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Minerva Ginecologica 2009 December;61(6):491-7

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Androgens and menopause

Shulman L. P. 1, 2

1 Cancer Genetics Program, Division of Genetics, Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA 2 University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Pharmacy, Chicago, IL, USA


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The cessation of ovarian sex steroidigenesis, either as result as surgical extirpation, certain medical therapies or the gradual cessation of ovarian function, leads to menopause with all its associated physiological, physical and lifestyle changes. The changing hormonal milieu of menopause is most commonly associated with declining levels of estrogens. However, ovarian senescence also results in declining levels of androgens. Indeed, it is the loss of physiological levels of estrogens and androgens that result in the varied signs and symptoms of menopause including vasomotor symptoms, bone mineral density loss, reduced interest in sex, alterations in mood and energy and hair loss, among others. This paper will provide a review of the role of androgens in the menopause and assess the potential of androgen therapies in the management of the menopause.

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