|WHERE DID MY GOOD BUGS GO?
Peri-menopausal and Menopausal changes in healthy vaginal microflora
By Dr. Jackie Germain
Hot flashes, sleep disturbance, mood changes, joint pains and a host of other symptoms can affect women approaching menopause and beyond. When the ovaries slow down the production of estrogen and progesterone, another disruption occurs. Pre-menopausal hormonal balance contributes to healthy vaginal flora, lactobacilli. This group of friendly bacteria metabolizes glycogen, producing lactic acid. This is essential for maintaining the perfect vaginal pH which inhibits unwanted bacterial and yeast growth causing infection. The incidence of bacterial vaginal infections, as well as Candida infections increases during all hormonal fluctuations, and is particularly evident during menopausal changes. This disruption can also lead to an increase in urinary tract infections as well as to changes in the vaginal tissue leading to painful intercourse.
Your adrenal glands will produce hormones after menopause. This gets a bit tricky, as the adrenals are responsible for the production of many important hormones, especially cortisol. Some of these take precedence over sex hormone synthesis as they are designed to keep you on alert, safe and are considered “survival” hormones. Stress in any form will certainly keep you in a survival mode, inhibiting the production of balanced sex hormones.
There are many ways to balance these hormones naturally and provide the body with the necessities to smooth the transition.
Your physician at The Center can suggest laboratory testing and natural solutions to help you maintain the good bugs, leading to an easier and healthier transition.