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Menopause and HRT

Holistic-online.com

Androgen

Androgens are primarily male hormones. However small amounts of androgens, circulate in the female before and after menopause. Androgens are absorbed by many different types of cells all over the body, the same way estrogens are. They are thought to enhance sexual desire, contribute to sexual functioning, and may heighten energy levels and a sense of well-being. Absorbed by bone cells, they contribute to 'bone growth. They possibly also contribute to brain functioning, eye lubrication, and many other functions. Those androgens most in evidence are testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone.

Although androgens are produced in equal amounts by the ovaries and adrenal glands, they are also converted from biologically inactive "prehormone" steroids found in the skin, liver, brain, muscle, and other tissues. The body converts some androgen into the estrogen estrone, which helps to make up for the loss of ovarian-made estrogen after menopause.

At the onset of menopause, the androgen levels decline by about 10 to 50 percent. However, the estrogen levels drop by a steep 70 to 80% at menopause. Thus the androgen to estrogen ratio increases substantially at menopause. As a result, some women acquire more facial hair, a deeper voice, and other androgen-accentuated characteristics at menopause.

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