Hormonal Red Flags No Woman Should Overlook

Hormones often get women into trouble, leading to physical, mental, and emotional issues. You can expect a hormonal imbalance to disrupt your life whether you are in your teens, 20s, twenties, thirties, close to menopause, or beyond. The worst part is that most women fail to recognize the trouble with their estrogen and progesterone and fail to get help until the symptoms worsen. Many even end up with conditions like PCOS that may happen due to prolonged hormonal irregularities. Awareness keeps you a step ahead of the common and unusual red flags that require attention and treatment. Here are the ones no woman should overlook.

Irregular menstrual cycles

Typically, a woman’s menstrual cycle ranges from 21 to 35 days, though it may vary from person to person. You will probably know the length of your cycle. If it seems to be irregular month after month, your hormones are probably out of order. You must see your gynecologist sooner than later because an erratic monthly cycle can be an indication of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It is a hormonal disorder that causes enlargement of ovaries, irregular ovulation, and prolonged menstruation cycles. Your specialist may recommend birth control as a treatment option if conception is not on your mind. But treatment gets a little more complex for women planning a baby. Regulating ovulation boosts the chances of pregnancy, so you must seek treatment at the earliest.

Heavy periods

Besides an erratic menstrual cycle, heavy periods are also a red flag indicating a hormonal imbalance. You may experience heavy bleeding several times during your reproductive timelines, and it may not necessarily be hormone-related. But the condition still warrants an evaluation because it may be the result of fibroids. These benign masses are formed in the uterus due to estrogen imbalance. Your doctor may recommend medications to prevent growth or suggest surgery if fibroids are large and troublesome. Although they are benign, heavy bleeding can disrupt your activities. So timely treatment makes sense.

Hot flashes and night sweats

Women often sustain these symptoms near menopause, but hormone imbalance may also be the culprit. If random hot flashes occur throughout the day or you wake covered in sweat at night, you must get an advanced female hormone panel for a comprehensive diagnosis. It covers a complete check of hormones, and you will probably find a drop in estrogen levels when these red flags are visible. Whether you are close to menopausal age or past it, be sure to get a medical check-up and diagnosis for timely treatment.

Persistent pelvic pain

Another warning sign that deserves attention is persistent pelvic pain. You may experience it during menstruation or intercourse, but do not consider it a normal pattern. Unexplained pain could indicate a hormonal imbalance that may cause endometriosis, fibroids, or ovarian cysts. While these conditions are problematic, they can be treated medically or surgically. However, you must ensure timely resolution to prevent complications. Your doctor can decide the ideal treatment plan to match your condition.

Unexplained weight gain

Weight gain is a concern for women, and it surfaces due to an unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, acute stress, or lack of sleep. But hormonal imbalance may be the culprit if you have no valid explanation for your weight gain. Likewise, be warned if diet control and regular exercise do not help you shed pounds and inches. You probably have an imbalance associated with PCOS or stressed-out adrenals. The best option is to get help sooner than later to restore your hormonal balance and get your weight on track.

Excessive fatigue

Fatigue seems an inherent part of life, considering the workload most women bear through the day. You can expect to be exhausted handling endless tasks at work and home. Moreover, you may miss out on sleep or ditch meals. But persistent fatigue that stays despite resting and endless cups of coffee indicate something wrong deep down. An imbalance in thyroid hormones leads to ongoing fatigue. The next time the feeling hits, see a doctor and get a hormone check.

Infertility, hair loss, brittle nails, cold hands and feet, and premenstrual syndrome are other factors indicating hormonal disruption. Ignoring these red flags may aggravate more health issues that are hard to deal with. The best piece of advice is to opt for hormonal checks a couple of times every year, even if you do not notice any warning signs. Nipping the issues early is much easier than letting them compound and complicate over time. The sooner you see an endocrinologist, the better are your chances of staying at your healthiest best.



Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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