In this article, I will explain the benefits of taking estrogen after menopause. Menopause happens in middle-aged women (48-55 years old). Menopause is a condition where menstrual cycle stops, or the end of reproductive period. This is a natural condition, and all women will experience this. But the menopause symptoms give anxiety in women, since the stopping of menstrual cycle means the stopping of reproductive hormone production, such as estrogen and progesteron.
Estrogen is a steroid hormone, produced by theca follicle cells in ovaries. Estrogen functions are: promotes secondary sexual signs in women, promotes proliferation of endometrium cells, influences electrolytes balance, and improves protein anabolism with growth hormones, as in growth of reproductive organs such as the womb and vagina.
When a woman reach pre-menopause period, her estrogen production is much decreased. The symptoms are:
- irregular menstruation
- hot flushes (sudden feeling of heat on the body)
- sweating excessively even in cold weather
- mood swings and hysteria
- reccurent headache
- unable to hold urination
- decreased libido
- reduced bone density, which will lead to osteoporosis and bone fractures
- increased risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease
Those symptoms are quite scary for women. This is why hormone replacement therapy was created. The hormone replacement therapy is a combination of estrogen and progestin which in short-term used for reducing physical and psychological symptoms of menopause. It also can increase life quality of middle-aged women. Benefits of Taking Estrogen after Menopause below:
1. Prevents Dryness in Vagina
Vaginal dryness is caused by lack of estrogen. This makes difficulties and pain during sexual intercourse, which can lead to physical (irritation around vagina and vulva area) and psychological trauma (unwillingness to do sexual intercourse because of the fear of experiencing pain). Taking estrogen after menopause can maintain vaginal lubrication and elasticity.
2. Increases Libido
Libido has big role in maintaining sexual relation with our loved ones. Lack of estrogen can cause lack of libido. Moreover, lack of libido plus dryness in vagina can affect a woman’s sexual relation with her spouse.
3. Prevents Pre-menopause Syndrome
Pre-menopause syndrome includes hot flushes, excessive sweating, and mood swings. These will affect social and work life. Taking estrogen after menopause can prevent the syndrome, making a woman feel more comfortable, especially during working.
4. Prevents Psychological Problems
Psychological problems that often happen during menopause is hysteria. Hysteria is a psychological condition involving illusion, paranoidism and anxiety. For example, a menopaused woman may have symptoms like dryness of vagina and lack of libido, so she feels insecure about her sexual performance. Therefore, she becomes paranoid every time her husband dresses nicely, coming back home late, etc.
She thinks her husband has affair with another woman, nobody loves her and wants her anymore, she feels useless, etc. If this thing happens all the time, it will affect her family, social and work life. Taking estrogen after menopause can help this. See also benefits of exercise for emotional health.
5. Prevents Osteoporosis and Bone Fractures
Long term benefit of taking estrogen after menopause regularly is maintaining bone density, thus preventing osteoporosis and bone fractures caused by osteoporosis. See symptoms of osteoporosis and benefits of exercise for bone health.
6. Prevents Atherosclerosis
Lack of estrogen affect elasticity of blood vessels too, making them prone to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can lead to hypertension, heart attack and stroke.
7. Maintains Ideal Body Weight
Estrogen control distribution of fat tissues in our body. When there is lack of estrogen, fat tissues can grow, thus increasing body weight. To reduce weight naturally, see list of healthy fruits for weightloss.
8. Prevents Water Retention
Atherosclerosis, hypertension, accumulation of toxins, and kidney diseases can result in water retention. Taking estrogen after menopause can prevent this, as estrogen prevents atherosclerosis and hypertension.
9. Reduces Risks of Colon – Rectum Cancers
A study showed that menopaused women who were given estrogen replacement therapy has 21-34 % lower risks of getting colon and rectum cancers than those who were given placebo (a sugar pill). See how to prevent cancers.
Side Effects of Estrogen after Menopause
They may be benefits of taking estrogen after menopause, but check out this drawbacks:
1. Inceased Risks of Breast Cancer
It is already wide known that any therapy involving estrogen (oral contraceptive pills and estrogen replacement therapy) increases risks of breast cancer, especially in older women (65 years and more). Therefore, a woman who wants to consume estrogen therapy should consult her doctor to get precise dossage of estrogen that she has to take every day.
In developing or third world countries, estrogen replacement therapy is very expensive, because most of the time it is not covered by social security or general insurance companies. Only rich people can afford artificial estrogen. It is really not economical and can lead to poverty.
Artificial Estrogen and Natural Estrogen
With the side effects mentioned above, many doctor advise the intake of natural estrogen. Natural estrogen can be found in beans and fruits. Estrogen that are found naturally in plants is called phytoestrogen. Significant amount of phytoestrogen can be found in soya beans and papaya. See health benefits of wholegrains.
Moreover, phytoestrogen contained in plants are easier to be absorbed, and has just the exact amount needed by our body. It is also easier to be elliminated from our body. Nowadays, it is easy to find soya bean products worldwide, such as tofu, tempe (fermented soya bean), soya milk, and energy bars that contain soya. Papaya can be found in any fruit market now, although the price can be expensive in subtropical countries. However, the highest amount of phytoestrogen is found in soya milk.
Soya products are cheap in Asian countries, therefore much more economical than artificial estrogen.
To get the best result of getting rid of pre-menopause syndrome, it is advised to combined estrogen with regular exercise, not smoking, consuming calcium and foods that contain calcium, and consuming a lot of fruits, vegetables and beans. Young women can also take natural estrogen, to prevent osteoporosis and pre-menopause syndrome which could happen decades later.