No Sex Drive?
Let’s face it. Nobody wants to have sex if it hurts.
Vaginal dryness (atrophic vaginitis) resulting in painful intercourse is a result of declining estrogen levels. One of estrogen’s many roles is to regulate vaginal lubrication. Estrogen is also responsible for maintaining the thickness of the vaginal lining so as estrogen declines, some women experience vaginal atrophy (a loss of muscle tension in the vagina). Others may lose clitoral sensitivity making it difficult to achieve orgasm.
It’s really no wonder that as estrogen levels recede, sex can become less and less desirable.
As women move towards menopause and ultimately stop ovulating, estrogen levels significantly diminish. Since our body can no longer find estrogen in the ovaries, it looks for other sources of estrogen. Fat cells are one of these sources. The body starts to convert more calories into fat in an effort to increase estrogen production. Well, guess what? This means increased fat and weight gain.
Am I Losing It?
Estrogen levels help control cortisol levels which affect the function of neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain that facilitates “communication” between nerve cells) . As estrogen levels decline, the estrogen is no longer able to properly control cortisol. This can result in these neurotransmitters beginning to malfunction which in turn can lead to memory failure.
Worried About Wrinkles?
Estrogen is vital to healthy skin as it stimulates collagen growth. Collagen gives strength, flexibility, and resilience to skin over the entire body. Lowered estrogen levels are the culprit of increased wrinkles, less elasticity and dry, itchy skin.
Topical estrogen has been clinically proven to decrease wrinkle depth, NOT just the appearance of wrinkles.
After treatment for 6 months with topical estrogen, studies show use of topical estrogen markedly improved elasticity and firmness of the skin. Additionally, skin moisture increased and the measurement of wrinkles revealed highly significant decreases in wrinkle depth and pore size by 61-100%. No increase of systemic estrogen and no systemic hormonal side effects were noted. In other words, the estrogen in the skincare is not absorbed into the body at a level that can be measured.
Hot flashes are usually a product of low estrogen. E2 (estradial), one of three types of estrogen produced by a woman’s body, is the workhorse for most estrogen functions. E2 controls hot flashes and night sweats. Low estrogen levels affect the hypothalamus which is the part of the brain that controls body temperature. As levels of E2 diminish, the hypothalamus is fooled into thinking the body’s temperature is operating at too high a level. In an attempt to regulate this imaginary extra heat, the hypothalamus sends a cool down signal which causes blood vessels to dilate resulting in an increase in heart rate and lots of sweat.