Raging Hormones to Hot Flashes
Some of our expert OB-GYN physicians from Bon Secours Medical Group weigh in on the hormonal changes that happen during three important phases of a woman's life: adolescence, perimenopause and postmenopause.
Tales of teenage girls struggling with "raging" hormones are legendary. Many parents of teens dreadfully await the day their sweet daughter turns into a door-slamming, crying teen who seems to be riding an emotional roller coaster. But what is normal when it comes to teen hormones? Dr. Laura LeBel of Highlands Center for Women explains that hormonal activity before the age of 9 is abnormal, as is the lack of evidence of hormones (starting menstruation, developing bodies) after age 15. Other factors can cause adolescent hormones to become out of whack, including the growth of ovarian cysts. Learn more by watching Dr Lebel's video >>
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The next phase of womanhood when hormones can cause problems is perimenopause - the time period that can last from 4 to 10 years before menopause. Perimenopause has some surprising hormonal changes. Many women feel that approaching menopause would cause their bodies to skip periods in anticipation of them ceasing altogether, but many women experience periods that are closer together than normal, and can be heavier and more painful than they have experienced before. Add to that the onset of hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings, and many women are desperately seeking relief to feel like themselves again. Learn more about treatment options by watching this interview with Dr. Chyrel Stoner of Commonwealth Women's Health >>
Once a woman has not had a period for a year, she is considered to have completed menopause. Hormone levels during this time tend to drop off, causing a decrease in energy, sex drive and more. The right candidates can feel more like their pre-menopausal selves with hormone replacement therapy. While it's not for everyone, the benefits may outweigh the risks for some women. Dr. Martin French of Upstate OB-GYN Group talks about hormone replacement options at this stage, and why it is important to work with your physician to determine if hormone replacement is right for you. Watch the video >>
Remember, although you don't feel like yourself, you are not alone. Working closely with your OB-GYN during these times of transition you can effectively navigate your ever-changing hormones and find balance.
Consult your Physician
It is important for you to consult with your physician regarding hormone therapy. The recent prevalence of stand-alone hormone therapy clinics has some cause for concern. According to the latest medical journals, many clinics are treating each patient the same and not addressing individual symptoms, ultimately overdosing the patient on hormones. Extreme, extended highs in hormone levels can cause serious health problems, in addition to facial and body hair, voice changes, and other physical changes. And, according to the Better Business Bureau, many of these clinics do not require you to meet with their physician before receiving treatment.
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