The end of a reproductive life in women can be disturbing for some women. However, menopause doesn’t
necessarily have to be a dreaded curse of aging during which we can look forward only to hot flashes and hormonal mood swings. Menopause paradoxically often marks the beginning of a woman’s most passionate, creatively inspired, and professionally productive phase of life. A woman’s lifestyle, emotions, and beliefs are affected by menopause. With the right diet, attitude, and perhaps some supplements along the way, women can actually look forward to a resurgence of energy and a revolutionary opportunity for personal growth.
Women in their post-menopausal years sometimes complain of dryness in their vagina, skin and sometimes even a lowering of the pitch of voice. The dryness in the vagina could result in dyspareunia or pain on intercourse. The spine gets curved from wedge compression fractures.
Many women in menopause face the following issues:
• Changes in the brain, affecting memory, learning & emotions
• Preventive long-term health of breasts, bones, and heart: should you be on hormones?
• Dealing with metabolism shifts, weight loss challenges , sexual problems & appearance issues
• Navigating the challenges of “the empty nest” and midlife marriage
At the OPAL Medical Clinic, we hope to integrate our screening process to include advice on exercise and nutrition to counter the weight gain that so frequently plagues post menopausal women. Our screening can include measurements of estrogen metabolism, gonadotrophins, bone density, heart integrity and cognitive screening. Hormones that we can measure include DHEAS, testosterone, progesterone, estradiol, estriol, estrone etc. Menopause and the aging process affect all these components. We also work with compounding pharmacists to prepare bioidentical hormones, progesterone cream, herbs, soy products etc. We correlate symptoms with levels of your hormones and customize replacement.
• If you are female and want to be assessed for Menopause treatments in Houston, please fill this form: Menopause
Female Androgen Insufficiency syndrome (FAI)
Androgen insufficiency in women, or low testosterone in women can lead to:
Bone density changes
Cognitive and memory changes
Decreased libido, sexual receptivity, and pleasure
Diminished psychological well-being
Low energy and persistent, unexplained fatigue
Muscle mass and strength changes
Sexual hair changes.
The Princeton consensus statement, defines the FAI syndrome to be present in a woman who may have the above symptoms. However, accurate diagnosis would require the expertise of a physician in conjunction with laboratory tests. It is common in the post-menopausal years as the ovaries shut down.
Physiology of Androgens in Women
The building block for androgens is cholesterol, which is obtained from in the diet. Androgens influence sexual desire, bone density, muscle strength and mass, mood, energy, and psychological well-being. In women, 40% of the androgens are produced in the ovaries, and 25% in the adrenal glands and the remainder in peripheral tissues. Androgens in women include androstenedione, DHEA, DHEAS, 5-alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and testosterone. Of the androgenic steroids, DHT and testosterone have the most biological activity. Circulating testosterone in Houston is converted to DHT and estradiol (E2). On the other hand, DHEAS is produced mainly in the adrenals and is converted to DHEA by steroid sulfatase. DHEA is produced by both the adrenals and the ovaries. Luteinizing hormone stimulates androgen secretion by the ovaries, whereas androgen secretion by the adrenals is controlled by adrenocorticotrophin.
Menopause treatments in Houston
In a woman, a testosterone level less than 20 ng/dL is considered low (less than 10 ng/dL after oophorectomy). This can occur sometimes after hysterectomies that included the ovaries or in menopause. Women produce about 10% of the testosterone that men produce. If found deficient, we can recommend gels or creams to help restore vitality and reverse some of the symptoms described above.