Hormone health in women—The role hormones play in PMS and Menopause

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Hormones are chemical messengers produced by the endocrine system that assist with almost every function in the body. In women, hormones play a key role in reproduction, sexuality, and overall health. The ovaries produce female hormones—estrogen and progesterone. When a woman is experiencing menopause, both hormone levels droop, which causes menopausal symptoms.

PMS and hormones

Estrogen fluctuates during a woman’s menstrual cycle, causing the build up of uterine lining each month. The drop in estrogen causes women to have a period.

Progesterone levels rise during a woman’s childbearing years. If a woman does not become pregnant, levels of progesterone fall, also signaling the body to begin shedding the uterine lining. Progesterone is sometimes responsible for the symptoms many women experience during their periods.

How to relieve PMS symptoms

  • Reduce salt intake to reduce bloating
  • Reduce caffeine intake
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly, even during period
  • Talk to doctor about birth control pills to stabilize hormone levels

Menopause and hormones

Menopause eventually occurs for all women. During menopause, the ovaries stop releasing an egg every month and the menstrual cycle eventually ceases entirely. Menopause is brought on gradually in three stages—perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.

Menopause is normal for any woman generally after the age of 40; however, some women do go through menopause prematurely. The symptoms of menopause may include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, mood swings, memory problems.

How to relieve the symptoms of menopause

  • Regular exercise
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limiting triggers for hot flashes such as caffeine, alcohol, cigarette smoking
  • Hormone replacement therapy (for moderate to severe symptoms)
  • Other prescription medication to alleviate hot flashes, depression, sleep problems
  • Over-the counter medication for vaginal discomfort

1 Comment

  • menopauseclinictampa

    Great article David! (Great name by the way too haha). I like how you outlined the similarities between PMS and menopause while keeping it clear that they were two very different events in a woman’s life. I also enjoyed that you took the time to discover what natural steps could be taken to relieve or ease the symptoms women face during hormonal imbalance. I work at an alternative health clinic that offers hormone replacement therapy and often try to explain to our patients that many symptoms can be managed by keeping a close eye on their diet and other natural processes (such as exercise as you mention). Hormone replacement should only be considered when symptoms become debilitating and unmanagable by other mean. I believe that, even then, only naturally compounded bioidentical hormones should be used and regular blood tests for hormones should be conducted to lessen the chance of future complications. It is also not a permanent fix and should not be considered for long-term use. Only when really needed. Thanks for helping to share this information with the world! Keep up the good work, Fox!

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