Hot flashes, sleep problems, sweating, fatigue, moodiness, anxiety, lowered sex drive, intimate dryness, hair loss, menstrual irregularity, flaky skin – any of these symptoms can indicate menopause. But they can also be caused by other medical conditions.
Table of Contents
Hormonal Changes When Menopause Begins
Estradiol (an estrogen), progesterone, and testosterone levels drop as menopause progresses during midlife. Estradiol and other estrogen levels fluctuate unpredictably during perimenopause, falling to very low levels at menopause. Progesterone stops being produced when ovulation fails, as well as after a woman’s last menstruation.
Testosterone levels drop after a woman’s 20s to about half level after menopause.
How Low Estradiol Affects Menopause
During perimenopause, periodically high estradiol (estrogen) levels can cause sore breasts, bloating, and heavy menstrual bleeding. Estradiol levels are low after menopause, which can cause vaginal dryness or itching, hot flashes and sweating, heart palpitations, headaches, insomnia, lowered sex drive, and fatigue.
Low estradiol levels in women may increase risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, and fractures.
How Low Progesterone Affects Menopause
In perimenopause, progesterone stops being produced in menstrual cycles that do not release an ovum. This can cause spotting and menstrual bleeding to become heavier, go on longer, and become irregular. By menopause, progesterone ceases to be produced at all. Low progesterone levels may cause bone loss, leading to increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
How Low Testosterone Affects Menopause
Women’s testosterone levels peak in their 20s, dropping to about half level at menopause. Testosterone is a critical component in women’s estradiol (estrogen) production cycle. Low testosterone levels can disrupt this cycle, resulting in lowered estradiol levels. Low testosterone also can negatively affect sex drive and the ability to maintain good muscle and bone mass.
Does HRT Alleviate Menopause Symptoms?
Medical consensus is that the potential of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to relieve menopause symptoms outweigh the risks. Therapy is ideally prescribed for women under 60 and within 10 years of menopause. However, any HRT programme should be undertaken only under medical supervision as dosages and other treatment variables must be tailored to a patient’s medical history.
What Are Our Hormone Levels?
Put your mind at ease. Find out whether you’re starting menopause with a simple, objective hormone test. For Australian Women, TestoChecker’s at-home hormone testing kits start at only $59.00 and you’ll also find larger, comprehensive NATA accredited tests like the Female Full Hormone Profile w/ Oestrone (E1) Bio Health test. With TestoChecker there are no appointments, and no travel involved, it’s completely Contact-Free
Remember, saliva hormone testing can make a difference when irregular results are understood. It’s recommended that any irregular test results are shared with a suitably qualified healthcare professional. Estrogen Patch