- Hormones are chemical messengers that travel through the bloodstream and activate targeted cells
- Ovaries are the source of oestrogen and progesterone – the two key hormones
- Premature/early menopause women are at greater risk of health issues
- When oestrogen is in decline it can affect various parts of the female body in the following ways:
Brain and nervous system
- You may experience mood swings, memory loss, problems focusing, irritability, fatigue, hot flushes, night sweats, stress, anxiety and depression.
- You are at an increased risk for cardiovascular issues later in life, such as heart attacks and strokes because you have a longer stage without the protection of oestrogen.
- Your reproductive ability decreases due to the loss of ovarian function and oestrogen depletion. The monthly menstrual cycle ceases and you’re no longer able to conceive.
- For all women after the age of 30, the creation of new bone cannot keep up with the rate of bone loss in your body. However oestrogen depletion causes bone density loss to accelerate, resulting in an increased risk for osteoporosis.
- The reduction of oestrogen decreases the water-holding ability and elasticity in your skin, leading to dryness, itching, and an increase in wrinkling and sagging. Your skin becomes more susceptible to injury and healing can take longer.
- Oestrogen depletion can cause the lining of your urethra to become drier, thinner and less elastic. This can lead to feeling the need to urinate more often, an increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and involuntary leaking of urine (incontinence) when coughing or laughing.
- Low oestrogen levels can lead to vaginal dryness, irritation or discomfort. You can develop vaginal atrophy- an inflammation of the vagina as a result of the thinning and shrinking of the tissues, along with a decrease in lubrication. It can lead to discomfort during sexual activity and make your vagina more vulnerable to infection.