Blog Banner
Hormonal Imbalance in Women – Causes and Symptoms
09 Feb 2024

Hormonal Imbalance in Women – Causes and Symptoms

Browsing through social media or watching television, you will see different advertisements telling you to ask the doctor to check your hormone levels. It is the first step for diagnosing and relieving many symptoms. Hormone imbalances are related to many problems, such as unwanted hair growth, weight gain, period problems, difficulty sleeping and fertility struggles. It would help to talk to the doctor about all these things, though you may be surprised when the doctor tells you they cannot perform a hormone check. 

What causes hormone imbalance?

Severe hormone-related conditions may have different possible causes. The main conditions causing medically significant hormone imbalances include: adenomas, tumors or other growths. There can also be damage or injury to an endocrine gland.

What can you do when you experience hormone imbalance?

The most decisive way to know if you have hormone imbalance, which means having too much or too little of certain hormones, is by conducting blood test. You need to know which test to conduct and when to do them by consulting with a doctor, as part of the check-up process.

What are warning signs of hormonal imbalance in women?

A hormone check is simple; we check your cholesterol for heart health. If it is not a simple hormone test, how will your doctor find hormonal imbalances? Let us discuss the problem due to hormonal imbalance and how the doctor can determine the hormones responsible for your symptoms.

Weight gain

Hormones are responsible for determining how energy can be used by the body and regulating metabolism. When your body produces an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone, hypothyroidism causes considerable weight gain. Women having polycystic ovarian syndrome might exhibit a lack of sensitivity to hormone insulin. As this hormone gets tied to blood sugar regulation, these women may have weight gain. When there is a dip in oestrogen levels, this makes you feel hungry, causing you to eat more and gain weight.

Irregular periods

There are women for whom the monthly menstruation cycle functions in the form of clockwork. Though a missed or delayed period may occasionally occur, it should only happen sometimes, mainly not having gaps of several months between periods. Women already in their 40s and 50s are about to enter menopause and will likely experience irregular periods. It is a normal process, though you need to see a doctor when you feel worried. For younger women, this might be an indication of PCOS and warrants a visit to the gynae expert for further evaluation.

Low libido

Low libido is your decreased interest in sex and less desire for sex. The two hormones which play a crucial role in female libido are estrogen and testosterone. In women, estrogen can be produced primarily by the ovaries, which has a vital role in sexual function. The hormone improves the flow of blood to the genitals and increases vaginal lubrication. Testosterone may be produced primarily through the adrenal glands and ovaries in women and has a vital role in the desire for sex. The hormone increases blood flow to your genitals and promotes nerve growth in the pelvic area. When these hormones go out of balance, it can cause low libido or other sexual problems, such as painful intercourse or difficulty achieving orgasm. 

Polycystic ovarian syndrome

PCOS is when small cysts with immature eggs develop within your ovaries. Women who have already been affected by PCOS may generate higher androgen levels, which is a male hormone for regulating the function of different body organs like the liver and kidneys. PCOS might be recognised as a hormonal disorder that leads to various problems, including:

  • Excessive body hair
  • Fluctuation in weight
  • Hair fall
  • Infertility 
  • Skin problems

Symptoms may differ from one woman to the other, and when you do not diagnose and treat on time, PCOS can be the reason for diabetes and heart disease.

Trouble sleeping

Trouble sleeping is another indication of hormonal imbalance. The hormones have a crucial role in sleep and trouble sleeping when they are out of balance. It also makes you stay asleep through the night. Insomnia, or difficulty sleeping, occurs due to an imbalance of estrogen. It occurs due to an increase in hormone norepinephrine. It is just like a stimulant and make it difficult to stay asleep.

Chronic acne

Having a breakout before or during your period is expected. But if you are having stubborn acne that does not clear up, then it can be a symptom of hormonal imbalance. Overproduction of the hormone androgen can cause oil glands to overwork. Androgens affect skin cells in and around your hair follicles. Both of those things may clog the pores and cause acne.

Hair loss

Women experience hair loss at some point in their lives. Though it is generally a normal part of ageing, hair loss can indicate a hormonal imbalance. One cause can be an increase in the ratio of androgens to estrogens. It happens during menopause when there is a drop in estrogen level. Another possibility is underactive or overactive thyroid gland producing hormones that play a role in metabolism, and imbalance causes hair loss.

Mood swings

Estrogen is another sex hormone of women that affects neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin, to boost mood. When there is a fluctuation in estrogen level, this may lead to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or depressed mood during perimenopause and menopause. Other than low energy levels, hormonal imbalances can affect how you feel. Emotions include sadness and irritability, and changes in oestrogen levels might adversely affect the production of chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. It can prevent you from feeling happy.

Breast discharge

If you are not breastfeeding or pregnant, but there is still a milky discharge released from your nipples, then it might be due to unusual levels of the hormone prolactin. It may cause visual changes, ovulation issues and the menstrual cycle length. It can denote certain diseases tied to glands within your body, the pituitary and thyroid glands.

Vaginal dryness

Vaginal dryness usually occurs due to a fall in estrogen levels, especially during the perimenopause and menopause. Though occasional dryness is typical, this hormonal imbalance decreases moisture in the area by making you feel somewhat uncomfortable. You should take antidepressants or the contraceptive pill to change hormone levels, which has led to the problem.

Cold hands and feet

If you cannot stay in an air-conditioned room without wearing a jacket, this denotes hypothyroidism. It mainly happens when other people around you are just doing fine. Lower levels of thyroid hormone can have many symptoms, with cold hands and feet being one of them. When it remains persistent and changes skin colour, you may have an issue with blood circulation or nerves. It is somewhat linked to hormonal conditions like lupus or diabetes. 

What happens when the test shows a hormone imbalance?

This depends on the nature of the hormonal imbalance but most of them have suitable treatment. If you are having very little thyroid activity, then this may be supplemented with proper medication. On the other hand when you have low testosterone, there are treatment options for them. Talk to a private doctor and know how you can maintain balance in the hormones.

Women suffer from many problems due to hormonal imbalances. These are common and affect most women, though the symptoms are generally brushed aside as minor inconveniences can be tolerated. As they do not occur together or seem mild, seeking medical help is delayed or not considered until you experience extreme symptoms. It is possible to treat hormone imbalances, and women won’t suffer from the discomfort or inconveniences caused by it. Speak with your gynaecologist, who conducts private blood tests at Walk in Clinic London when you find or experience any of the abovementioned signs and symptoms.


Suite 2, 117a Harley Street, London W1G 6AT


020 70968853

Opening HoursOpening Hours

Mon - Fri 9:00 - 18:00

Sat - Sun 10:00 - 14:00