Nowadays, it is also becoming more well-known that men go through their own version of menopause—for them, the midlife change is known as andropause. In andropause, men experience many of the same symptoms women in menopause feel: fatigue, depression, irritability, anxiety, loss of memory or concentration, loss of sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and more. And just like women, men can also go through their own version of perimenopause known as periandropause. Periandropause can occur when a man’s hormone levels start to decline.
Everyone has heard of estrogen, and most people know it as a hormone that plays an important role in a woman’s body. More than just a hormone driving a woman’s romantic interests, estrogen has more than 400 different functions.
Hormone replacement therapy is about returning balance to the hormones in your body. When your hormones are out of balance (particularly estrogen imbalances), you will develop a range of uncomfortable symptoms. But those symptoms, when left unattended, can sometimes be indicators of much bigger problems.
If you are a woman entering or in menopause, you no doubt have been dealing with changing levels of the estrogens in your body. Well, welcome to what my patients, staff, and I affectionately call “The Best Me Club.”
Often, if a woman is able to conceive, but has trouble carrying to term, it’s because of progesterone production. Progesterone is the main female reproductive system hormone and it plays a vital role in fetal development during pregnancy. It prepares the inner lining of the uterus for pregnancy by signaling for its walls to thicken in preparation for accepting a fertilized egg. Progesterone also keeps the uterus’ muscles from contracting so that it doesn’t reject the egg, and the production of this crucial hormone also prevents ovulation.
On Sue’s first visit to Signature Hormones, her symptoms ranged from hot flashes, brain fog, and irritability to night sweats, decreased libido, and weight gain due to menopause.
Louise was 34 and pregnant with her second child when she came to visit me for relief from worsening depression. She had experienced mild postpartum depression (PPD) following her first delivery three years prior, but had taken no medication for the condition at that time. At 30 weeks, I started her on a bioidentical progesterone cream. Within two weeks, her depression had subsided and after delivery, she experienced zero postpartum depression.
Slowing down in later years is part of the aging process. But sometimes there’s another culprit behind the decline people feel—hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormone to keep your body operating at optimum levels. When your thyroid hormone levels are low, your metabolism slows, which can lead to a host of other conditions.
While the different “faces” of Estrogen may not be as dramatic or life-threatening as Joanne Woodward’s Academy Award winning portrayal in The Three Faces of Eve, the differing phases of estrogen in a women’s life present varying effects which can dramatically impact life.
For something we all have and deal with daily, there’s a lot of misunderstanding around the topic of hormones. What are we talking about when we reference our hormones?