your bones. The test is used to detectosteoporosis and osteopenia. Osteopenia is a disease where bone density is decreased and this can be a precursor to later osteoporosis.
If you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, your treatment options could include estrogen therapy.
Coronary artery disease
- The loss of estrogen .
- Increased blood pressure.
- A decrease in physical activity.
- Bad habits from your past catching up with you .
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