There May Be Symptoms Besides Vaginal Irritation Or Painful Sex
Dryness isnt always just inside the vaginal canal. Less estrogen means less natural vaginal moisture. This can dry and irritate the vulva, the external female genital area. Women with vulvar dryness often noticeirritation when theyre putting on their underwear.
Some women also have increased urinary frequency or repeated urinary tract infections along with vaginal dryness. When this group of symptoms happens during menopause, ob-gyns call it genitourinary syndrome of menopause.
Symptoms Of An Estrogen Imbalance
The most common symptoms that can be brought on by an estrogen imbalance during menopause include:
- And other menopause symptoms
Keep in mind that while it is extremely common for an estrogen deficiency to provoke these symptoms, many women suffer from estrogen excess during menopause as well. Having high levels of estrogen in the body provokes similar symptoms as those of low estrogen.
The surest way to diagnose an estrogen imbalance in the body â whether high or low â is to see your doctor for appropriate testing.
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What Are Irregular Periods
Most women have menstrual cycles that last between 21 and 35 days. Up to one quarter of women experience irregular periods. This includes having periods that are shorter or longer than usual or periods that are lighter or heavier than usual. Some women who have irregular periods may experience abdominal cramping or a lack of ovulation. Amenorrhea is a medical term that refers to an absence of periods for at least 3 months even though a woman is not pregnant. Menorrhagia is the term that means excessive menstrual bleeding. Dysmenorrhea refers to pain and cramping during periods. Prolonged menstrual bleeding involves periods in which bleeding routinely lasts for 8 days or longer. Oligomenorrhea is a condition in which periods occur infrequently or more than every 35 days. See your doctor if you believe hormonal imbalance is affecting your menstrual cycle.
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What To Do For Postmenopausal Women At Age 60
An improved diet rich in phytoestrogens and the three macronutrients lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats is key for postmenopausal nutrition. Also, aging women should aim for regular, weight-bearing exercise to encourage optimal muscle mass and weight as well as practicing wholesome habits for endocrine health. Alternative medicine.
What Are The Symptoms Of Menopause
You may be transitioning into menopause if you begin experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:
- Hot flashes .
- Night sweats and/or cold flashes.
These symptoms can be a sign that the ovaries are producing less estrogen, or a sign of increased fluctuation in hormone levels. Not all women get all of these symptoms. However, women affected with new symptoms of racing heart, urinary changes, headaches, or other new medical problems should see a doctor to make sure there is no other cause for these symptoms.
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What Is High Or Low Estrogen Levels
Estrogen is a naturally occurring hormone that your body produces to aid in sexual development and other important body functions. Prior to menopause, women generate estrogen primarily from their ovaries. After that, most of their estrogen comes from fat cells and the adrenal glands found at the top of the kidneys. When estrogen levels get too high or too low, this can negatively affect the body.
Estrogen helps regulate the health of the following areas:
- Urinary tract
- Mucous membranes
Estrogen plays an essential role in girls when they reach puberty, prompting changes like the growth of pubic hair and the start of menstruation. It also helps control cholesterol in the blood. Three of the most common types of estrogen produced in women include:
Estrone is the main estrogen hormone produced by women after they hit menopause.
Estriol is an estrogen hormone whose levels increase in pregnant women.
Presenting Signs And Symptoms
A long-term decrease in estrogen stimulation is generally required before symptoms of atrophic vaginitis arise. A decrease in vaginal lubrication is an early hallmark of hormone insufficiency.10 Genital symptoms include dryness, burning, dyspareunia, loss of vaginal secretions, leukorrhea, vulvar pruritus, feeling of pressure, itching and yellow malodorous discharge.3,6,11 Urinary symptoms of urethral discomfort, frequency, hematuria, urinary tract infection, dysuria and stress incontinence may be later symptoms of vaginal atrophy .3,6,10,11 All atrophic vaginitis symptoms can be exacerbated by a simultaneous infection of candidiasis, trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis. Over time, the lack of vaginal lubrication often results in sexual dysfunction and associated emotional distress.
Presenting Symptoms of Atrophic Vaginitis
Presenting Symptoms of Atrophic Vaginitis
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Causes Of High Estrogen
High levels of estrogen can develop naturally, but too much estrogen can also result from taking certain medications. For example, estrogen replacement therapy, a popular treatment for symptoms of menopause, may cause estrogen to reach problematic levels.
Your body may also develop low testosterone or low progesterone levels, which can upset your hormonal balance. If you have estrogen levels that are abnormally high relative to your progesterone levels, its known as estrogen dominance.
Major Health Risks Of Low Estrogen
Osteoporosis. Estrogen helps maintain strong bones by preventing calcium loss. Too little calcium can increase the risk of fractures in the spine, hips, and leg and arm bones. Women who drink a lot of alcohol, who smoke, who are not active, and who are thin or petite are at greater risk. A family history of osteoporosis may also increase risk.
Heart disease. Estrogen made by the body seems to protect against heart disease. It may do this by raising the level of HDL cholesterol in the blood. After menopause, the risk for heart disease rises sharply. Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to protect your heart health.
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Why Is It Important To Keep It Normal Progesterone Level
In addition to the fact of fertilization, pregnancy, and childbearing, the hormone progesterone also serves a number of functions, it:
- suppresses excessive uterine contractions
- regulates the frequency of the menstrual cycle
- resists the leaps of estrogen.
Also, the hormone is responsible for the normal development and maintenance of bone tissue integrity. The low progesterone symptoms menopause must not be treated carelessly in no way.
It often happens that the level of progesterone drops, in menopausal women, which can lead to the most unpleasant consequences. It would seem that during the climacteric it is not needed at all since the children have already grown up, its time to nurse grandchildren and enjoy life. However, low progesterone symptoms are expressed in poor health and malaise, which significantly interferes with enjoying life in this period.
Hot Flashes During Perimenopause
Most women don’t expect to have hot flashes until , so it can be a big surprise when they show up earlier, during perimenopause. Hot flashes sometimes called hot flushes and given the scientific name of vasomotor symptoms are the most commonly reported symptom of perimenopause. They’re also a regular feature of sudden menopause due to surgery or treatment with certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs.
Hot flashes tend to come on rapidly and can last from one to five minutes. They range in severity from a fleeting sense of warmth to a feeling of being consumed by fire “from the inside out.” A major hot flash can induce facial and upper-body flushing, sweating, chills, and sometimes confusion. Having one of these at an inconvenient time can be quite disconcerting. Hot flash frequency varies widely. Some women have a few over the course of a week others may experience 10 or more in the daytime, plus some at night.
Most American women have hot flashes around the time of menopause, but studies of other cultures suggest this experience is not universal. Far fewer Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian women report having hot flashes. In Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, women appear not to have any at all. These differences may reflect cultural variations in perceptions, semantics, and lifestyle factors, such as diet.
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How You Know Your Estrogen Is Low
The symptoms of low estrogen can seem confusing when they first develop, because estrogen contributes to so many of your physical functions. You could see symptoms including:
- Mood swings or depression
- Disruptions in your menstrual cycle
- Painful or uncomfortable intercourse
- A decrease in your bone density
In addition to being uncomfortable to experience, low estrogen can also permanently damage your fertility. Get your symptoms checked out by a medical professional sooner, not later!
Once weve tested and confirmed your low estrogen, the care team at Morris Medical Center can get started re-balancing your hormones. With treatment, you can improve your quality of life and prevent the development of health issues related to your low estrogen.
Menopausal Hormone Therapy And Cancer Risk
For decades, women have used hormone therapy to ease symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and sweating. This is called menopausal hormone therapy, and you may see it abbreviated as HT or MHT. You may also hear it described as hormone replacement therapy , postmenopausal hormone therapy , or postmenopausal hormones .
In the past, many doctors and their patients believed that MHT didnt just help with hot flashes and other symptoms it had important health benefits. But well-conducted studies have led many doctors to conclude that the risks of MHT often outweigh the benefits.
This information covers only how MHT can affect a womans risk of getting certain cancers. It does not cover other possible risks of MHT such as heart disease or stroke.
You can use this information when you talk to your doctor about whether MHT is right for you.
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Hot Flushes And Sweats In Women
Cancer or cancer treatment can lower the sex hormones in the body. This can lead to hot flushes and sweats.
Hot flushes are one of the most common symptoms women have when they go through the menopause. But hot flushes can also happen because of treatment for cancer.
Women having a natural menopause usually find hot flushes become less frequent and less severe during the 5 years after their last period.
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Estrogen After Menopause
Symptoms of low estrogen
- Hot flashes, flushes, and night sweats are the most common symptoms of low estrogen. At times, blood rushes to your skin’s surface. …
- Mood swings are another effect of low estrogen. You may feel sad, anxious, or frustrated. …
- Thinning tissues may cause discomfort. Skin may appear more wrinkled.
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Womens Health Initiative Studies Of Hormone Therapy And Cancer Risk
Several large studies have looked at possible links between systemic hormone therapy in menopausal women and different types of cancer.
The main randomized studies of MHT were part of the Womens Health Initiative . The WHI included 2 randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials of MHT in healthy women:
- One study looked at estrogen therapy in post-menopausal women who didnt have a uterus. Over 5,000 women in the ET group took a daily dose of estrogen in the form of conjugated equine estrogen for an average of about 6 years. The researchers then continued to follow them for several years to look for any further effects of the hormone. The women were compared to more than 5,000 in the placebo group.
- The other study looked at estrogen-progestin therapy in post-menopausal women who still had their uterus. Over 8,500 women in the EPT group took a daily dose of CEE plus a progestin called medroxyprogesterone acetate for an average of about 5 years. This group was compared to a group of more than 8,000 women in the placebo group.
The WHI also conducted some observational studies. However, when we mention a WHI study below, were referring to one of the randomized studies.
What Is Perimenopause
Perimenopause has been variously defined, but experts generally agree that it begins with irregular menstrual cycles courtesy of declining ovarian function and ends a year after the last menstrual period.
Perimenopause varies greatly from one woman to the next. The average duration is three to four years, although it can last just a few months or extend as long as a decade. Some women feel buffeted by hot flashes and wiped out by heavy periods many have no bothersome symptoms. Periods may end more or less abruptly for some, while others may menstruate erratically for years. Fortunately, as knowledge about reproductive aging has grown, so have the options for treating some of its more distressing features.
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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 .
Conditions Related To High Estrogen
High levels of estrogen can put you at a higher risk of some other conditions. For example, elevated estrogen levels are a risk factor for breast cancer and ovarian cancer. According to the American Cancer Society , estrogen dominance can also increase your risk of endometrial cancer.
Estrogen dominance may also increase your chances of thyroid dysfunction. This can cause symptoms such as fatigue and weight changes.
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How Is Menopause Diagnosed
There are several ways your healthcare provider can diagnose menopause. The first is discussing your menstrual cycle over the last year. If you have gone a full year without a period, you may be postmenopausal. Another way your provider can check if you are going through menopause is a blood test that checks your follicle stimulating hormone level. FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland this gland is located at the base of your brain. However, this test can be misleading during the beginning of menopause when your body is transitioning and your hormone levels are fluctuating up and down. Hormone testing always need to be interpreted in the context of what is happening with the menstrual period.
For many women, a blood test is not necessary. If you are having the symptoms of menopause and your periods have been irregular, talk to your healthcare provider. Your provider may be able to diagnose menopause after your conversation.
Extreme Menopause And Andropause Symptoms
When we talk about hormone deficiencies as we age, most of us will instantly think of menopause. For hundreds of thousands of women around the world, extreme perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause symptoms can cause a lot of discomfort in their everyday lives.
Negative symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and even a lower metabolism are commonly caused by the gradual changes in estrogen and progesterone levels before, during, and after menopause. This is where hormone therapy can help. By restoring the bodys hormones to optimal levels, many of the negative side effects from menopause can be eliminated.
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The Psychology Of Menopause
Hormone shifts can affect moods. It can be disturbing to find yourself feeling uncharacteristically nervous or depressed or having memory lapses. Sometimes these feelings can even strain your relationships with others. It helps to know that the psychological effects of menopause are temporary. In all likelihood, youll soon get back on an even keel. Here are the most common psychological accompaniments of menopause.
Anxiety. Women who have never had a problem with anxiety before may become more self-conscious and worried about minor events. In some cases, panic attacks occur. Mental health professionals have a variety of effective treatments. Many people feel much better just knowing what the condition is. The most important piece of advice is not to let anxiety restrict your activities. When anxiety or panic disorders cause people to avoid stressful situations, the result can be an ever-tightening leash that keeps them from enjoying life. Anxiety can lead to avoidance of many aspects of normal life. Prompt treatment prevents this.
Poor Memory and Concentration. Some women find that menopause brings occasional memory lapses, often related to reduced ability to concentrate. This can be upsetting and annoying, but fortunately it seems to go away on its own with time.
Can Menopause Affect Sleep
Some women may experience trouble sleeping through the night and insomnia during menopause. Insomnia is an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. This can be a normal side effect of menopause itself, or it could be due to another symptom of menopause. Hot flashes are a common culprit of sleepless nights during menopause.
If hot flashes keep you awake at night, try:
- Staying cool at night by wearing loose clothing.
- Keeping your bedroom well-ventilated.
Avoiding certain foods and behaviors that trigger your hot flashes. If spicy food typically sets off a hot flash, avoid eating anything spicy before bed.
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