The lifelong rhythm of female hormones
The changes in female hormones - over the months and over the years – have a great impact on a woman’s mental and physical state. Throughout a normal lifecycle, hormonal changes bring about four separate phases: puberty, the reproductive phase, the menopausal phase, and the post-menopausal phase. Knowledge about the hormonal changes during each of these phases can be help to maintain health.
Puberty (age 10 through teens)
Females in puberty develop from children into adults. The ovaries become active and begin to secrete female hormones. A new layer of fat beneath the skin helps to insulate the body from cold and may seem to soften the female physique. The reproductive system switches on when these attributes appear. On a mental level, women in puberty become more independent and establish a firmer sense of a separate self. The levels of male hormones also rise during puberty, which stimulates the secretion of sebum and makes the skin more susceptible to acne. Regular cleansing should be a skincare priority throughout this phase.
Reproductive phase (late teens to 40s)
This is the phase when female hormones are most stably balanced. Most women marry and bear children over these decades. Hormonal secretions begin to decrease in the latter half of this phase, reducing the potential for pregnancy. The risk of developing ailments such as cervical, ovarian, or breast cancer also rises at this time. Regular doctor visits to monitor the hormonal condition are recommended.
The skin may change in various ways during pregnancy, and the changes vary from one woman to another. Some women find that their skin condition improves. Others find that it worsens, while still others notice no change at all. The most common skin changes during pregnancy are increased oiliness and liver spots. The skin may also feel sensitive and itchy. The best skincare approach during pregnancy is to care appropriately for the current skin condition and take preventive steps when hints of trouble appear.
Menopausal phase (45 to around 55)
The menopausal phase covers the transition years leading up and following the menopause itself. Menopause comes for most women at around the age of fifty, though this may vary considerably. The menstrual cycle becomes unstable and female hormones decrease. The regulation of the autonomic nerves may also become erratic, producing noticeable effects on the mind and body, including the skin. Reductions in the levels of ovarian estrogen in particular reduce the generation of collagen in the dermis, which leaves the skin more susceptible to fine lines and sagging.
Erratic autonomic nerve function contributes strongly to hallmark symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, perspiration, chill, dizziness, insomnia, irritation, anxiety, fatigue, lethargy and lack of mental energy.
Old age phase (60s onward)
The ovaries stop secreting female hormones and the body begins to age more quickly. Once ovarian estrogen is no longer produced, the body has no way to prevent the loss of calcium from the bones and protect the body from osteoporosis. Declines in the immune system heighten the risk of infection, and dryness, wrinkling, and sagging of the skin all become more prominent. Women at this stage in life should review their diets, exercise regularly and appropriately, and enjoy their interests and hobbies.