Menopause & Hormones

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Menopause & Hormones
Menopause & Hormones
Video: Menopause & Hormones
Video: Menopause 2023, February

Menopause: physical and hormonal changes

During the fertile phase of a woman's life (onset of menstruation up to the onset of menopause), the ovaries produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Both sex hormones prepare the body for a possible pregnancy. With the onset of menopause, the ovaries gradually reduce their hormone production, and hormonal fluctuations occur. Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop producing hormones…


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  • Estrogen & progesterone
  • Hormonal changes
  • Stages of menopause

Estrogen & progesterone

Estrogen is important for fertility and sexual development in women. Progesterone prepares the lining of the uterus for a fertilized egg to implant. If implantation does not take place, the concentration of progesterone and also of estrogen drops again. This leads to menstruation (menstruation, period). With the onset of menopause, the ovaries gradually reduce their hormone production, and hormonal fluctuations occur. Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop producing hormones, which prevents eggs from maturing.

Hormonal changes

Menopause has hormonal causes: the woman's hormone level changes with age. At around 40 years of age, the function of the ovaries begins to decline, so that they gradually produce less estrogens (female sex hormones).

Even at birth, both ovaries contain several million follicles. This number decreases to around 100,000 to 250,000 during puberty and then steadily decreases with each ovulation. Although only one egg cell leaves the ovaries with each monthly ovulation, several follicles mature with it each month and are lost after ovulation has taken place.

At an average of 50 years of age, there are no longer any follicles in a woman's ovaries that can grow into ovulating follicles. Since the follicles are responsible for the production of estrogens, the production of estrogens also decreases. The result is the last menstrual bleeding controlled by the ovaries: the so-called menopause.

With menopause, the production of hormones in the brain also changes. As the ovaries produce less and less estrogens during menopause, the brain secretes more hormones from the group of gonadotropins - these are sex hormones that are supposed to stimulate the ovaries to produce hormones. Above all, the so-called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is released. This shift in hormone balance can lead to various symptoms such as hot flashes and sweating during menopause.

Stages of menopause

The menopause can be divided medically into three different phases:

  • Premenopause: This is the period between the ages of 40 and 50. During this time, the ovaries (ovaries) slow down and hormone production begins to decrease. It can lead to menstrual cycle disorders which become noticeable as irregular and / or heavy or long-lasting bleeding.
  • Perimenopause: This phase takes place around the age of 50. There are usually significant cycle irregularities through to the complete absence of menstruation - this is known as menopause. On average, women were 51 years old when they last menstruated. The exact time of menopause can only be defined retrospectively if there has been no other menstrual period for a year. In all of these phases, typical climacteric symptoms such as hot flashes, sweats etc. can occur to varying degrees.
  • Post menopause: This phase begins one year after the last period. During this period the body adjusts itself to a new hormonal balance and the menopausal symptoms gradually subside. The end of the postmenopause and thus the end of the menopause varies from woman to woman and, in addition to the hormonal changes, depends on the subjective experience of the symptoms.

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