Hormone Levels

Fact checked Medically reviewed

Medically reviewed by Brenda G., MD | Written by SheCares Editorial Team | Updated: Feb 11, 2020

Hormone Levels

Every hormone plays its own role in a multifaceted chemical messenger system, regulating growth, metabolism, reproduction, and more in women's lives. As such, having normal hormone levels is of the essence for optimal health and well-being far into one's twilight years. Discover more below.

Importance of Normal Hormone Levels

Reproductive, thyroid, adrenal gland, and pituitary hormones are among the many types of hormones present in women's body, making sure it is operating as it should.

Among their various functions throughout life stages are:

During adulthood

  • Protect cervix from ascending infection
  • Mature reproductive tract and breast development 
  • Initiate onset of menstrual cycle (puberty) 
  • Support healthy immunity by modulating inflammation  
  • Improve sex drive and mood

During pregnancy

During postmenopause

  • Regulate healthy bone mass and growth
  • Boost cognitive function 
  • Support pelvic muscle strength 
  • Uphold optimal skin elasticity and thickness 
  • Lower blood pressure 
  • Help prevent onset of endometrial, ovarian, and breast cancer

It is important to keep in mind that many of the aforementioned effects occur simultaneously throughout the various reproductive stages.

Discover more about hormones roles and effects for a better understanding of how healthy hormone levels contribute to every body system in women.

What Happens When Hormone Levels are High?

Effects of high hormone levels

When hormone levels are higher than they should be for a woman's age and reproductive status, various disorders and hormonal imbalance symptoms can appear.

During adulthood

Some of the most common hormonal disorders that can arise in women from high hormone levels include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and uterine fibroids, causing symptoms of acne, excessive hair (hirsutism), irregular periods, anovulation, infertility, and abdominal pain, among others.

High hormone levels can also evoke thyroid disease, insulin resistance, impaired memory abilities, Cushing's syndrome, hyperprolactinemia, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, and many more.

During pregnancy

It is natural for estrogen and progesterone levels to surge enormously throughout a woman's gestation, and these hormonal surges provoke many early pregnancy signs and symptoms, such as morning sickness, mood swings, constipation, and lower back pain.

During postmenopause

Unusually high hormone levels during postmenopause can manifest into symptoms such as hot flashes, weight gain, breast tenderness, and more. Many types of cancers are also dependent upon hormone levels, and high levels can lead to their development. For instance, it has been found that higher amounts of estrogen in the blood increase the risk of breast cancer in women after menopause.1

In order to find relief from the many discomforts of high hormone levels, click on the following link to learn more about high hormone levels.

What Happens When Hormone Levels are Low?

Effects of low hormone levels

On the other hand, low hormone levels or hormone deficiencies can also wreak havoc in the female body.

During adulthood

Low hormone levels can provoke depression, anxiety, mood swings, fatigue, loss of libido, muscle aches, low blood pressure, cognitive issues, weight fluctuations, as well as thyroid disorders, among others. Keep in mind that many hormonal disorders will mirror those from the high hormone levels section because when levels of one hormone are elevated, another is often low (as is the case with estrogen dominance).

Before / during pregnancy

Before getting pregnant, insufficient estrogen production may lead to ovulation problems, thus hindering conception efforts. Low estrogen also prevents proper build-up of the endometrial lining, needed for the implantation of the fertilized egg. Moreover, without a proper uterine lining during pregnancy, the chances of a having a miscarriage increase, especially during the first trimester.2

During postmenopause

Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease that results from an estrogen deficiency; older women are at an increased risk of developing it.3,4 Hormone deficiency in postmenopause can also provoke various other serious health complications, including - but not limited to - heart disease, dyspareunia, and incontinence.

To successfully fight the symptoms of a decrease in hormones levels, click on the following link to keep learning about low hormone levels.

Every woman will experience hormonal imbalance in a different way. The best piece of advice to take is to know your body and report any concerning symptoms to your doctor as soon as possible. Only he or she will be able to make a correct diagnosis through varying hormone tests. Your hormonal health and overall well-being lies in your own hands.

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