Women naturally experience hormonal imbalance at different points in their life. For instance, hormones typically shift during puberty, at the onset of menstruation (menarche), during their monthly period, during pregnancy and postpartum period, and menopause.
While the symptoms may be uncomfortable, they are generally manageable. However, when female hormonal imbalance signs occur outside of these situations, there might be a problem.
Hormonal imbalance, defined
Hormones are chemicals produced by glands. They travel through the bloodstream to different body organs to tell them what to do and when to do them.
A hormonal imbalance occurs when there’s too much or too little of a particular hormone. And because the hormones technically “command” our cells to do their function, any imbalance may be problematic.
For instance, when our pancreas (gland) doesn’t produce enough insulin (hormone), our cells will not absorb sugar. As a result, the sugar stays in the blood causing high blood glucose, a primary symptom of diabetes.
Being aware of the different female hormonal imbalance signs helps you detect an issue and immediately seek medical help.
7 Signs of hormonal imbalance in women
Below are some of the most common female hormonal imbalance signs:
Typically, women have 21 to 35 days in their menstrual cycle. That means that their next menstruation usually happens 21 to 35 days after the first day of their last menstrual period. If your monthly periods come too frequently (less than 21 days) or are too far apart (more than 35 days), there might be a problem.
However, please note that each woman is different. For some ladies, having an irregular period is normal. Likewise, if you’re in your 40s and 50s, menstrual problems may occur due to perimenopause (transition period to menopause).
Difficulty sleeping or poor-quality sleep
Women who have lower-than-normal progesterone levels may experience sleeping difficulties. But it’s worth noting that: menopausal women commonly experience sleep problems because of their declining progesterone levels.
In case you observe sleep problems and other female hormonal imbalance signs, it’s best to set an appointment with your doctor. If you’re transitioning into menopause, they might recommend hormone replacement therapy to ease your symptoms.
Hot flashes and excessive sweating
Hot flashes and excessive sweating may happen due to low estrogen levels. Like sleeping difficulties, these symptoms may occur in women who are going through perimenopause.
Besides low estrogen levels, women may also experience sensitivity to heat when they have thyroid problems, particularly hyperthyroidism (excessive thyroid hormone).
Weight gain or weight loss
While more commonly associated with diet and nutrition, weight problems may also be among the most common female hormonal imbalance signs.
Conditions like PCOS and thyroid issues, specifically hypothyroidism, may trigger weight gain. In contrast, hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) may lead to unintentional weight loss.
Chronic acne and hirsutism
It’s normal for women to have pimples and acne from time to time, but if you’ve had them for a long time, it may be one of the signs of hormonal imbalance in women.
Higher-than-normal androgen (popularly known as “male hormones”) may trigger oil glands to overwork. Excess oil can clog the pores and cause breakouts. Furthermore, high androgens can also lead to hirsutism, a condition where hair grows in unwanted body parts.
Please note that these two signs can also happen due to polycystic ovary syndrome.
Our digestive system responds to the hormones progesterone and estrogen. If you have more or less of these hormones, you might experience changes in how you digest foods.
Examples of digestive signs related to female hormonal imbalance are bloating, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. Some reports also indicate that salt and sugar cravings.
Women with hormonal imbalance may experience problems in their sexual health.
For instance, vaginal dryness and low sex drive may happen due to low estrogen levels.
Other possible female hormonal imbalance signs
Besides the ones explained above, women may also experience the following if they have a hormonal disorder:
Please note that all the symptoms described here can also be due to other health conditions. If you notice them, talk to your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Learn more about Female Hormonal Imbalance here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.