Dr. Brooke Leverone N.D.

Hormone Phases of Life

HORMONE PHASES OF LIFE

Your hormones are dynamic and constant changes in hormone levels depend on a number of factors, such as stress, genetics, diet, and lifestyle. One major factor in hormone changes is age; women are especially susceptible to hormonal changes in mid-life. San Diego hormone specialist Dr. Brooke Leverone is a California-licensed Naturopathic Doctor who helps women find relief from symptoms caused by hormonal imbalance. With extensive experience in bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT), she is passionate about helping people understand how hormones work and the role that they play in our lives.   

Hormone Changes Pre and Post Menopause

Your hormones fluctuate throughout your life. While there are several stages in which hormones shift dramatically, such as the onset of puberty when we are young and during a pregnancy, the most noticeable hormone shift for many women happens around menopause. There are several stages within the menopause experience, all with distinct changes and symptoms:


Perimenopause (35 to 45)

Perimenopause is sometimes called the menopausal transition because this period occurs before menopause and ushers in some of the symptoms commonly associated with menopause. While most women will enter this phase in their 40s, it is not uncommon for it to start in your mid-30’s. 

What Happens to Your Hormones in Perimenopause

Estrogen, which is responsible for female sexual health and reproductive function, begins to shift during perimenopause. Estrogen generally begins to decline, but in the early stages of perimenopause, your estrogen may actually be higher than normal as your hormones begin to change intermittently. 1Environmental factors and lifestyle can influence hormone production during this time.

Perimenopause Symptoms

  • Heavier periods
  • Increased anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Increased menstrual cramps
  • Moodiness around cycles

Menopause (45 to 55)

Natural menopause, which is characterized by the end of menstruation and the cessation of estrogen production from the ovaries, occurs between 45 and 55 with an average age of 51.2 

What Happens to Your Hormones in Menopause

Symptoms of menopause are a direct result of decreased estrogen and progesterone levels, as well as changes in other important hormones. During this time, symptoms you may have experienced in perimenopause can increase and new symptoms of menopause can arise. 

Menopause Symptoms

  • Hot Flashes
  • Night Sweats
  • Vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse
  • Loss of libido
  • Difficulty achieving orgasm
  • Changes in skin texture
  • Brain fog and decreased memory
  • Mood changes with anxiety and/or depression 
  • Weight gain
  • Joint pain

Post Menopause (55 and Beyond)

After 12 consecutive months without a period, you are now in post menopause. Once you reach this stage, some symptoms of menopause may resolve while others will persist. Post menopause may also usher in changes in overall health. 

What Happens to Your Hormones Post Menopause

The lack of hormone production at this stage of life contributes to increased risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease.3

Post Menopause Symptoms

  • Hot flashes 
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse
  • Lack of libido 
  • Difficulty achieving orgasims
  • Changes in skin
  • Decreased memory and loss of ability to multitask
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes

How Your Overall Health Affects Hormone Levels

So many factors will influence your individual experience with menopause and other hormone changes. In addition to the natural cycle that is responsible for menopause, some other health concerns that can influence your symptoms include:

  • Adrenal Dysfunction can occur as a result of  chronic stress, causing the adrenal glands to under or over produce hormones. 
  • Thyroid Health is important to hormone balance, as a thyroid disorder can cause severe symptoms. 
  • Digestive Health, the microbiome and bacterial imbalances, food sensitivities and inflammation will also impact your hormonal health and balance.
  • Genetics and your genetic profile determine how you process hormones and can contribute to symptoms and influence how you respond to hormone replacement therapy. 

Find Hormonal Balance During Menopause

Menopause doesn’t have to be the end of your vitality. Dr. Leverone uses bioidentical hormone replacement to relieve menopause symptoms and improve quality of life, but also for anti-aging and disease prevention. Achieving hormonal balance can help you look better, feel better, and most importantly it can protect your health. We have an advanced diagnostic system to pinpoint the underlying cause of menopause symptoms and every patient on BHRT receives a customized treatment plan. Contact us to learn more or schedule your appointment. 

1 Shifren JL, Hanfling S. Sexuality in Midlife and Beyond: Special Health Report. Harvard Health Publications, Boston, MA
2Mayo Clinic. Menopause. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20353397 Accessed September 2, 2020
3Office on Women’s Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Menopause. Available: https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-and-your-health Accessed September 2, 2020.

Get In Touch

Call (858) 263-0901 or fill out the form below.