What is Menopause?
Rather than be the cause of menopause, this decrease of estrogen and progesterone is a consequence of menopause, not the cause. No more eggs = no more menstrual cycle = a drop in the hormones necessary for conception and full-term pregnancy.
So, if your body has released the last egg, then the use of bio-identical progesterone cannot cause your menstrual cycle to begin again.
No eggs = no menstruation.
- 57% of women suffer from more than one symptom associated with menopause, and 75% of those women will have persistent hot flashes/night sweats.
- According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
- When a woman reaches menopause, almost always at age 50-51, her estrogen/progesterone production decreases, but her need for hormone balance remains.
What role does estrogen & progesterone play in bone health?
Osteoclast Cells (red) clean old bone tissue, forming what are called Lacunae, Latin for lake. Their activity is stimulated by estrogen.
Osteoblast Cells (green), on the other hand, are the carpenters that build new bone tissue, and then, they convert to Osteocytes, & like living rebar, they hold hands, so to speak, making your new bone tissue strong.
Osteocytes derived from osteoblasts, make up over 90% of bone.
What stimulates Osteoblast cells to get busy and build new bone?
Hot Flashes/Night Sweats
Summary: hot flashes are almost always the result of sharp fluctuations in some of the body’s estrogens.
Following is the Science of a Hot Flash/Sweats:
At approximately age 45 to 50 estrogen levels begin to fall. When they fall below the levels necessary to signal the uterine lining to thicken and gather blood, the menstrual flow becomes less and/or irregular, eventually stopping altogether.
Hot Flashes… one of the primary symptoms associated with menopause in industrialized countries. Although there is no empirical proof of the cause for hot flashes the following explanation sounds reasonable:
At menopause, estrogen levels fall and progesterone levels are usually already low. An area in the brain’s hypothalamus (the GnRH Center) monitors estrogen and progesterone levels. When levels of these hormones decline:
- This triggers the GnRH which, in turn,
- Stimulates the pituitary to make the hormones, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
- This, then triggers the ovaries to make estrogen and progesterone.
- The rise in these hormones inhibit further production of GnRH
- Heightened GnRH activity activates the vasomotor center, causing hot flashes & perspiration
In addition to hot flashes, the heightened activity of the hypothalamus can cause mood swings, fatigue, feelings of being cold, and inappropriate responses to other stressors. Many women will have symptoms of hypothyroidism despite normal thyroid hormone levels.
Summary of the Science
- The GnRH center effectively signals to increase estrogen and progesterone levels.
- Elevated estrogen and progesterone inhibit GnRH release.
- After menopause the ovaries no longer make estrogen and progesterone.
- Lack of estrogen and progesterone response results in increased activity of the GnRH center.
- Heightened GnRH activity activates the vasomotor center, causing hot flashes and perspiration.