In the world of mainstream medicine, conditions like PMS and menopause are often regarded as hormonal deficiencies that require routine treatment with synthetic hormone replacement therapy. The conventional approach focuses on maintaining a woman’s hormone levels associated with her childbearing years, disregarding the fact that our bodies are designed to naturally produce and balance hormones when provided with the right environment.
Hormones play a significant role in our bodies, guiding our growth, regulating our pace, and influencing every step in between. As we age, our hormone levels go through changes, presenting unique challenges during transitional periods. This is particularly true for women entering menopause. The amount of estrogen produced by the ovaries affects the length, timing, and even the flow of a woman’s menstrual cycle. As the ovaries age, they may not release an egg every month, leading to a buildup of the uterine lining under the influence of estrogen. This can result in a heavier flow and closer cycles. Eventually, the ovaries produce less estrogen, leading to lighter flows and, eventually, the complete cessation of periods. This natural transition is known as menopause, marking the phase when women lose their ability to conceive.
The US population is aging, and the fastest-growing subgroup within this aging population is postmenopausal women. The average age of menopause has remained around 52 since 1950, but female life expectancy has significantly increased. In the past, women often didn’t live long enough to reach menopause, with an average life expectancy of only 47 years in 1850. Today, women are living well into their 80s, meaning that approximately one-third of their lives are spent postmenopausal or menopausal.
Pre-menopause and menopause are natural hormonal transitional periods in the human life cycle, much like puberty. They should be embraced as natural stages of life rather than treated as diseases. While it is true that estrogen levels decrease during menopause (usually by 40 to 60%), it is important to note that progesterone levels can also drop.
It’s time to challenge the prevailing myths and misconceptions surrounding menopause. Instead of viewing it as an estrogen deficiency disease, let’s recognize it as a natural phase and explore holistic approaches that support our bodies’ natural hormone balance. By embracing these transitions and seeking a deeper understanding of our bodies, we can navigate PMS and menopause with grace, empowering ourselves to embrace the beauty and wisdom that come with every stage of life.