female hormones

Hormones are the basic building blocks for how our bodies function starting from birth. A common misunderstanding is that hormones do not affect women until menopause. Also, most people think of female hormones as estrogen and progesterone and are not aware that women produce 3-4 times more testosterone than estrogen daily. Each of these hormones plays an important role in the body’s most basic levels of functioning. Let’s explore the importance behind each of them.

Testosterone

Testosterone is a common hormone that is often overlooked when assessing the overall health of a woman. However, as early as the age of 25, women start experiencing a significant drop in testosterone levels which can cause significant health risks. Women ages 20-40 lose 50% of their testosterone production. Testosterone in women is produced by the ovaries, adrenal glands, and peripheral conversion from other circulating androgens.

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Why Is Testosterone Important?

Men and women have androgen receptors throughout their bodies. These receptors are located in the skin, scalp, brain, spinal cord, nerves, eyes, ears, thyroid gland, heart, breasts, lungs, GI tract, liver, kidneys, pancreas, adrenals, uterus, bladder, muscles, bone and joints. Therefore, testosterone deficiency can cause physical symptoms related to each of these areas in our bodies.

Low testosterone in women is linked to increased risk for:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Osteoporosis-related Fractures
  • TDiabetes Mellitus
  • Breast Cancer

Testosterone optimization therapy has been researched and used for decades. Cardozo et al. (Am J OB/GYN 1984) reported significant improvement in the following symptoms for those being treated with testosterone optimization therapy; headaches, poor sleep, hot flashes, sweating, bone pain, painful intercourse, low libido, irritability, poor memory and concentration, depression, low energy, and bladder symptoms.

Positive Outcomes of Bioidentical Testosterone Therapy in Women:

  • Lower cholesterol (LDL)
  • Increased protective cholesterol (HDL)
  • Increased energy
  • Enhanced sleep
  • Heart protection
  • Enhanced libido
  • Improved feeling of overall well-being
  • Reduction of body fat
  • Stronger bones and muscles
  • Relief of anxiety/depression
  • Reduced brain fog
image of woman fanning herself due to hormone imbalance

Estrogen

Women who are premenopausal make their own estrogen, however, estrogen production ceases after menopause. Estrogen is mainly used by our reproductive organs, but also plays a role on the following body systems; cardiovascular, skeletal, immune, gastrointestinal, and brain.

Symptoms of Estrogen Deficiency:

  • Irregular or absent periods
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swing
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Poor sleep
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Frequent UTIs

Positive Outcomes of Bioidentical Estrogen Therapy in Women:

  • Reduced osteoporotic fractures
  • Reduced cardiovascular disease
  • Reduces risk for diabetes mellitus
  • Reduced cognitive impairment

Progesterone

Progesterone is a steroid hormone that is derived from cholesterol and is a crucial metabolic intermediate in the production of other endogenous steroids including cortisol, testosterone, estrogens, and corticosteroids. The ovaries are the main source of progesterone production, therefore in menopause, progesterone levels drastically fall.  Progesterone receptor sites are located in the uterus, breast, vagina, blood vessels, and brain.

The benefits of micronized (bioidentical) progesterone include reduced risk of Type II Diabetes and reduced risk of hypertension (high blood pressure).

Benefits of Progesterone:

  • Inhibits breast tissue overgrowth
  • Increases metabolism and promotes weight loss
  • Balances blood sugar levels
  • Acts as a natural diuretic
  • Stimulates the production of new bone
  • Enhances the action of thyroid hormones
  • Alleviates depression and reduces anxiety
  • Promotes normal sleep patterns
  • Prevents cyclical migraines
  • Reduces symptoms of menopause, perimenopause and PMS11
  • Protects against breast cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease

Bioidentical hormone optimization therapy is individualized for each patient, and treats sub-optimal hormone levels, improving symptoms and providing the body with the necessary building blocks to prevent illness. This type of therapy is the key to living happier and healthier lives

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