Menopause and oestrogen production
All women produce the female hormone oestrogen; however, it’s made differently by the body before and after menopause.
- Before menopause (pre-menopause) oestrogen is made mainly by the ovaries.
- Around the time of menopause (peri-menopause), the ovaries stop making female hormones, including oestrogen. This usually happens when women are in their late 40’s and early 50’s. Symptoms of menopause include irregular menstrual cycles, hot flushes and sleep disturbances.
- After menopause (post-menopause), monthly menstrual periods stop. The body still makes small amounts of oestrogen by changing hormones called androgens into oestrogen. Androgens are produced by the adrenal glands, which are above the kidneys. A hormone called aromatase changes androgens into oestrogen. Aromatase is produced mainly by fatty tissue.