As defined by The North American Menopause Society, Menopause is a normal, natural event associated with decreased ovarian function that results in lower levels of ovarian hormones. Other terms such as pre-menopause, peri- and postmenopause describe various time periods that take place before, after, and around this natural hormonal event.
Pre-menopause is a syndrome or a collection of symptoms experienced by women ten to 20 years before the onset of menopause. Unlike perimenopause, which is typically experienced one to two years before, during, and after menstruation ends, pre-menopause can begin as early as the mid-thirties. A woman is pre-menopausal if she is still having menstrual cycles with monthly periods but are noticeably irregular in timing. During this time, the levels of reproductive hormones are becoming more variable and lower, and the effects of hormone withdrawal are present. Although one woman’s journey may be very different from another, many pre-menopausal women experience symptoms that indicate the onset of hormone deficiency, such as headaches, joint pain, hot flashes, sleep disturbances, decreased libido, and breast pain. Declining estrogen levels contribute to menstrual cycle irregularity. For instance, some women may experience heavier menstrual periods than usual while others may experience lighter periods than they are used to.
During perimenopause, symptoms that occurred during the pre-menopausal phase become more noticeable and may increase in intensity or duration. The length of time between periods typically increases, as do other symptoms including hot flashes and sleep problems.
The main action of progesterone is to prepare a woman’s uterus for pregnancy, as well as aid in the protection of the inner uterine lining (endometrium). During the pre-and perimenopausal phases, progesterone levels will often decline while estrogen levels may remain stable or even increase. In fact, many of the early symptoms women experience are due to progesterone levels that are too low compared to their levels of estrogen. Decreased levels of progesterone may cause breast swelling and tenderness, mood swings, and weight gain.
A hormone called Estrogen regulates a woman’s menstrual period and ability to conceive. Estrogen also plays a part in controlling other body functions, including bone density and skin temperature. Often the last hormone to decline, Estrogen is traditionally the hormone associated with menopausal symptoms. As a woman approaches menopause, the ovaries slow their production of estrogen. Although the body still produces some estrogen even after menopause, the overall effect is a dramatic drop in the amount circulating in the body. Most women experience anywhere from a 30-60% drop in estrogen during menopause. Decreased levels of estrogen can produce the most well-known symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes which can cause redness or flushing of the face and neck, sweating and a rapid heart rate
Not all symptoms of menopause are due to a decline in estrogen and progesterone alone. Declining testosterone levels can also occur well before the last menstrual period. While the symptoms of low testosterone can be subtler than those of progesterone and estrogen, for some women they can be significant. Lower levels of testosterone can cause sleep disturbances, decreased libido or sex drive, mood swings, mental confusion, and depression. Physical changes may include reduced muscle mass, weakening of the bones, and weight gain. If left untreated, these hormone deficiencies may lead to more severe medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer.
Adequate testosterone levels in women promote optimal mental and physical health and can prevent certain chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Patients who have tried other types of hormone therapy such as hormone creams, gels, patches, and injections without success are often very pleased with the results and convenience they experience with pellet therapy.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may suffer from low testosterone:
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, or believe that low testosterone may be impacting your energy level and quality of life, call the Vitality center of Colorado today. Our team of hormone replacement therapy experts can help you look and feel better now. Call The Vitality Center today at (970) 632-4001 for your free initial evaluation and consultation.