Hormonal Imbalance in Women
Female hormone imbalance can occur at different stages in a female life cycle. The major changes in female hormones happen during puberty, menstruation, breastfeeding, childbirth, and pregnancy. Female hormone imbalance can also arise at times of pre-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
Hormonal imbalances occurs when there is an internal fluctuation of the endocrine system. Even the slightest fluctuations in hormone levels can cause significant side effects. This is due to the major physiological processes of the body that are regulated by the hormonal axis. The endocrine system consists of a myriad of hormones that help in regulating body processes such as: heart rate, body temperature, sleep cycles, appetite/metabolism, growth, reproductive cycle, sexual function, and mood.
SYMPTOMS OF HORMONAL IMBALANCE IN WOMEN
1. MENOPAUSE Menopause is the time of a woman’s life when her period stops. It usually occurs most often after the age of 45. Menopause happens when ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
2. FATIGUE & MOOD SWINGS A mood swing is defined as "an abrupt and apparently unaccountable change of mood." Mood swings can be triggered by any number of events or situations, but in many cases, the root cause of a mood swing is a shift in hormone levels. One minute you are feeling elated and happy, but the next you are expressing anger and hostility. Mood swings are common in women who are experiencing hormonal fluctuations due to physiological events, such menstruation or menopause. Chronic mood swings can significantly affect a woman's health and are often the result of a hormonal imbalance.
3. VAGINAL DRYNESS Vaginal dryness occurs in women of all ages, but it becomes much more common after menopause. The ovaries stop producing the female hormone estrogen and the levels begin to decrease. One of the early signs of reduced estrogen on the vagina is reduced lubrication during sexual activity. Loss of lubrication and pain during sex – after the menopause, problems with lubrication and painful sex increase. Thinning of the skin around vagina makes it more easily damaged. This damage can often occur during sex, especially if lubrication is poor – even gentle friction can cause pain and discomfort.
4. LOW SEX LIBIDO Menopause puts a woman’s body in flux in many ways. The hormones that have been regulating your reproductive cycle, sex drive, mood, and more are ebbing, and very often these low levels have a negative effect on your sex life.Reduced levels of estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones are thought to be a primary cause of age-related female sexual dysfunction.
5. HORMONAL ACNE Hormonal acne is a type of acne that forms as a results of fluctuations in the levels of hormones your body produces. This affects 29 to 49 perfect of women, depending on age. It’s also predictable, with hormonal acne outbreaks often occurring at the same time as your period. Acne occurs when your body produces an increased amount of certain hormones that stimulate the production of sebum (a form of oil that your body uses to lubricate your skin).
WOMEN’S PRIMARY HORMONES
Estrogen Estrogen is the primary female hormone, and it helps regulate the menstrual cycle, control the development of female sex organs, and thicken the lining of the uterus to support pregnancy. As a woman approaches menopause — the period of time known as perimenopause, levels of estrogen begin to decrease dramatically. When estrogen levels become so low that the uterine lining no longer thickens, menopause occurs. Low levels of estrogen can have a big impact on your sex drive. You may experience vaginal dryness that can lead to painful intercourse and you may have unstable mood and sleep patterns.
Testosterone, which is primarily thought of as a male hormone, is also made by, and is important to, women. A woman's ovaries naturally produce testosterone, which is used to help make estrogen. Some studies have shown that higher levels of testosterone are associated with increased sexual desire and sexual behavior in women. And since testosterone levels tend to naturally decline in women after menopause, some researchers believe that low testosterone levels may contribute to the reduction of arousal and sexual response that often occurs in older women.
Progesterone Like estrogen, progesterone is another female hormone that helps control the menstrual cycle and support pregnancy. Levels of progesterone also decline when you reach menopause. While researchers are still working to understand the role that progesterone plays in a woman's sexual function, changing levels of progesterone are thought to be involved in a woman's sexual behavior.