Hormones and menopause

Berlin, 2017, with my grandmother

Some time ago, I published an article on hormones and pregnancy. On that occasion, it was suggested to be to write an article on hormones and menopause because it is a rarely covered topic.

So, here I am. Let’s find out what happens to a woman when menopause arrives and upsets her life.

Menopause is defined as a lack of menstruation for one full year and it usually begins in the age range of 45-55. Menopause symptoms often begin 4-5 years before the woman’s last period and can last 10-15 years after the last menstruation cycle.

Menopause occurs as a consequence of several hormones’ low levels. Those hormones are progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, estrogen and testosterone.

Sexual hormones

Common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and flushing.

Other (and more unpleasant) issues are:

  • genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), which includes vaginal atrophy and incontinence,
  • loss of skin collagen content,
  • osteoporosis,
  • slower metabolic functions (aka weight gain),
  • dry eyes.

Some of these issues can be address by estrogen integrator, even if most women don’t treat the symptoms.

Life of women is constantly governed by hormones, starting from menarche, trough the whole fertile period (and the common pre menstrual syndrome), pregnancy (with the risk for post partum depression) and finally menopause.

Which symptoms or issues did you or the women in your life experienced during menopause?

References:

Brincat et al., 1985, “Long‐term effects of the menopause and sex hormones on skin thickness”, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-0528.1985.tb01091.x

Mathers et al., 1998, “Menopause and tear function: the influence of prolactin and sex hormones on human tear production”, 10.1097/00003226-199807000-00002 

Russo et al., 2018, “Bladder Dysfunction and Urinary Incontinence After the Menopause: Hormones, Drugs, or Surgery?”, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-63540-8_25

Steiner et al., 2003, “Hormones and mood: from menarche to menopause and beyond”, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0165-0327(02)00432-9

Published by Martina Bodner

Biotechnologist, PhD Candidate in Food Chemistry, Science Teacher, STEM and autism advocate, mother.

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