Women’s Hormonal Health

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Hormones affect behaviour, mood and wellbeing and are important for regulating most major bodily processes. Hormones help to regulate metabolism and appetite, heart rate, sleep cycles, reproductive cycles and sexual function, general growth and development, mood and stress levels and body temperature.


Women's Hormonal Health

Women naturally experience several periods of hormonal imbalance throughout their lifetime:

Hormonal imbalances can affect a wide range of bodily functions, including:

  • Heavy, irregular or painful periods

  • Osteoporosis (weak, brittle bones)

  • Hot flashes and night sweats (unexplained or excessive sweating)

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Breast tenderness

  • Indigestion

  • Constipation and diarrhoea

  • Acne during or just before menstruation

  • Uterine bleeding not associated with menstruation

  • Increased hair growth on the face, neck, chest or back

  • Unexplained weight gain

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Irritability and anxiety

  • Unexplained and long-term fatigue

  • Depression

  • Headaches

  • Needing to go to the bathroom more or less than usual

  • Bloating

  • Reduced sex drive

  • Thinning, brittle hair or hair loss

  • Infertility

  • Puffy face

  • Blurred vision

  • Changes in appetite

  • Skin tags or abnormal growths

  • Deepening of the voice

In addition, certain lifestyle habits and environmental factors can also play a role in hormonal imbalances, including the following:

  • Chronic or extreme stress

  • Poor diet and nutrition

  • Being overweight

  • Hormonal replacement or birth control medications

  • Phytoestrogens, naturally occurring plant estrogens found in soy products

  • Exposure to toxins, pollutants, pesticides and herbicides

Women are also more at risk of developing different types of hormonal imbalance disorders than men, because they have different endocrine organs and cycles. For example, depression and anxiety affect women in their oestrogen-producing years more often than men or postmenopausal women. Oestrogen is also linked to mood disruptions that occur only in women such as premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and postpartum depression.

There are also several medical conditions that can cause irregular hormonal imbalances in women, such as:

  • Polycycstic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

  • Hormone replacement or birth control medications

  • Early menopause

  • Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI)

  • Ovarian cancer

Medical treatment options for women with hormone imbalances, vary depending on the cause, and include:

  • Hormone control or birth control

  • Vaginal Estrogen

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

  • Anti-androgen medications

  • Assisted reproductive technology

  • Metformin to manage or lower blood sugar levels

  • Levothyroxine to improve symptoms of hypothyroidism