Pain during menopause is the result of increased inflammation. Caused by lower sex hormones. Your body aches. Which includes your joints, your muscles, and your bones. Even your skin becomes tender. As do your mucus membranes like your eyes, mouth, and vagina.
This is because estrogen helps keep tissues hydrated. Joints need estrogen and progesterone to stay lubricated. When you don’t have enough joint juice, bones rub on bones, resulting in pain. Bones can ache as they demineralize. Without enough estrogen, osteoclasts resorb bone tissue faster than osteoblasts can build bone. Muscles ache as they become weaker. Without enough sex steroids, specifically progesterone and testosterone, your muscles lose strength, and normal activities can strain weak muscles.
Improper nerve communication can contribute to the experience of greater pain in menopause. When you don’t have enough estrogen, your nerve impulses do not fire fast enough. Without enough progesterone, the myelin sheath which protects the nerve becomes threadbare. Your neurons misfire, which will then increase the sensation of pain.
Can HRT help?
Hormone replacement therapy can help reduce menopause pain. Vaginal estrogen can relieve painful atrophic vaginitis, painful intercourse, and frequent painful bladder infections. Systemic estrogen and progesterone can help rejuvenate misfiring neurons to raise your pain threshold.
Make sure you get enough estrogen to stop bone loss and it will help relieve bone pain. Active bone loss is measured through your urine when you check bone matrix amino acid crosslinks.
What alternative therapies help treat menopause pain?
Anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements can help reduce menopause pain. Fish oil can help increase anti-inflammatory prostaglandins to reduce pain and inflammation. Herbs like turmeric, ginger, boswellia, and hops have been shown to be anti-inflammatory. They are best taken with fat like fish oils for better absorption. Acupuncture can reduce inflammation and help relieve menopausal pain. Of course, any pain that does not go away needs to be evaluated by your healthcare provider.
Mind-body therapies like yoga and meditation have been shown to reduce pain in menopause. And since your hypothalamus controls your pain threshold and systemic inflammation, I find that the majority of my menopausal patients describe much less pain when they consistently support their hypothalamus with Genesis Gold®.
If you have any questions regarding menopause pain, please join us in our Hormone Support Group which you can access when you sign up for my free Hormone Reboot Training. See you there!