Perimenopausal Women and Estrogen Dominance
Changes in Hormone Levels and Estrogen Dominance in Perimenopausal Women
Perimenopause is the time when a woman is transitioning to menopause. During the perimenopausal period, women can experience many symptoms. The process varies with the individual, and the perimenopausal period can last from two to ten years.
What is perimenopause?
Perimenopause is triggered by changes in the natural hormone levels. You may experience symptoms such as:
- Irregular periods. Periods can become unpredictable with the time between becoming shorter or longer. The period itself may also change, sometimes lighter, sometimes heavier. You may even skip some months. You will not be considered “in menopause” until you’ve gone 12 months without any periods.
- Hot flashes. Hot flashes are common and can vary in intensity and how long they last.
- Sleep problems. Sometimes hot flashes contribute to trouble sleeping, but sometimes it is hard to sleep even without hot flashes.
- Vaginal and bladder problems. Changes in hormone levels can cause the vaginal tissues to be dryer than usual. Intercourse can become painful and you may be more prone to vaginal or urinary infections. Some women will have bladder leakage.
- Decreasing fertility. When ovulation becomes irregular, you are less likely to become pregnant, but it is still possible until you are fully in menopause (no periods for one year).
The perimenopausal period generally begins around age 40, but women as young as 30s can have symptoms.
What is estrogen dominance?
A common occurrence during the perimenopausal period is the occurrence of estrogen dominance. As hormone levels change, estrogen levels often become higher and out of balance with other hormones like progesterone. Symptoms of estrogen dominance include:
- Mood changes
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Memory problems
- Increased Irritability
Many of these symptoms are the same as perimenopausal symptoms, which can make it hard to determine why you don’t feel well. A careful evaluation by a provider that is experienced in treating hormone imbalances is the key to diagnosing and treating estrogen dominance. At Vitality Aesthetic and Regenerative Medicine, our specialists will carefully evaluate your history and symptoms. Laboratory testing will help determine exact imbalances and also your response to treatments.
How is estrogen dominance treated?
Managing estrogen dominance requires a total body approach. You may need Estrogen Blockage rather than Estrogen Replacement, but there are a few other things you can do to help.
- Liver support. Your liver metabolizes estrogen. Avoid excessive alcohol and keep your liver healthy.
- Manage stress levels. Managing your stress improves cortisol and helps balance your hormones.
- Eat a healthy diet. Maintaining a healthy weight through a low-glycemic diet helps decrease excess negative estrogens.
- Some supplements can support hormone metabolism.
Lab testing will also determine if you are a candidate for hormone therapy. Hormone therapy can be delivered through several methods. Our specialists will work with you to determine a personalized plan of care that will keep you feeling your best.