Hormonal Balance in Women — How Hormones Control Premenstrual Syndrome and Menopause
Hormones affect almost every bodily function because they are the mean of communication between various systems. Because they are so vital to every system, even a small imbalance can host a plethora of different systems, some of which can be very debilitating. Hormonal imbalance can create an issue in fertility, libido and general health.
During menopause, a women’s sex hormones will decline (estrogen, progesterone and even testosterone). Due to the fact that these hormones either decline to low or decline at different rates symptoms such as hot flashes, fatigue, sleep problems and aggravation often occur. Hormones also become imbalanced each month because of the menstrual cycle, which can cause similar symptoms which are commonly referred to as premenstrual syndrome or PMS.
Hormones and Premenstrual Syndrome
Premenstrual syndrome (commonly referred to as PMS) can host similar symptoms to menopause because they are caused by the same general problem…which is your hormones become out of balance. Female hormones do not stay steady throughout the month, as men’s tend to, and sways during the menstruation period to promote the ability to conceive. A drop in the production of estrogen is what actually causes the period. View the graph below to see the normal shift of estrogen and progesterone during childbearing years.
Progesterone is crucial in maintaining sex drive and fertility, so naturally, it is produced in higher volumes during childbearing years. This level spikes during ovulation and then dramatically drops if the woman does not become pregnant. This sharp decline is what tells the lining of the uterus to shed and can also be the culprit behind the symptoms of PMS.
Options for Reducing Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome
- Lower salt consumption to combat bloating
- Limit caffeine consumption
- Keep weight and body mass index at a healthy level
- Exercise on a regular basis (even throughout menstruation)
- Speak with physician about birth control pills to stabilize hormone levels
Hormones and Menopause
Ultimately, menopause will happen to all women. In the course of menopause, ovaries no longer release an egg each month and in time the menstrual cycle ends altogether. Menopause is not abrupt and occurs in 3 separate stages known as perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.
Although menopause is usually seem in woman after the age of 40, there is an increasing number of females who experience this prematurely. No matter your age, you should consider having your hormone levels evaluated if you are experiencing symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, mood swings and/or memory problems.
How to manage menopause symptoms
- Keep a consistent exercise schedule
- Sustain a healthy weight and body mass index
- Restrain from things that cause hot flashes like caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes
- Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (in moderate to severe cases)
- Additional prescription medicines which ease hot flashes, depression and sleep issues
- Over-the counter medicine for vaginal discomfort