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A Simple Guide to Women's Hormones

Apr 12, 2024

3 min read

Dive into the world of female hormones to explore the different types that influence and enhance wellbeing in women

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Jyoti Kumari- Fluent Health

JYOTI

KUMARI

Hormones have a significant impact on a woman's health and wellbeing. They influence major milestones such as puberty and pregnancy to everyday life experiences ranging from sleep, hair loss, acne, and sex drive. In this straightforward guide, we look at the importance of these chemical messengers, outlining their types, purposes, and effects on day-to-day living.

What are female hormones?

Produced by various endocrine glands, hormones function as messengers in our bodies. Circulating in our bloodstream, they impact physiological functions, emotional states, and growth. Hormones are vital in women's health and reproductive processes, including periods and pregnancy.

Progesterone and oestrogen are the primary female hormones. From the start of menstruation to pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause, these hormones significantly influence the female anatomy. Think of them as the unseen overseers of a woman's well-being.

What are the different types of hormones in females?

Oestrogen

Oestrogen is an essential hormone that affects general and reproductive health. Although it can also be synthesised in fat cells and adrenal glands, the ovaries are the primary source of oestrogen.

Key functions

  • Developing the reproductive organs and secondary sexual traits.
  • Managing the menstrual cycle and preparing the uterus for pregnancy.
  • Maintaining bone strength and density.
  • Impacting cardiovascular health through blood vessels and cholesterol levels, which affects heart health.
  • Involved in mood control and cognitive brain function.

However, abnormally high or low levels of oestrogen can cause several symptoms, including weight gain and irregular menstruation.

Progesterone

Together with oestrogen, progesterone helps the early phases of gestation and gets the uterus ready for pregnancy. Inconsistent menstruation and problems with conception can be caused by low progesterone.

Key functions:

  • Prepares the uterus for implantation of a fertilised egg.
  • Maintains the uterine lining to support a developing fetus during pregnancy.
  • Counterbalances oestrogen levels for reproductive health.

Testosterone

Popularly linked to masculine traits, testosterone is equally essential for females. It increases the amount of red blood cells, bone mass, muscle density, and libido. Acne and excessive body hair are two signs of testosterone imbalances in women. For several physiological processes in females, testosterone is necessary, albeit usually at a lower dosage than in males.

 Other main functions: 

  • Contributes to libido and sexual function.
  • Affects menstrual regularity and ovulation.
  • Maintains muscle mass and strength.

Common imbalances in female hormones 

Women face a range of symptoms due to hormonal imbalances, making it critical to recognise these symptoms and act promptly. 

Typical signs and symptoms include: 

  1. Irregular Periods: Changes in the menstrual cycle
  2. Mood Swings: Emotional fluctuations
  3. Weight Fluctuations: Unexplained increase or decrease in body weight
  4. Fatigue: Persistent tiredness and lack of energy
  5. Acne: Skin breakouts
  6. Hair Loss: Thinning or loss of hair
  7. Dry Skin: Dehydrated and flaky skin
  8. Memory Fog: Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  9. Sleep Problems: Insomnia or disrupted sleep

 How do hormones impact women's health?

Hormones affect various elements of wellbeing, making it essential to comprehend their influence to maintain general health and quality of life.

1. Mental Health

Hormonal changes can impact women's mental health. Changes in hormone levels, especially oestrogen and progesterone, can affect emotions. That can cause anxiety, irritation, mood swings, and even depression. Studies show that oestrogen regulates emotions by acting as an antidepressant molecule in the brain.

2. Reproductive health

Vital elements of reproductive health, including menstrual cycles, fertility, and menopause, are regulated by women's hormones. Progesterone and oestrogen help maintain the lining of the uterus, control ovulation, and prepare for pregnancy. Menopausal symptoms, infertility problems, and irregular periods can also result from hormone imbalances, making them an essential part of a woman's health.

3. Bone Health

Oestrogen is essential to preserve bone density and avoid diseases like osteoporosis. This hormone supports the skeleton's health by decreasing bone resorption and maintaining bone formation. Reduced oestrogen levels can cause bone loss and a higher risk of fractures, particularly during menopause.

 How to get better hormonal health

These easy-to-follow steps can help maintain good hormonal health.

1. A well-balanced diet

Hormonal balance is heavily reliant on nutrition. Having a range of fruits, vegetables, complete grains, and l

2. Consistent workout

An effective strategy for hormonal health is exercise. Strength training and cardiovascular exercise help maintain hormone balance, enhancing general wellbeing.

3. Managing stress

Hormonal balance may be disturbed by ongoing stress. These effects can be lessened by partaking in stress-relieving activities like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing techniques.

To sum up, it's essential to identify the warning signs of a hormone imbalance; if symptoms worsen, get medical help. Giving women the tools to manage their hormones and put their health first celebrates the remarkable balance in the female body. The secret is to seek a healthcare expert for personalised advice proactively.

Medically Reviewed by:
Dr Pankaj Ferwani - Endocrinologist


Jyoti Kumari- Fluent Health

Jyoti Kumari is the co-founder of Little Duck Productions, which lets her travel the country in search of offbeat experiences. Based out of Pune, she previously headed a wellness app and was the Managing Editor at Condé Nast Traveller. She's also written a collection of short stories and spent years editing books. When she’s not planning her next meal, she can be found at home with her husband, 5 cats, and one dog.


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