Kenneth R. Kafka, M.D. 

955 Carrillo Drive, Suite 210, Los Angeles, CA 90048      Tel: 805.889.2800 Fax: 323.938.1028
204A Pirie Road, Ojai, CA 93023

Office Hours By Appointment
Kenneth R. Kafka, M.D.
Integrative Medicine

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women

Natural menopause is a condition that every healthy woman will experience as she reaches middle age, typically between the ages of 35-59. The gradual process occurs when a woman’s ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone, and her lifetime supply of eggs becomes depleted.
A woman is considered to be in menopause when a full year has passed since her last menstrual cycle.
Perimenopause describes the time when a woman’s body transitions from her fertile, childbearing years into middle age. During this natural transition, the body undergoes biologic changes resulting from declining ovarian hormone production and the aging process starts to make itself very apparent.

The Benefits of successful bio-identical hormone therapy
Improved cognition, memory and focus
Improved cardiovascular health
Increased bone density
Slower appearance of aging
Dramatic reduction in menopausal symptoms (see below)
Increased sex drive
Improved quality of life
Improved energy
Restored sleep cycle
You feel like yourself again!

Women, who are going through menopause and perimenopause, experience many symptoms. However, every woman’s experience is different. Women often experience a combination of some, if not all of the following symptoms:

Hot flashes: Are a very common symptom for women as they enter menopause. They can be experienced during the day and or at night. The estrogen levels produced by the ovaries decrease during this time and the surging waves of heat in the daytime cause flushed red skin. Hot flashes during the night can result in sudden rushes of heat waves causing intense sweating.

Night sweats: Are usually more intense than hot flashes and women can experience symptoms ranging from severe to mild, all with varied duration periods. Depending on the intensity, night sweats, chills, nausea, headaches or an irregular heartbeat can accompany night sweats. This commonly causes disruption in sleep patterns.
Irritability/Mood swings: Are a result of an imbalance of hormones greatly affecting the level of neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for the stability of emotions. Estrogen has direct influence on the amount of Serotonin produced, progesterone affects Gaba, the sleep neurotransmitter, and testosterone affects Dopamine, which gives you brainpower. Mood swings and depression can be experienced due to the drops in Estrogen levels that are responsible for production of serotonin, the mood- regulating hormone in the brain. Sadness, irritability, difficulty sleeping, irrational anger, foggy thinking, memory loss and feeling like you are going a little crazy are all a result of neurotransmitter imbalance from declining hormones.

Loss of Libido
: Is the decrease in the desire to be sexually active. The drop in Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone levels are the hormones responsible for lower energy and decreased sex drive. Sexual activity may become less unenticing although arousal and orgasm are still possible.

Vaginal Dryness: Estrogen is the hormone that keeps the vaginal walls moist, thick, and elastic. During menopause, the levels of estrogen decrease, which causes thinning of the vaginal walls, resulting in less lubrication and elasticity, which can increase irritation, itching and pain frequently causing a decreased desire to engage in intercourse.

Irregular Heart Beat: Do you know what hormone can be responsible for the symptoms of an irregular heartbeat? Estrogen levels fluctuate and have correlation to the cholesterol levels in the blood, as well as the fluctuation of blood pressure affecting the vasodilatation of the arteries and affecting the autonomic nervous system that affects the heartbeat.

Urinary Urgency/ Incontinence: Is the inability to keep urine in the bladder during sneezing, laughing or coughing. Estrogen and testosterone are the hormones that help the strength of the bladder muscles. As estrogen decreases during menopause so does control of the bladder. Incontinence includes feelings of constant need to urinate due to an overactive or oversensitive bladder. Another form of incontinence occurs when the bladder doesn’t empty completely and dribbling occurs.

Insomnia: Is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep for a long enough time to feel rested and rejuvenated. Night sweats or other symptoms of menopause such as bizarre dreams, anxiety, racing thoughts or incontinence can contribute to insomnia. This is usually due to falling levels of progesterone.

Disorientation: It can feel like one is out of touch with their surroundings. Often this symptom is directly associated with feeling dizzy and lightheaded. Some women experience vertigo, which is a constant spinning sensation or light-headedness when standing up too fast.

Anxiety: A state of being worried fearful, on edge, uneasy or a sense of urgency that is often out of proportion to the precipitating event. This is commonly due to an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone and is commonly an early sign that progesterone levels are falling.

This is just a short list (believe it or not) and description of the most common symptoms women often experience through perimenopause and menopause. Because women can experience so many other warning signs, it is best to review and discuss each of your symptoms with Dr. Kafka to determine the cause, have your hormones levels tested and find out if Bioidentical Hormone Replacement is right for you.


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Kenneth R. Kafka, M.D.
955 Carrillo Drive, Suite 210, Los Angeles, CA 90048      Tel: 805.889.2800 Fax: 323.938.1028
204A Pirie Road, Ojai, CA 93023

© 2005 Dr. Kenneth R. Kafka