Hello Hormone Hotties! Here we are again this week navigating the world of estrogen and the many twists and turns she takes us through. If you are just finding me for the first time, I'm Dr. LaKeischa, your Intergrative Gynecologist, hormone specialist, speaker, and best-selling author. I help ambitious women, like you, who are struggling with depleting hormones get your hormones balanced, regain mental sharpness, have energy all day, and remember just how beautiful and vital you are! Today we are going to debunk the myth that you have to have the big 3 symptoms in order to declare you are now in menopause.
First of all, what are the big 3 symptoms?
Most women know about these symptoms and they feel that if I don’t have these symptoms I either never had menopause or am not in menopause. Well prepare to be totally confused by the time we finish our little conversation today and hopefully, I’ll be able to direct you on when you can go to clear things up.
The symptoms above are not foreign to women. We’ve all heard about them in hushed and whispered tones. We have memories of our grandmothers all of a sudden having beads of sweat pouring down her face and trying to keep her cool while no one else in the room seemed to be experiencing the same discomfort. What was this phenomenon? Was it something that you can catch? Was it something you could avoid? Does everybody get it?
Well, the answer to your question is a resounding No! Not every woman will experience the big 3 and announce to her she is being ushered into what was once touted as “The Change”. The flip side of this coin is that some women will start experiencing some of these symptoms and they are nowhere near menopause. Oh, yes, you heard me.
Come with me Hormone Hottie and let’s talk about these hormones.
Some women start experiencing warm surges at night way before menopause. I mean up to 10 years before menopause. Yes, you read that right, 10 years! This can happen because your progesterone levels have started dropping and the wonderful temperature control it gives during the night has gone away.
The other physiological change that occurs is the falling levels of estrogen. You see estrogen plays a big role in regulating temperature through a variety of mechanisms. One way is by helping regulate the thyroid gland which in turn regulates our internal thermostats. So, one thing that can happen in perimenopause is when your estrogen is not going up as high as it used to and your progesterone is dropping you can feel cold during the day and have these warm surges at night. (I see those light bulbs going off!)
Now, let’s talk about the flip side of the coin. When you get to the point where your estrogen has dropped so low that the opposite starts happening, you get those hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. The reason this is happening is that when estrogen drops so low it can cause vasodilation on the skin surface and this along with the internal thermostat system now out of whack you can now get your own personal summer, power surges, or plain ole hot flash.
The final symptom of the big 3 that I want to talk about is vaginal dryness. This occurs because the vaginal mucosa (I know big ole biology word), is not getting the nutrients it once had with the higher levels of estrogen. Estrogen gave the vagina its “hills and valley’s (see this IG live for that explanation). Now, with the lower levels of estrogen, the vagina is like an ice-skating rink that feels like parchment paper. That doesn’t feel good at all! This can contribute to feeling as if you constantly have a UTI (urinary tract infection) or painful intercourse.
So now what do you do? How do you know where you are in this hormone maze? Well, let me help you out. Grab your free hormone quiz at www.hormonequiz.co and let’s start mapping out your hormone blueprint.
Until next time #HormoneHotties, bye!