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Does a woman need progesterone after menopause

Estrogen thickens the lining of the uterus, preparing it for the possible implantation of a fertilized egg. Estrogen also influences how the body uses calcium, an important mineral in the building of bones. In addition, estrogen helps maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood. Estrogen is necessary in keeping the vagina healthy.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Marcia Stefanick, PhD, Talks About Menopausal Hormone Therapy

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Your hormone level is not the problem! - Estrogen/progesterone too low/high?

Progesterone might relieve menopause symptoms

In this emerging area of progesterone research, several research studies attest to the neuroprotective effects of progesterone, an absence of neurological side effects, and a benefit for cognitive function.

Many women are familiar with progesterone as a hormone that is essential for fertility and for sustaining a pregnancy. By the time she reaches menopause, circulating progesterone levels are so low, they are similar to those normally seen in men.

However, progesterone is far more than a gestational agent. Research is now surfacing which shoes that the benefits of progesterone reach to breast health, cardiovascular health, and nervous system health, most importantly brain function. The rest of this article will take a closer look at just how essential progesterone is for your brain. It is so essential that it comes from two different places to reach the brain: first, cells in the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system all synthesize progesterone from cholesterol.

Secondly, progesterone that is circulating in the bloodstream also has direct access to the brain and nerves. Normal brain function is not the only thing progesterone is required for in the nervous system. An important role of progesterone is to protect the brain from damage and promote repair after injury. It actually does this by promoting the growth and repair of the myelin sheath that protects the nerve fibers.

Around 20 years ago, researchers who were studying rats after brain injury made a significant observation. Female rats which, at the time of the brain injury, were at the stage of their reproductive cycles when progesterone levels were the highest, had significantly less brain damage than male rats or females with lower progesterone levels. A review published this year suggests that not only should progesterone be used to treat traumatic brain injuries, but that it may also have a role in treating stroke, because of its powerful protective effects on brain tissue.

This is a very exciting area of progesterone research, as researchers and clinicians acknowledge the fact that natural progesterone has an excellent safety profile without long term side effects, making it a good candidate for high dose therapy that can also be carried out in a home environment as patients recover.

There is published evidence that the children of women who were treated with progesterone during pregnancy showed enhanced development during infancy, achieved better academic results at ages , and were significantly more likely to attend universities. If progesterone levels are too low, normal brain development may be affected, putting an infant at a developmental disadvantage.

Progesterone naturally metabolizes in brain tissues to the metabolite allopregnanolone , which is known to produce calming, anti-anxiety and possibly enhanced memory effects. There is some speculation that it could be important in preserving cognitive function in women experiencing the decline in progesterone levels with age.

It will be interesting to see further research on this as aging women increasingly use progesterone in hormone replacement. Basically, there is a large quantity of metabolites produced in the liver after oral progesterone is absorbed by the intestines. These metabolites have known sedative and hypnotic effects. On the other hand, women using progesterone cream do not produce metabolites in such large quantities because the progesterone is absorbed through the skin and bypasses the liver metabolism.

Synthetic progestins are molecularly different from natural progesterone and therefore do not metabolize to the same compounds as natural progesterone. They do not show benefits for cognitive or anti-anxiety function. The progestin that has been the most extensively studied and which is commonly used in synthetic hormone replacement therapy, MPA medroxyprogesterone acetate , has been found to have negative effects on the nervous system and even reduces the beneficial effects of estrogen.

NUNM is the leader in natural medicine education and evidence-based research. We train physicians, practitioners and pre-professionals in the art and science of natural medicine. Select your program of interest and receive more information about our degrees. Looking for research on a specific topic? Trying to find articles on hormone balance and menopause? We know how important it is for you to have quality research in order to make informed decisions about your health.

Our research database contains articles that are hand-picked to provide the most up-to-date and relevant information. Research Summary In this emerging area of progesterone research, several research studies attest to the neuroprotective effects of progesterone, an absence of neurological side effects, and a benefit for cognitive function.

Progesterone and the brain By Margaret N. Progesterone protects the brain from damage after traumatic brain injury Around 20 years ago, researchers who were studying rats after brain injury made a significant observation.

Progesterone and brain development — smarter kids? Progesterone eases anxiety and facilitates memory Progesterone naturally metabolizes in brain tissues to the metabolite allopregnanolone , which is known to produce calming, anti-anxiety and possibly enhanced memory effects.

Progesterone as a sleeping aid? P rogestins vs. Progesterone: Same effects? First Name. Last Name. Email Address. Postal Code.

Progesterone and the Nervous System/Brain

Hormones are the messengers in the body that travel through the blood stream to start, stop, speed up or slow down your physical and chemical functions and processes across all body systems. Your ovaries are the source of estrogen and progesterone, the two key hormones that control the reproductive system, including the menstrual cycle and fertility in women. You are born with all the eggs you will ever have. The eggs are in the follicles, which are found in the ovaries. During menopause, the number of ovarian follicles declines and the ovaries become less responsive to the two other hormones involved in reproduction—Luteinizing Hormone LH and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone FSH.

With 10 locations throughout NWA, we're always in your neighborhood. Visit us, order online or call: 1. To help relieve the symptoms of menopause, women are typically supplemented with estrogen therapy.

In this emerging area of progesterone research, several research studies attest to the neuroprotective effects of progesterone, an absence of neurological side effects, and a benefit for cognitive function. Many women are familiar with progesterone as a hormone that is essential for fertility and for sustaining a pregnancy. By the time she reaches menopause, circulating progesterone levels are so low, they are similar to those normally seen in men. However, progesterone is far more than a gestational agent.

5 Experts Answer: Is Hormone Replacement Therapy Safe?

Menopause is defined as the absence of menses for 1 year. Women usually experience menopause between 40 and 55 years of age, with the median age being Smokers and women with chronic illnesses tend to experience menopause at an earlier age Box 1. Menopause transition consists of fluctuating ovarian function and occurs 2 to 8 years before menopause and up to 1 year after the final menses. It is a progressive process that eventually leads to persistent ovarian failure. The change in hormones during this period is often responsible for the clinical signs and symptoms that many women experience. Systems affected by the perimenopausal phase include skin and hair, genitourinary GU , neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, and skeletal. The North American Menopause Society has published a comprehensive online study guide related to menopause and offers testing to credential menopause practitioners. Premature ovarian insufficiency POI is the cessation of ovarian function before the age of

How Hormone Depletion Affects You

Member Log In. The purpose of this joint statement is to demonstrate the experts do agree on the key points. The North American Menopause Society, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and The Endocrine Society take the position that most healthy, recently menopausal women can use hormone therapy for relief of their symptoms of hot flashes and vaginal dryness if they so choose. These medical organizations also agree that women should know the facts about hormone therapy. Below are the major points of agreement among these societies.

However, between 7 and 9 percent of women have symptoms severe enough to interfere with their quality of life. In the past, the primary treatment for hot flashes and night sweats called vasomotor symptoms was estrogen-plus-progestin or estrogen-alone hormone therapy—both effective therapies.

Progesterone P4 helps balance estradiol E2 in the body, making its use in hormone replacement therapy HRT just as important as E2. Along with this idea, some believe that progesterone is unnecessary to supplement after women undergo a hysterectomy. While progesterone is known mostly for its effect on the uterus, P4 receptors are located in other parts of the body outside of the uterus as well, and have various effects on other tissues.

Do Women Need Progesterone after a Hysterectomy?

JoAnn V. Pinkerton and Dr. James A.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Hormone Replacement Therapy - CHI Health

Estrogen levels after menopause may have no impact on cognitive function, but progesterone levels might, researchers found. In an analysis of data from a prospective study, there were no significant associations between estrogen levels and cognition among postmenopausal women, Victor Henderson, MD , of Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. There was no relationship between the hormone and brain function whether women were newly postmenopausal, or if they'd been postmenopausal for at least 10 years. Progesterone, however, did appear to be related to verbal memory and global cognition among women who were newly postmenopausal, the researchers found. Henderson said in a statement that the findings don't "necessarily mean that estrogens are irrelevant to cognition, since we have no way of measuring estrogen directly at the brain level. But they imply that boosting blood levels of estradiol or estrone -- even in younger postmenopausal women -- may not have a substantial effect on cognitive skills one way or the other.

Progesterone-Alone for Hot Flashes and Night Sweats?

Hormone therapy was once routinely used to treat menopausal symptoms and protect long-term health. Then large clinical trials showed health risks. What does this mean for you? Hormone replacement therapy — medications containing female hormones to replace the ones the body no longer makes after menopause — is sometimes used to treat common menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and vaginal discomfort. Hormone therapy has also been proved to prevent bone loss and reduce fracture in postmenopausal women.

Smokers and women with chronic illnesses tend to experience menopause at an and occurs 2 to 8 years before menopause and up to 1 year after the final menses. If pregnancy does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels fall and the a FSH evaluation is rarely needed to confirm the postmenopausal state.

Progesterone is a female sex hormone. Progesterone helps to regulate your cycle. But its main job is to get your uterus ready for pregnancy. After you ovulate each month, progesterone helps thicken the lining of the uterus to prepare for a fertilized egg.

Hormone Therapy

This week, we asked gynecologists, endocrinologists and oncologists: Is hormone replacement therapy safe? Here's what they said. Flood-Shaffer, associate professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio:.

NEW YORK Reuters Health - A hormone called progesterone helps reduce how frequently and how severely women experience hot flashes and night sweats after menopause somewhat, according to a new study. Estrogen had been a popular hormone therapy to treat menopausal symptoms until some large studies raised concerns about a possible increased risk of stroke and cancer among women who were taking it see Reuters Health reports of October 19, and January 31, Progesterone has been used in hormone replacement therapy to treat menopausal symptoms, but it is typically thought of as an add-on to estrogen therapy to help protect the uterus from abnormal thickening. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to for that use, and for abnormal menstrual bleeding symptoms.

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