HORMONE BASICS 101
When working properly, a woman’s body makes 60 percent estrogen and 40 percent testosterone. Working properly, a man’s body makes 95 percent testosterone and 5 percent estrogen. As women age, both estrogen and testosterone levels decline, but testosterone will deplete more rapidly because:
- Women have less of it to begin with.
- It doesn’t store in the body’s fat cells, like estrogen does.
In the United States, the average age for menopause is 52, but this simply refers to the state when the ovaries fully retire and a women’s periods finally end. All systems are down and permanently out of business. By the year 2025, it’s expected that 1.1 billion women worldwide (yes, that’s billion with a “B”) will be in menopause. However, women enter a state of perimenopause, meaning “around menopause,” 10 to 15 years before actual menopause, and that’s where the trouble starts. Women in perimenopause will experience three stages of hormone deficiency: testosterone deficiency and estrogen deficiency (perimenopause), and then, menopause.
Keep in mind that if you talk to doctors or look this up in a medical textbook, the actual terminology is much more complicated. For the sake of simplicity, here is a breakdown of the main symptoms and differences among the stages.