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ANTI-AGING | Women’s Hormones During Perimenopause, Menopause & Beyond

by Katie McManigal, Peak Health Institute

Women’s Hormones During Perimenopause, Menopause & Beyond

While menopause is a natural part of aging, it comes with a swift decline in hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone, which can leave women at an especially high risk for certain diseases of aging. Specifically, these include osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and dementia. These changes can begin to occur during a woman's perimenopausal years. This consists of the 10-year timespan prior to a woman going through menopause. During this time, some women may opt for hormone replacement therapy.

It is important that women recognize the difference between synthetic hormone replacement therapy and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy before choosing. Bioidentical means the hormones have the same molecular structure as a human’s natural hormones. Created from natural plant substances, bioidentical hormones are most safely applied topically, while some others can be safely utilized orally or via a tiny insertion under an individual’s skin.

Bioidentical hormone replacement can safely help women maintain cognitive function, bone density, healthy weight, and stable mental health. Many women during their perimenopausal years, may begin to suffer from symptoms of anxiety and depression. Often this is due to their fluctuating hormone levels. I’ve heard many women tell me over the years how hormone therapy actually saved their marriage.

Unfortunately, hormone therapy got a bad rap inaccurately for a period of time due to a poorly conducted report from the Women’s Health Initiative that occurred in 2002. Women do have options and it is essential for them to understand the differences between (often inflammatory) synthetic hormones and (natural) bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Sadly, many women are suffering unnecessary symptoms due to a lack of understanding how hormone therapy can optimize their life during their perimenopausal and post menopausal years.


Katie McManigal is a board-certified nurse practitioner who specializes in functional and regenerative medicine. Her mission and passion are in bringing optimal health to each individual she serves. Katie completed her nurse practitioner degree at Purdue University and went on to open Peak Health Institute in Warrenville, IL. Peak Health Institute is a functional medicine and lifestyle clinic devoted to providing residents with the tools needed to optimize their health. Learn more at

Watch for Katie's feature column in Glancer Magazine throughout 2022 and 2023.