In females, the ovaries and adrenal glands are the main producers of sex hormones. There are 3 main female sex hormones: oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
But what happens when your ovaries start to power down. In the years leading up to the menopause your ovaries become smaller and they start to produce less of these female sex hormones.
We have receptors to oestrogen and testosterone all over our body, from head to toe. So whilst menopause is associated with no periods, there are a huge number of other associated symptoms. And they can start as your hormone levels decline, many years before the actual menopause, these are the perimenopausal years. Periods become erratic as hormone levels fluctuate, other symptoms may also come and go as your ovaries are still producing some hormones, though in smaller quantities.