A woman’s natural cycle consists of a complex series of hormonal changes that happen throughout her lifetime. The two primary sex hormones found in women—estrogen and progesterone—are responsible for an array of reproductive and developmental milestones, including breast and uterus development, menstruation, sexual desire, fertility, birthing, lactation, and menopause.
Although not considered a primary female sex hormone, testosterone plays an important role in women’s health as well. Testosterone is produced in small quantities by the ovaries and adrenal glands and is necessary for sexual arousal, muscle development, and bone health.
It is normal for your hormone levels to fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. However, problems can arise when deviations from the normal rise and fall of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone occur.
The most common symptoms of hormone imbalance in women are:
Because different hormone imbalances can share similar symptoms, your doctor may require blood or saliva testing to build an effective treatment plan.
Refer to our Hormone Replacement Therapy Guide for Patients for a more detailed description of the various female hormone imbalances and their associated symptoms.