Dr. Hanna is a NAMS (North American Menopause Society) Certified Menopause Practitioner.

Anti Aging

Are you suffering from a hormone imbalance affecting your quality of life?  Symptoms include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Heart palpitations
  • Heavy periods
  • Bleeding between your periods
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Pain during sex
  • Problems sleeping
  • Loss of energy
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Weight gain
  • Foggy thinking
  • Mood changes (depression/anxiety)
  • Memory changes
  • Acne
  • Increased facial hair
  • Hair loss
  • Breast pain
  • Migraine headache

If so, FDA approved bio-identical hormone therapy may be right for you.

What is menopause?

The Menopause transition in a woman’s life is an individual journey.

The average age of menopause in the United States is 51. Early menopause is when the final menstrual period is before age 45, late menopause when the final menstrual period is after age 54.

Most women think of the menopause transition in 3 phases:

Peri-Menopause is the time of life when women in their 40’s can begin to experience symptoms of erratic periods, heavy periods, hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, weight gain, foggy thinking, crawling skin, thinning hair and skin, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse and low libido. These symptoms are the result of the roller coaster changes to their hormones as the ovary begins to produce less estrogen. Women who have had a hysterectomy but still have their ovaries may also go thru peri-menopause.

Menopause is defined as the final menstrual period and occurs when the ovary stops its production of estrogen and progesterone. It is a natural event in a woman’s life. It can be confirmed after 12 consecutive months without a period. Hormone levels (FSH and Estradiol) can be tested to confirm menopause if a hysterectomy had been performed.

Post Menopause is the period of time in a woman’s life after her final menstrual period. The loss of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone production can begin to negatively impact a woman’s health. Her risk of osteoporosis (thinning bones) and cardiovascular disease increases. Symptoms such as thinning hair and skin, mood changes, decreased memory, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and urinary changes may become more bothersome.

Many women do not realize there is treatment available for their symptoms and suffer in silence.

Estrogen and Your Skin

Estrogen is an essential component of skin function. It has been shown to maintain skin elasticity, hydration and thickness. Once skin becomes estrogen-deficient it undergoes cellular changes responsible for decreases in collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, mucopolysaccharides and other growth factors that are associated with unwanted aging skin symptoms. Estrogen-deficient skin is often described as dry, thin, wrinkly and itchy.

Estrogen also stimulates fat deposits in the female body. During menopause, fat deposits often become redistributed and concentrated over the abdomen and/or on the thighs and buttocks. This results in a loss of supportive fat below the skin of the face, neck, hands and arms. Wrinkles appear and the skin over these areas loses its mobility.

Studies have shown that women lose 30% of skin collagen in the first five years of menopause, with a continued loss of 2% per menopause year over 20 years.1 Treating estrogen-deficient skin sooner should keep skin looking younger longer.

Estrogen and Your Hair

Hair loss during the menopause transition and menopause is common. Hormones influence hair growth.2 Hair follicles contain estrogen and androgen receptors.3,4 Estrogen is believed to protect against hair loss, influencing the follicle cycle. During menopause, estrogen is low and testosterone levels are usually normal or slightly decreased. The decrease in the estrogen to testosterone ratio may lead to patterned hair loss in some women.5,6 In menopause, female pattern hair loss (androgenic alopecia) is the most common type of hair loss. Women who are currently using hormone replacement therapy and stop can unmask female pattern hair loss.

Estrogen and Your Vaginal Health

Estrogen promotes vaginal health. It maintains the acid pH in the vagina, promotes microbial balance with protective bacteria and lactobacilli, thickens the vaginal mucosa, and maintains normal vaginal fluid. In hypo-estrogenic states such as natural menopause, surgical menopause (removal of both ovaries), use of some medications that treat endometriosis or fibroids, amenorrhea (no period) due to hormonal in-balance, pelvic radiation, chemotherapy, endocrine therapy, genital symptoms of menopause can occur. Symptoms include vaginal dryness, pain with sex, frequent urinary tract infections, urinary urgency, vaginal/vulvar burning, itching, general irritation. Approximately 20% to 50% of US women experience vulvo-vaginal symptoms sometime during post-menopause.1


  1. Menopause Practice: A Clinician’s Guide, North American Menopause Society, 2014.
  2. Raine-Fenning NJ, Brincat MP, Muscat-Baron Y. Skin aging and menopause: implications for treatment. Am J Clin Dermatolo 2003;4(6):371-378
  3. Yoo HG, Won CH, Lee SR, et al. Expression and androgen and estrogen receptors in human scalp mesenchymal cells in vitro. Arch Dermatol Res. 2007;298(10):505-509
  4. Zouboulis CC, Chen WC, Thornton MJ, Qin K, Rosenfield R. Sexual hormones in human skin. Horm Metab Res. 2007;39(2):85-95
  5. Verdier-Sevrain S, Bonte’ F, Gilchrest B. Biology of estrogens in skin: implications for skin aging. Exp Dermatol. 2006;15(2):83-94
  6. Nathan L. Menopause and post menopause. In: DeCherney AH, Nathan L, Goodwin TM, Laufer N, Roman A, eds. Current Diagnosis and Treatment: Obstetrics and Gynecology. 11th ed. New York :McGraw Hill Medical 2012:948-970


The content is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Please seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Barbra S. Hanna, DO, FACOG, NCMP
1604 North Main Street  •  Wheaton, Illinois 60187  •  630-480-0428