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Menopause is a natural transition in a woman's life. It occurs when estrogen production falls below a certain level and ovulation stops. In fact, at age 30 the body decreases estrogen production; as a result, physiological and biological changes occur.

When estrogen levels decline, the following changes occur in the body, blood vessels weaken, the liver doesn't get the message to convert bad cholesterol to good cholesterol, bone density falls at a rate of 1 to 3% a year and the benefits of serotonin, a neurotransmitter released in the brain to promote relaxation and sleep are compromised. These changes associated with menopause can contribute to a number of health concerns such as increased risk for cardiovascular disease high cholesterol, high blood pressure, bone density loss, joint aches, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and mood swings. The degree to which women have these experiences varies greatly. Women's natural estrogen levels help protect against cognitive decline.

Estrogen is not one hormone, it is the name for a group of hormones. There are three principle forms of estrogen found in the human body, Estrone, Estradiol and Estriol , also known as E1, E2 and E3 respectively. There is also a group of compounds called phytoestrogens, generally found in food, which can have "estrogen like" effects in the body. Estradiol (E2) is the primary estrogen produced by the ovaries. Estrone (E1) is formed from estradiol. It is a weak estrogen and is the most abundant estrogen found in the body after menopause. Estriol (E3) is produced in large amounts during pregnancy and is a breakdown product of estradiol. Estriol is also a weak estrogen and may have anti-cancer effects. Before menopause estradiol is the predominant estrogen. After menopause estradiol levels drop more than estrone so that now estrone is the predominant estrogen.

Many of the symptoms women experience are related to hormone imbalance. Hormones are like messengers, they circulate in the body and fit into hormone receptor sites, just as certain keys fit into certain locks. Substances that are “estrogenic” can imitate estrogen and fit into estrogen receptor sites.

It is the estrogen's tendency to promote cell growth that makes its excess a promoter of cancer. This is one reason among many to do everything we can to create hormone balance.

In North America , we are exposed to hormones from a variety of sources. We get extra hormones from eating meat and poultry (injected with hormones to stimulate growth), from plastic containers that emit estrogenic substances into the food/liquid they contain, and from petrochemical by-products and pollutants which are estrogenic. This affects both men (prostate cancer) and women and causes little girls to start menstruating at a progressively younger age.

If you ever had (past or present), breast swelling/tenderness, fibrocysts, cancer, endometriosis, endometrial cancer/hyperplasia, PMS, migraines/headaches, osteoporosis, weight gain (abdomen, hips), water retention, gallbladder symptoms, menopausal symptoms, insomnia, inability to concentrate, cyclic acne, fibromyalgia, depression or fatigue; there is a strong possibility that your body is not making enough progesterone to balance the amount of estrogen.

High estrogen contributes to the process of aging: risk of heart disease and stroke, baldness, obesity, reduced sexual appetite. Over the past 50 years we have seen greater than a 30% increase in breast, ovarian and uterine cancer. In Australia , a study was done where pesticides were used. There was significant evidence of masculinization of women and feminization of men.

Although estrogen has the reputation of preventing osteoporosis, it is a fact that estrogen slows down bone loss but does not build bone. Progesterone is the bone builder. High estrogen levels inhibit the body's production of protective progesterone. In our culture, by the time women reach menopause, osteoporosis has already begun.


After more than 40 years of conventional hormone replacement therapy, nearly everyone from the mainstream media to pharmaceutical companies has misinformed and confused the public about "natural" versus "synthetic" hormones.

Conventional medicine's hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) nearly always use non-bio-identical estrogens and synthetic progestin that have been changed to be more potent not to mention patentable and exclusive therefore more profitable for pharmaceutical companies.

There are many types of estrogens, and it is important to know the specific type and exact name before any meaningful decision about its use can be made. For example, when a newspaper reports "New Estrogen Study Confirms Cancer Risk," a woman currently using estrogen prescribed by her doctor needs to ask, "Was the estrogen used in the study the same type estrogen that I am using? Is there a relationship between the two?" There are conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) naturally occurring estrogens such as estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3); and phytoestrogens such as those from soy, red clover, flaxseed and black cohosh. Phytoestrogens are the herbalist's choice because of their relatively weak estrogenic effects compared to the body's own estradiol (E2). However, these herbals are NOT considered "natural" estrogens because they still differ from those found in the human body. True human estrogens have a more profound effect in the body than phytoestrogens.

Some estrogen products are derived from horse urine (PREGNANT MARES URINE) and therefore by strict definition is also not "natural," despite a statement on the pharmaceutical package that reads, "Estrogens Obtained Exclusively From Natural Sources." While it may be true that these conjugated equine estrogens are obtained from horses (natural to the horse), they do not match the human hormones and consequently often have side effects. There are more than 10 types of estrogen in a single estrogen tablet, most of which are much more potent than the human body's own estrodial.

When the study of horse hormones was halted in July, 2002, it triggered “an almost unheard of transformation of the medical landscape,” reports The New York Times. Doctors have thrown up their hands in confusion. Many now tell women to “live with” hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, low libido and the rest.

The best source of progesterone and estrogens is your own body!


Peri - Menopause

The term "peri - menopause" or "menopause" is usually used to define the symptoms that lead up to the final bleed and is caused by the reduction in the number of egg cells that a woman has. Therefore the age at which a woman has her final menstrual cycle will be dependent upon the number of eggs her body has produced.

If you have your ovaries removed at the time of your hysterectomy then you will have an immediate menopause, regardless of your age. If you have a hysterectomy and your ovaries are left intact then you have up to a 50% chance of your ovaries failing within five years of your hysterectomy, this may be because the blood supply to the uterus has been cut off. Radiation treatment following hysterectomy for cancer may also cause the ovaries to fail prematurely.

Even after a natural menopause the ovaries continue to play a part in a woman's health as they continue to produce a small amount of estrogen and a more significant amount of testosterone for up to 12 years. Therefore there are indications that women having a hysterectomy should be offered the supplementation of testosterone as well as estrogen.

Hot Flashes

Because horse hormones even out the fluctuating levels of estrogen, sure enough they stop hot flashes. But a primary cause of hot flashes is stress, which throws your hormones out of balance.

If you've had a hot flash, there's no mistaking it! the sudden, intense, hot feeling on your face and upper body, perhaps preceded or accompanied by a rapid heartbeat and sweating, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, headache, weakness, or a feeling of suffocation. Some women experience an "aura," an uneasy feeling just before the hot flash that lets them know what's coming. The flash is followed by a flush, leaving you reddened and perspiring. You can have a soaked or merely a moist upper lip. A chill can lead off the episode or be the finale.

Mood Swings

Black Cohosh produces better results than conventional therapies such as hormonal and mood altering drugs in relieving mood swings, and without increasing the risk of uterine or breast cancer, but the benefits don't last very long and the symptoms return.

Vaginal Dryness 

With the significant drop in estrogen after menopause, the membranes of the vagina thin, lose elasticity, and decrease the production of lubricating fluids. Sexual intercourse may be uncomfortable or even painful. Pain with intercourse may be largely a result of soreness of the vulva, the area right outside the vagina.


If you suffer from insomnia every night or most nights for a period of one month then you have chronic insomnia. If you're not having hot flashes or night sweats then it's time to look for other causes of sleeplessness; depression and anxiety disorders are the most common causes of chronic insomnia.

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