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. From PMS to menopause, hormone levels can fluctuate, which can affect mood, weight, body temperature, and sexual desire.
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.
Possible symptoms during pre-menopausal to menopausal years
- Weight gain
- Brain fog
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes
- Mood changes
- Anxiety and depression
- Low sex drive
Is hormone replacement therapy right for you?
When a woman enters her pre-menopausal or menopausal years, the reduction in estrogen and progesterone can cause a wide variety of symptoms that can be hard to treat. Hormone replacement therapy augments the body’s natural hormone levels and is most commonly used as a treatment method for women with moderate to severe menopausal symptoms.
Hormone replacement therapy is not for everyone, so it is important to speak with your doctor about your symptoms, risk factors, options.