Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

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

Marla Ahlgrimm | The Disappearing Period

Marla AhlgrimmYour menstrual flow won’t always be the same month-to-month. However, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, a significantly lighter-than-normal cycle may indicate other health conditions. Here, the women’s health and hormone expert offers insight on reasons your period may lighten up without warning.

Q: Can a woman still have a period when she’s pregnant?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Absolutely. Although the vast majority of women stop bleeding, many experience lights or irregular spotting in the early days of pregnancy. Furthermore, an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage may be mistaken for a menstrual period.

Q: How does weight play a part in a woman’s cycle?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Our bodies learn to acclimate and adjust our hormone levels based on a number of factors, including weight. When a woman gains – or loses – a significant number of pounds, her hormones may effectively freak out. This can result in lighter, shorter periods or can stop them altogether.

Q: Do periods naturally get lighter with age?

Marla Ahlgrimm:  As a woman reaches her late 30s and early 40s, she is on the cusp of menopause. Perimenopause can last up to a decade before a woman’s cycle finally calls it quits. During this time, bleeding may increase or decrease or can come at differing intervals. It’s important to note, however, that absentee bleeding should be discussed with a healthcare professional if it happens before your 40th birthday.

Q: What are some medical conditions that could alter a woman’s menstrual cycle?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Any condition that affects your hormones or put you under significant stress can affect your menstrual cycle. Women who have undergone a D&C procedure or who lost a great deal of blood during childbirth may have lighter periods due to scar tissue and pituitary gland damage respectively. Rarely, cervical stenosis is to blame. This is a condition where the cervix narrows and prevents full blood flow.

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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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