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Female Hormones: How They Affect Women's Overall Health

 Female hormones play a key role in women's overall health, and it's not just about reproduction and fertility. It encompasses moods like happiness and satisfaction, fatigue, lethargy, and libido. All of these things influence a woman's behavior right from within.

In this article, we shall highlight critical hormones that influence a woman's health and daily experiences and how hormonal imbalances can disrupt wellness.

But before we go into that, what are hormones?

How hormones work

Hormones are chemicals produced by endocrine glands distributed throughout the body. These chemicals serve as messengers, traveling through the bloodstream to tell certain cells what to do.

Most times, these glands, such as the pituitary and adrenal glands, secrete hormones as a response to internal or external stimuli. For example, the pituitary gland secretes prolactin that enables milk production. The trigger here is pregnancy and childbirth.

Key hormones and their roles in women’s health

Below are notable female hormones and how they influence a woman's health and well-being.


Prolactin is a hormone that enables the production of breast milk. The pituitary gland secretes it.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

FSH promotes the growth and development of ovarian follicles during the follicle phase of the menstrual cycle.

Luteinizing hormone (LH)

An acute rise in luteinizing hormone is what triggers ovulation. It also results in the development of the corpus luteum.


Melatonin is the hormone responsible for putting you in a state of relaxation, leading to sleep. Low levels of this hormone would mean poor sleep for you.

Thyroid hormones

These hormones influence your body's metabolism, therefore impacting your energy levels. High levels of thyroid hormones result in hyperthyroidism and hyperactivity, while low levels may result in constant fatigue and lethargy.


Cortisol, known as the stress hormone, increases in response to stressful environments, preparing you for "fight or flight." It also influences your mood as you begin to feel stressed.


Adrenaline works pretty much like cortisol, preparing your body for "fight or flight." The adrenal gland produces this hormone.


Yes, women have testosterone, too. This hormone influences red blood cell production, menstruation, fertility, and libido. Low amounts of it in your bloodstream can disrupt these body functions it affects.


The serotonin hormone plays a key role in many body functions, including sleep, mood, digestion, wound healing, and libido. So an imbalance can cause many issues, for example, blood clots and an overly high sex drive.

Why hormone imbalance matters and how it occurs

Many things can cause a hormone imbalance, such as age, diet, physical activity, lack of sleep, environment, dysfunctional endocrine gland, or other underlying health condition.

Since hormones play several key roles in a body's normal function, an imbalance can result in a whole lot of issues. Think about an irregular menstrual cycle that may make getting a challenge. If you're experiencing fatigue, irregular periods, or other funny symptoms, getting a hormone test may be necessary. If there's an imbalance, then you can take appropriate steps to get things back to normal.

A regular menstrual cycle is often a good sign of a balanced endocrine system. If you experience changes in your period that aren't due to pregnancy, menopause, or birth control, it may be due to an imbalance.

How hormones change during a woman's lifetime

A woman's life is riddled with hormonal changes. At a point, your periods come early. Over time, you may realize the duration stretches. And it becomes irregular until it finally goes away during menopause. Even in one month, certain reproductive hormone levels change as they prepare the egg and uterus for a possible pregnancy. During this time, you become susceptible to mood swings, characteristic of premenstrual syndrome.

From puberty up to the mid-30s, hormone levels are pretty stable but fluctuate monthly due to the menstrual cycle. Periods will likely be regular unless the woman has an unusual imbalance.

As a woman approaches her mid-40s, the ovaries begin to produce less estrogen and progesterone, causing irregularities with periods. This is known as perimenopause, the period before menopause.

As estrogen and progesterone decline, FSH and LH increase. This change causes a serious imbalance resulting in menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and lower libido.

The woman has reached menopause when she hasn't had any periods for the last 12 months. Sadly, the sharp decline in estrogen can lead to age-related health issues like cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

Final words

Knowing that balanced hormone levels are crucial to your body's functioning, it is helpful for you to make lifestyle choices that promote a healthy endocrine system.

Have the right nutrition to support your energy loss due to daily activity, and ensure you get enough rest to help your body rejuvenate after each day. Even when you stay very active and eat well, you put your internal body environment at risk if you do not get enough rest.

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