Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health

Marla Ahlgrimm Describes Changes to the Breast During Menopause

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Marla-AhlgrimmThe breasts are no doubt among the first parts of the body affected by hormone fluctuations, says Marla Ahlgrimm. They react to a woman’s menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and even menopause. Here, Ahlgrimm offers answers about how the latter can alter a woman’s breasts permanently, and which breast procedures are efficient in solving this problem.

Q: What changes can occur to the breast due to “the change?”

Marla Ahlgrimm: The breasts are complex glands that need estrogen in order to maintain the shape and appearance of youth. As the body’s levels of these hormones are depleted with age, the breasts can lose their original appearance. This is what many women refer to as the “drop zone.”

Q: But don’t some women’s breasts actually enlarge after menopause?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Well, yes, but this is largely due to a slowed metabolism. During menopause, the rate our bodies burn fat goes way down and can cause weight gain if you don’t modify your diet and fitness routines.

Q: Are the breasts of mothers who nurse their babies safe from menopause? Don’t we have more tissues and glands than those that didn’t?

Marla Ahlgrimm: While your milk ducts might have been more active, once the childbearing years are officially over, they shrink right back up, taking with them the fibrous tissue that once supported the extra weight.

Q: Is there any way to delay these unwanted changes?

Marla Ahlgrimm: While you can’t stop it, you can talk to your doctor about HRT – Hormone Replacement Therapy. This type of treatment has been available since the 1950s and has been refined dramatically in the 1970s through today. It involves replacing now missing or fading hormones with new ones that have been created in a lab to perfectly match naturally occurring estrogen and/or progesterone.

Q: Is surgery an option?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes.. Breast augmentation is a popular alternative to women headed for their golden years who aren’t quite ready to lay down their unsupportive lingerie just yet (visit Aesthetic/Restorative Breast Center for more details). It isn’t, however, covered by most insurance companies and can be quite cost prohibitive.


Author: Marla Ahlgrimm

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm revolutionized the field of women’s health in the 1970s and continues to do so today. After introducing the term “premenstrual syndrome” to the American public in the late 1970s, Marla Ahlgrimm has continued to focus her pharmacy practice over the years to successfully address hormone concerns that affect women as they age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates, and it was there she fine tuned individualized care protocols and prescription medication to optimize a woman’s hormonal health. One of the first hormone issues that Marla tackled was Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS. At that time, there were no diagnosis or treatment options to address the severe symptoms that many women were reporting. As a result of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s intense attention to women’s health, Madison Pharmacy Associates gained a national reputation as an innovative practice. Founded in 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was the first pharmacy to special in women’s health in the nation. Thanks to the expertise of Marla Ahlgrimm, Madison Pharmacy Associates became known for the management of PMS. Over the years, Madison Pharmacy Associates evolved with Marla Ahlgrimm’s careful guidance, providing the national PMS Access newsletter, as well as a toll-free line where patients could obtain referrals to physicians who had the expertise to help them manage their symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm founded Women’s Health America, Inc. in 1993 to help women by providing individualized hormonal medications to address the complex health issues of women and also to provide practical, helpful women’s health information. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision has grown to include Women’s Health America, Madison Pharmacy Associates, PMS Access and Cyclin Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her accomplishments with these landmark organizations, Marla Ahlgrimm is an author, having published two watershed books, The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Marla Ahlgrimm has also been published in numerous national publications, including serving as a columnist for The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Today, the primary work of Marla Ahlgrimm centers on natural hormone therapy, an important area for the large number of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal. Marla Ahlgrimm ’s work is unique because of her focus on individualized, natural hormone therapy options. According to pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, many health issues facing women today are related to hormone changes. Using an individualized approach to therapy, she reports that many women feel reenergized for the first time in years. In addition to recognition in publications and journals, Marla Ahlgrimm has been recognized with a number awards over the span of her career. Some of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s most notable awards have been the YWCA’s acknowledgment of Marla Ahlgrimm as one of its Women of Distinction and recognition by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, as one of its Distinguished Alumni. Above all of the awards and honors, Marla Ahlgrimm finds that helping so many women is the greatest accomplishment of all. In fact, says Marla Ahlgrimm, she still works with some of her very first patients and their doctors. These women once sought the help of Marla Ahlgrimm for PMS, she says, and today she is helping them manage symptoms of menopause and the years that follow.

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