Can Progesterone Help with Sleep? | PYHP 129

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Can Progesterone Help with Sleep? | PYHP 129

in this episode, we answered a listener’s question. We love questions from listeners. If you have a question, please visit our website and click Ask the Doctor a question. Here is the listener’s question: I have been perimenopause for at least 4 years now I am 47 and after completing a Dutch test with a […]

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Vaginitis vs Yeast Infection | PYHP 128

The dreaded, uncomfortable, annoying, burning, itchy, achy, irritating vaginal infection. Ladies, we have all been there. And for those unicorns that have never had a vaginal infection such as yeast or bacterial vaginosis, well, you are certainly one of the lucky ones. While a yeast infection or BV is not life-threatening, not fatal, and maybe […]

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Can Progesterone Cause Anxiety? | PYHP 127

Can Progesterone Cause Anxiety? Often we get reader/listener questions about their own experience with hormones. We love that readers of our blogs and listeners of the podcast (TheProgressYourHealth Podcast) reach out for more information. If they have concerns and questions, that means many, many other people have the same concerns. A lot of questions we […]

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When Is It Too Late To Start HRT? | PYHP 126

When is it too Late to Start HRT? Recently we received a great question/comment from a listener of our podcast (The Progress Your Health Podcast). I’ll call her ‘Jenny’ (because I never reveal any personal information for the sake of privacy). Jenny was wondering if she is too far into menopause to be able to […]

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What Are Five of the Most Common Symptoms of Perimenopause? | PYHP 125

Perimenopause is the time in a woman’s life prior to entering menopause. Most people are familiar with menopause, which is when the ovaries stop producing hormones and women stop their periods. There are many options to deal with menopause (which is an entirely different podcast and blog). But perimenopause is a completely different animal compared […]

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Can Estriol Cream Be Used For Vaginal Atrophy | PYHP 124

Discover how estriol can address post-menopausal vaginal & urinary concerns. Learn about its benefits for atrophy, leakage, & infections in this episode of Progress Your Health podcast.

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Does Estrogen Cause Weight Gain? | PYHP 123

 
Download the diagram above, click here.
Tracy’s Question: 
Episode 052 – What Biest Ratio is Best for Menopause? 
This is such helpful information. I have often wondered who 80:20 is good for and who 50:50 is good for.
One thing I'm still confused by is the estrogen weight gain component. You said that estrogen (as well as menopause in general) could be the cause of her weight gain. I can relate. I was very thin my whole life, now 53 and about 30 lbs overweight. But you also said she might benefit from getting her estrogen balanced, and she was not using enough. 
If too low a dose made her gain weight, won't an increased dose cause more weight gain? I have heard other podcasts and read articles that in menopause, we gain weight because our estrogen falls. Estrogen seems to be blamed for weight gain, whether it's high or low. Can you help clarify? There's something I'm not understanding. Thank you! Tracy 
Short Answer: 
Often estrogen has been the scapegoat for weight gain. I'm sure you have heard too much causes weight gain. Too little can pack on the pounds. It can be pretty confusing. So which is it? Is too much estrogen causing my pants to become uncomfortably tight? Or is it too little estrogen that has given me the gut I never had?
Well, it’s not that simple. Estrogen levels do have a hand in weight gain and weight loss. But it is not the only variable. It really is the combination of the balance of estrogen with other hormones in your body. To name a few main players, progesterone, insulin, and cortisol, as well as enzymes, lipoprotein lipase (LPL), and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). Okay, I know that sounds vague and doesn't answer the question. Let's back up a bit and look at what women are saying about estrogen. 
As soon as menopause hits, women complain that they are instantly 15-30 lbs heavier. Not because of diet or lifestyle. It's like menopause adds an unwanted 15-30 lbs overnight. Then some women are on hormone replacement therapy, taking estrogen, and are horrified because the HRT caused them to gain 10 lbs in a month. So what is it? Did the lack of estrogen in menopause cause that 20 lb weight gain? Or did that hormone replacement estrogen create rolls that were never there? Well, actually, both are true. Before you throw out your jeans in favor of high-waisted yoga pants, let’s learn about the other players in weight gain. 
Progesterone will buffer estrogen. Estrogen does like to grow things'. That is why in puberty, you grow breasts and hips. Progesterone helps to balance some of the growth' that estrogen can cause. That is why in perimenopause, when the progesterone drops and the estrogen is running the show, the weight gain begins. That is also why when a woman starts estrogen therapy for menopause but not enough progesterone, there is weight gain.
Cortiso

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What Hormone Tests Should I Get? | PYHP 122

 

‘Doc, I really don't feel like myself. I think it's my hormones. Could it be my hormones? Can you test my hormones?' 
How many times have I heard new clients tell me this story? They go to see their GP, Gyno, or Internist, asking to have their hormones tested. Only to be told that there is no testing for hormones. Or that it's not necessary to test hormones. Only to leave feeling dismissed, with no answers to why they do not feel well.
While I understand that your GP, Gynocologist, and Primary Care Physician are not the jack of all trades,’ there are many tests for hormones. There are blood tests, urinary testing, and even saliva testing. The more difficult part of hormone testing is the interpretation. The basic lab values assigned by the labs are very vast, and without experience and training, it can be quite difficult to determine if there is a hormone imbalance. 
If you are feeling like you have a hormone imbalance or having symptoms concerning your hormones, below is a list of common hormones to be tested and why. Because blood lab testing is so popular, I am going to stick to blood testing. Later we will have more labs and interpretations for urine and saliva. 
To start, blood testing is just a look at one moment in time with respect to your hormone levels. In a menstruating woman, her hormone levels are changing every day. But in a menopausal woman where the ovarian function has ceased, her hormone levels are going to be pretty level day to day. So in a female that is still having her period, I like to try and aim for getting the blood drawn around day 12 and/or day 21. In a 28-day cycle, the estrogen will surge around day 12, and the progesterone will surge on day 21. This can give us better insight into her levels of progesterone and estrogen. In a menopausal woman that has not had a period or has sporadic periods with common menopausal symptoms, I will have her draw her blood any time of the month. 
FSH and LH:
FSH stands for follicle-stimulating hormone, and LH stands for luteinizing hormone. These are not actually hormones. They are stimulating hormones.' Meaning both the FSH and LH are released from the pituitary gland (in your brain) in response to estrogen and progesterone production. The FSH and LH work in what is called a negative feedback loop.’ Meaning if the levels of estrogen and progesterone are high, then the FSH and LH are low. In turn, if the estrogen and progesterone levels are low, then the FSH and LH are high. It is like when you want your husband to take out the garbage. If he doesn't, you might raise your voice until he does. It is the same with all stimulating hormones. If the ovarian production of hormones is low, as in menopause or perimenopause, the FSH and LH levels will look high. 
Estradiol and Progesterone:
Always test estradiol to get specific results for estrogen levels. Estradiol is much more specific for estrogen levels than simple total estrogens. Ideally, in a menstruating woman having the blood test around day 21 will give you insight if that woman is ovulating. It will so give you insight if there is progesteron

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Is Surgical Menopause Worse Than Natural Menopause? | PYHP 121

Michelle’s Question: Hi, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us! 
In March 2022 at 42 years old, I had a total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy because of stage 4 endometriosis, grapefruit-sized fibroids, ovarian cysts, and my left ovary adhered to my colon.  
I was immediately put on an estradiol patch.  I was recovering and doing well until the beginning of June.  Then I started having hot flashes, 24/7 anxiety, insomnia, and not feeling well every day.  
Since March, my dosage has gone from .25, .5, .75, and 1 mg.  But I saw no improvement in my symptoms and have said this was the worse summer of my life.  
I am debilitated by it.  After much research, I decided to try bio-identical creams that have estriol, estradiol, progesterone, pregnenolone, and DHEA.  
Even though I no longer have a uterus, I know that my body is used to having these hormones and am hoping they help me get through this surgical menopause and be able to function again.  Is this a combo hormone protocol you've ever done for your patients?  
If so, should I apply estriol and estradiol in the morning, and progesterone, pregnenolone, and DHEA at night?
Short Answer: 
Surgical menopause is much different from what you could call your typical menopause. Honestly, there is nothing typical about menopause. Some women breeze through menopause and others have symptoms so severe it can seriously affect their quality of life, not to mention the people around them. And I (Dr. Davidson) can say this honestly, being just shy of 50 and feeling the effects of menopause. But being that I am a hormone doctor, I have some advantages to easing my transition. This is why we do what we do, here at Progress Your Health Inc. We know that hormone imbalance can alter how you feel. From your energy to your sleep, to your libido (or lack of) and more. Hormones can even affect your actual overall health.
Menopause is when the ovaries naturally start to decline and then cease producing hormones. Those hormones in particular are estrogen (estradiol) and progesterone. Menopause is a natural part of life. Those ovaries have worked well for a long time and are ready to retire, naturally so. Making that transi

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