What Is Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal Imbalance simply means you have too little or too much of a certain hormone in your body.
Why Does It Occur
It can occur when you have issues with your thyroid, stress, and eating disorders. The pituitary gland produces hormones that regulate different body processes. This includes the secretion of some female hormones. Prolactin is produced by the pituitary gland which induces milk production in the breast.
Causes Of Hormonal Imbalance
It is normal for every woman to experience hormonal imbalance at certain points in her life. Hormonal imbalance can also occur when the endocrine glands are not functioning properly.
These endocrine glands produce, store and release hormones. They are located throughout the body.
- Adrenal Glands- Kidneys
- Gonads- testis and ovaries
- The pineal gland – is located in the brain. It secretes melatonin.
- Pituitary gland- located in the brain
- Hypothalamus- is located in the brain. It secretes dopamine, somatostatins
- Thyroid and parathyroid glands- secrete thyroid hormones
- Pancreatic Islets- are located in the pancreas. It secretes insulin
Medical conditions like diabetes, High blood pressure, cancer, HIV, and congenital problems can cause hormonal imbalance.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
The most common symptoms in women with hormonal imbalance are
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Dyspareunia (painful sex)
- Low libido
- Excessive hair growth
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Deep Voice
- Acne/acne vulgaris
There are other symptoms, as they may vary from woman to woman. But these are the most common.
What is a Hormonal Profile?
This is a test that is done by taking a blood sample and the major hormones that induce fertility are analyzed. In women, the hormones studied are mostly related to the functioning of the ovaries. When a hormonal profile pane is done, these hormones are analyzed.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): This hormone aids in the development and maturation of ovarian follicles.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH): It is in charge of ovulation and the production of progesterone in the body.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: This regulates the secretion of thyroid hormones in the thyroid gland.
Prolactin: It stimulates breast milk production and also the production of progesterone.
Estradiol: This hormone aids in the development of female sexual characteristics. It also prepares the endometrium for baby implantation.
Progesterone. Promotes secretion of thick cervical mucus, it causes shedding of the uterine lining during menstruation. It is also released in the placenta in case of pregnancy.
Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH): This hormone is used as an indication of ovarian reserve. This means that it is usually secreted and tested in older females. It is secreted by immature ovarian follicles.
T3 and T4: They are secreted by the pituitary gland to regulate thyroid function.
Testosterone: This is the male hormone. It is secreted in small amounts in women. It is later converted to estrogen
Inhibin B: This hormone allows for picking a single follicle for ovulation.
Treatment of Hormonal Imbalance
There are multiple treatment options for women suffering from hormonal imbalance. These options depend entirely on the conversations and tests you have with your doctor.
- Hormone or birth control pills
- Vaginal estrogen: for those experiencing vaginal dryness.
- Hormonal replacement drugs
- Anti-androgen drugs: They block the production of testosterone
- Clomiphene Citrate
Can You Get Pregnant If You Have Hormonal Imbalance
The answer is Yes. The only time that you cannot get pregnant is if you are not ovulating. Although it can make conception difficult and frustrating, it is still possible. Conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) make conception a lot harder.
Can A Woman With Hormonal Imbalance Ovulate
Although hormonal imbalance can disrupt the ovulation cycle in women. it is possible to ovulate. Your cycle may become irregular. But you will definitely ovulate. Unless there is an underlying condition that prevents it. You should consult a fertility specialist to conduct fertility tests i.e., an ovulation kit test
Food That Can Cause Hormonal Imbalance
Red Meat: It increases the production of estrogen in the body
Processed and Refined Foods: Most of these foods contain a high dose of sodium, preservatives sugar, and salt.
Caffeine (coffee and energy drinks): They stimulate the release of cortisol. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone
Soy Products: When consumed in high amounts, it causes a decrease in the production of estrogen. It can also lead to inflammation and irritation.
Stevia: Excess amounts of stevia (natural sweetener) can cause hormonal imbalance.
Can Hormonal Imbalance Cause Body Odor, Vaginal Odor, And Discharge
Yes, during menopause, there is a drop in estrogen production. The body translates this as overheating and causes the body to sweat which can contribute to body odor.
Vaginal odor and discharge can also be affected.
Hormonal Imbalance is a condition that will affect every woman at a certain point in her life. Certain conditions can contribute to hormonal imbalance. Knowing these factors and discussing them with your doctor is the recommended step in the right direction.
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