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SheCares is designed to provide women with easy-to-understand information about all facets of female health, no matter your age or background. It is important to consider women's health uniquely because hormones affect not just the female reproductive system, but other aspects of health as well.
The different life stages a woman experiences are directly linked to natural changes in hormone levels. Starting with puberty, a great increase in hormone levels initiates the years in which a woman menstruates and can become pregnant. During her reproductive years, a woman may experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS), or a set of symptoms that appear around the time of her monthly period. Pregnancy, postpartum, and the menopause transition are also times of significant hormonal change.
Hormone levels naturally fluctuate throughout a woman's menstrual cycle and over the course of her entire life. However, these shifts can produce symptoms, such as irregular periods, loss of libido, fatigue, hair loss, anxious feelings, mood swings, and breast pain, among others. Balancing hormone levels and adopting healthy lifestyle adjustments can reduce these symptoms.
More severe hormonal imbalance can result in hormonal disorders - such as polycystic ovary syndrome - which come with their own sets of symptoms. Changes in hormone levels can also make a woman more susceptible to symptoms and conditions like memory lapses and osteoporosis.
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The Hormonal Sytem
Hormones are the body's messengers, signaling the body to perform various actions, from shedding the uterus lining to producing neurotransmitters and storing body fat. The chemistry of the hormonal system is complex, and hormones even have different forms. Nonetheless, there are three main hormones you need to know for a general grasp on the hormonal system: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Herbal supplements and pharmaceutical drugs can have an effect on hormone levels. Some - like hormone replacement therapy, bioidentical hormones, and phytoestrogenic herbs - contain compounds that are similar or identical to women's natural hormones. Other supplements may influence the production of hormones. These medicines can be very useful in treating problems related to hormonal balance, and the best choice will depend on a woman's medical history, symptoms or condition, life stage, and personal preference.
Hormones also play a key role in fertility and reproduction. When her hormone levels are out of balance, it may be harder for a woman to conceive - though it is important to keep in mind that fertility is complex and also depends on the partner. Menstrual cycle irregularities in particular can make it difficult for a woman to know when she ovulating and when she is most likely to conceive. Balancing hormone levels helps regulate the menstrual cycle, in turn promoting fertility.