16 Jun 2015
Your Secret Weapon for Managing the Hormonal Chaos of Perimenopause
Navigating the waters of perimenopause can feel like being lost at sea in a leaky rowboat some days. Hormonal chaos unleashes symptoms that can be scary (to you and your loved ones), make you feel miserable, and create doubt that you’ll ever feel like yourself again!
But there’s a secret weapon that doesn’t get a lot of attention.
It’s progesterone. This magical hormone keeps the 7 Dwarves of Menopause (Itchy, Bitchy, Bloaty, Sleepy, Sweaty, Forgetful, and Psycho) cool, calm and collected.
Progesterone is the hormone that the ovaries produce in the second half of the menstrual cycle. In the first 14 days of the cycle, estrogen is in charge. Estrogen’s job is to grow the cells of the uterus to prepare it for a fertilized egg. At day 14, when ovulation occurs, estrogen production slows down as progesterone ramps up.
Progesterone’s job is to slow down the growth of the endometrial cells and to develop their function. If you become pregnant and a fertilized egg implants itself, progesterone levels will continue to rise. If not, progesterone drops…signaling the end of the cycle and the whole process starts over again.
But that’s not progesterone’s only job. Progesterone receptors are located in the blood vessels, the liver, breast tissue, the bone, and the brain, and they have an important influence on the functioning of all those parts of the body.
Most of your progesterone is produced by ripened eggs. That means when your ovaries slowly wind down their function and you stop ovulating, progesterone production slows down. If estrogen production stays the same (or increases) in perimenopause, estrogen dominance will occur. Symptoms of this include:
- Panic attacks
- Aching body and joints
- Breast tenderness
- Decreased sex drive
- Mood swings
- Allergy symptoms
- Weight gain
- Water retention
- Hair loss
- Heavy periods and bad cramps
Does any of this sound familiar?
The irony is that doctors have been prescribing estrogen, synthetic progestins and antidepressants to women who complain of these symptoms since the 1950’s! This makes no sense. They likely need natural progesterone.
Hormone testing helps determine the degree of imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. The relationship of these two hormones to each other is critical and is more important than either number alone.
I have worked with dozens of women with perimenopausal and postmenopausal symptoms and 90% of them had some level of estrogen dominance on their hormone tests. So progesterone is an important part of their personalized hormone management plan. Bioidentical progesterone is safe, easy to use, and often resolves symptoms without the need for other hormones.
Progesterone is so important to hormonal health that I’ve created an entire 5-week class about it! You’ll learn more about symptoms and how to manage imbalances with herbs, essential oils and natural progesterone. Complete details will arrive in your inbox on Monday, June 22.
About Dr. Anna
Dr. Anna Garrett is a pharmacist and menopause expert who helps women who are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause find natural hormone balancing solutions so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond. But her clients would tell you that her real gift is helping them reclaim pieces of themselves they thought were gone forever.
Dr. Anna offers a complimentary 30-minute Get Acquainted Call to anyone who’d like to learn more about working 1-1 with her. You can schedule that at your convenience by clicking here.
Please contact her at email@example.com.