logo - Penelope

Super important things to understand if you are going through Menopause: a Cheatsheet

Progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone are key hormones that significantly impact our health, especially during perimenopause and menopause. Their levels fluctuate and can bring about a host of symptoms. Meanwhile, cholesterol plays a subtle but crucial part in hormone synthesis. Understanding these hormones, their functions, and how they interrelate can provide a clearer picture of what’s happening in the body during these stages, setting the foundation for the discussions that follow.


Progesterone is a hormone that plays a crucial role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. During a woman’s reproductive years, progesterone is primarily produced by the ovaries after ovulation. Its main function is to prepare the uterus for a potential pregnancy by thickening the uterine lining.

In menopause, the production of progesterone decreases as the ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone. However, progesterone is still important for certain hormone replacement therapies (HRT) or hormone treatments that aim to alleviate menopause symptoms.

Progesterone can be prescribed in various forms, including oral capsules, creams, gels, or patches. It can help balance the effects of estrogen, reduce the risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer in women taking estrogen, and alleviate symptoms like hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and mood changes.


Estrogen, also spelled as oestrogen, is a group of hormones that play a significant role in the female reproductive system. It is primarily produced by the ovaries, although small amounts are also produced by the adrenal glands and fat tissues.

Estrogen has several important functions in the body, including regulating the menstrual cycle, promoting the development of secondary sexual characteristics during puberty, maintaining bone health, and supporting the health of the cardiovascular system.

During menopause, estrogen levels decline as the ovaries produce less of this hormone. This decline in estrogen can lead to various symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, vaginal dryness, and changes in bone density.

To manage these symptoms, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be prescribed, which involves the use of estrogen to supplement the body’s declining levels. Estrogen can be prescribed in different forms, including pills, patches, gels, creams, or vaginal rings. The specific form and dosage will depend on individual needs and preferences.


Testosterone is a hormone primarily associated with male reproductive health, but it is also present in women, although at lower levels. It is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands in women.

Testosterone plays an important role in various aspects of health, including maintaining bone density, muscle mass, and strength, as well as influencing libido and sexual function. It also contributes to overall energy levels and a sense of well-being.

During menopause, testosterone levels in women may decrease, which can contribute to symptoms such as reduced libido, decreased energy, and changes in mood. Some women may benefit from testosterone therapy to address these symptoms.

Testosterone therapy for women is typically prescribed in lower doses than for men, and it can be administered in various forms, including patches, gels, creams, or injections. The specific dosage and form of testosterone therapy will depend on individual needs, symptoms, and healthcare provider recommendations.


Cholesterol plays a vital role in hormone production and regulation, including during menopause. Let’s explore how cholesterol is involved in hormone synthesis and its impact on menopause:

Cholesterol is a type of lipid, or fat, that is naturally produced by the body and is also obtained through diet. It serves as the building block for the production of various hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

During menopause, as ovarian function declines, the production of estrogen and progesterone decreases. However, the body still relies on cholesterol to produce these hormones, albeit in lower amounts.

Maintaining optimal cholesterol levels is important for hormone balance and overall health during menopause. Cholesterol is involved in the synthesis of estrogen, which helps regulate various bodily functions, including bone health, brain function, and cardiovascular health.


Hormone levels: Measuring hormone levels, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, can provide insight into your hormonal balance and help determine if HRT is needed. This can be done through blood tests, which are typically taken at specific times during your menstrual cycle or at any time during menopause.

Bone density scan: A bone density scan, also known as a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan, measures bone mineral density. This test can provide information about your bone health and help determine if you may benefit from HRT to prevent or manage osteoporosis.

Lipid profile: A lipid profile measures cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood. This test helps assess your cardiovascular health and may be considered before starting HRT, as it can provide important information about any potential risks or contraindications.

Table of Contents