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0763 – How Your Voice Is Affected By Oestrogen, Progesterone and Androgens

Season 3, Ep. 763

2023.02.02 – 0763 – How Your Voice Is Affected By Oestrogen, Progesterone and Androgens


Menopause can also affect the voice.[1] Vocally speaking, oestrogen:

·        affects how supple the vocal folds’ upper surface (the mucosal layer) is

·        supports the folds’ mucus-making glands

·        affects the deepest layer of the vocal folds, which produce lower and higher pitches

  • blocks the effects of androgens, and so prevents the lowering of the voice


Progesterone balances the effects of oestrogen as well as:

·        causing decreased and thickened secretions of the outer layer of the vocal folds, resulting in drier vocal folds


Androgens, including testosterone, which are naturally secreted in women’s bodies, can:

·        cause the vocal folds to thicken, which lowers your pitch

·        increase dryness of the vocal folds due to changes in the glands that secrete fluids near the vocal folds​.


During menopause hormones may fluctuate day to day, making the voice sound unpredictable, unreliable and unstable:

·        vocal cord swelling, resulting in less range and a general lower voice

·        a drier mouth which may lead to more throat clearing

·        reflux

·        a ‘lump in the throat’ sensation

·        excess or thicker mucus

·        vocal fatigue from vocal cord muscle weakness impacting agility, power and projection in your voice

·        pain in the throat or neck


Don’t force your voice but try more warming up techniques (see later) to make your voice feel easier.

[1] Lots more information in this video:

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0807 – Tension and Relaxation

Season 3, Ep. 807
2023.03.18 – 0807 – Tension and Relaxation We looked at releasing tension in the mouth, jaw, tongue and lips in the previous chapter, but as the Voice Box above shows, physical tension that can affect your voice can be in many other places. “Tension murders vibration (and) vibrations thrive in relaxation”Kristin Linklater, “Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Language” And it’s important to remember that physical tension can come from mental tension: nerves or excitement about a presentation can manifest themselves in your muscles and so affect your performance. You see how everything is interconnected? (We look at mental stress and ‘mic fright’ in the next chapter.)  Muscles in a state of undue tension can make your voice sound a little thin, strained, irritated or bored and put it up an octave. Your reading can also speed up and your mouth can dry up leading to articulation problems.  Releasing tension opens the diaphragm, which gives deeper breathing which in turn helps the voice sound more open and confident. And in a ‘self-fulfilling spiral’, when you know you sound good, you relax, you slow down, your heart rate decreases and the natural fluids returns to your mouth. And during times of dramatic or significant news, it is important for radio and TV presenters to manage their personal tension. Feeling anxious, angry, sad or depressed can make it difficult to sound comforting or calm. But that is exactly what radio presenters need to sound if they are to communicate their message effectively.