Pregnenolone and Amenorrhea; What Is the Link?
If you have disrupted or absent periods, you may have heard difficult words such as pregnenolone and amenorrhea, to be the reason. We understand that medical jargon is difficult to comprehend and if you are not making any sense of these terms, then fear not, for you have come to the right place!
Suppose your doctor has used terms such as pregnenolone and amenorrhea. In that case, there is a high probability that you suffer from amenorrhea, which is a medical term more commonly known as absent periods. To understand further, we must get to the nitty-gritty of these two terms and their relationship. Let’s see if we can simplify this for you.
What is Pregnenolone?
Pregnenolone is a hormone. It is naturally produced in the human body by the adrenal gland located on the kidneys, and it is produced from cholesterol. What makes this hormone particularly interesting is that it is a precursor to some of the essential hormones in the body, such as testosterone, progesterone, cortisol, and estrogen. It is also referred to as a “pro-hormone.”
The hormone has been linked to many potential health benefits. Over the years, scientists have looked to this hormone studying it to see if it can avert aging, replace other hormones, and help with other health conditions. They have found that this particular hormone can be responsible for improving cognition and memory function by increasing the growth of neurons in the brain. Its presence has been found to improve mood and remove anxiety and depression.
Many studies have also shown that this hormone can stimulate deep sleep, which can help avert sleep disturbance and insomnia. It has been observed that people who take this hormone as a supplement can spend more time in deep sleep which can have a very positive impact on the memory, mood, and anxiety levels of an individual.
Because it can reduce stress levels, it can also inhibit the production of cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone. This can aid in weight loss as well. All of this makes this particular chemical an excellent supplement to help irregular or absent periods.
What Is Amenorrhea?
Amenorrhea is simply the absence of periods in women and girls of reproductive age. Though it is normal not to have periods during pregnancy and menopause, it is important to have them during other times. Their absence can signal an underlying medical issue.
The main two types of amenorrhea are primary and secondary amenorrhea. The first term refers to women who have turned 16 but have yet to experience their first periods. Secondary amenorrhea, on the other hand, means that a woman has missed 3 consecutive months of periods after having them for 9 months normally. Secondary amenorrhea is more common than the first.
There can be many causes for absent periods. It can be due to structural issues of the sex organs or because of the dysfunction of adrenal, pituitary, and thyroid glands. These glands produce some of the most essential hormones the female body needs to function. Some of the causes of amenorrhea are obesity, eating disorders, PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), ovarian cysts, stress, depression, and ovarian cancer. Kindly read more about amenorrhea signs and symptoms.
The condition can easily be diagnosed by a doctor, especially a gynecologist, after you give an oral history, have an ultrasound, and undergo a pelvic exam. Sometimes a doctor may recommend a progesterone challenge test. If you are not familiar with this, it is a simple test your doctor may perform to understand why you are not having your periods.
Though this test was once commonly used, the newly available serum estradiol level tests have made this test almost obsolete. However, in cases where urgent testing is not available or can not be done, this test may still be utilized. The test is accomplished by injecting progesterone into the muscle.
If the patient has normal serum estradiol levels, withdrawal bleeding occurs. This means that the absence of periods is due to anovulation. But if no bleeding occurs, it can mean that the absence of periods is caused by low serum estradiol, hypothalamic-pituitary axis dysfunction, or due to problems with the uterine outflow tract.
Warding off Amenorrhea
The absence of periods is somewhat manageable, depending on its cause. If the doctor thinks that it is due to weight gain, you may be recommended to lose weight. If you are stressed, the doctor might suggest talk therapy, medication, and other remedies.
If there is a hormonal issue, you may be given medication containing those hormones which are deficient, or drugs that counter the action of excessive hormones.
Does Pregnenolone Help Amenorrhea?
If you are looking to fix the root cause of your absent periods, you may be wondering if pregnenolone helps amenorrhea. The answer is that it may prove very helpful. To understand why, you have to familiarize yourself with the term: the pregnenolone steal.
The pregnenolone steal happens when pregnenolone, or as it is called the “mother hormone”, is not in the HPG axis where it normally should be, but enters the HPA axis (stress feedback system). This can occur in people who are suffering from a high degree of stress for a long period of time. When due to sex, this hormone moves to the HPA axis and levels of estrogen and progesterone may change in the body. The side effects of this include loss of periods, acne, and abnormal hair growth. Please read more here about pregnenolone health benefits and natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Basically, it all comes down to the stress levels of a person. As it is established that this hormone can control these levels and alleviate anxiety and depression, supplementation may prove extremely helpful.
Side Effects of Excessive Pregnenolone Supplementation
Experts recommend that you should only start hormonal supplementation after receiving a diagnosis and recommendation from your doctor. If you use too much of this hormone, just as with other chemicals it can have negative side effects on the health of women. With pregnenolone, it is even more important because it has such a central role in the body.
Possible side effects may include becoming extremely drowsy or sleepy. In some rare cases, it can even increase anxiety levels despite having the opposite effect under normal circumstances.