The Effects Of Hormones On Women's Mental Health
Women and their hormones have always been linked together for many things, healthwise. Besides its physiological and physical effects, hormones also affect women’s moods and emotions. It’s quite significant because they regulate mood and mental health.
That means hormone health is vital to stay mentally healthy. Any change that occurs in your hormones may impact the state of your mental health. And since hormones fluctuate as women age, your mental state is subject to multiple changes throughout your life.
In that matter, hormones are just as essential mental healthwise as it is reproductive healthwise for women. By learning more about how they correlate, you’ll be able to maintain a good quality of life. With that in mind, read the effects of hormones on women’s mental health in this blog.
Hormone dysregulation occurs when the endocrine system releases too much or a lack of hormones. Since hormones have a powerful effect on mood and brain chemistry, such imbalances cause or worsen mental health issues. This includes all kinds of hormones that a woman has in their body.
Estrogen and progesterone all play a role in women’s mental health. A drop in both will make you irritable and anxious. Besides those reproductive hormones, too much of the stress hormone cortisol causes severe anxiety and depression when left unattended.
Hormone imbalance of the thyroid can also cause mental health problems. Both an underactive and overactive thyroid cause different qualities of anxiety. The latter can cause jittery anxiety, similar to drinking too much caffeine, while the former (also called hypothyroidism) tends to worsen underlying anxiety and cause depression.
Aside from anxiety and depression, stress is also another emotional problem that hormonal imbalance can cause. It works both ways when it comes to stress because constant stress can also cause hormonal imbalances.
Menopause is a natural process representing the end of a woman’s menstruation. It marks the end of a woman’s fertility once they’re past middle age. Since it does that, it also causes reproductive hormones production to slow down, leading to imbalance.
However, just like stress, it also works both ways for menopause. Menopause leads to hormonal imbalance and vice versa. In fact, hormonal imbalance may cause a woman to hit menopause earlier than usual. According to the North American Menopause Society, the normal menopausal age is 51, and early menopause happens as soon as 40.
Low mood, irritability, and forgetfulness are common mental issues throughout menopause due to the slower reproductive hormone production. Fortunately, there are medical treatments that can help middle-aged women, such as hormone replacement therapy for women. Procedures and treatments as such can mitigate all kinds of menopause symptoms.
Everyone knows that pregnancy is always a delicate state for any woman to be in. One of the reasons why is because it also impacts hormonal balance, which in turn affects mental health.
Being pregnant causes hormonal fluctuations leading to thyroid dysfunction that either elevate or drops reproductive hormone levels, including testosterone. Medical experts say that about 5% of pregnant women experience it during and after pregnancy (postpartum). It can also take about three to four months for hormonal levels to normalize.
The fluctuating hormone levels cause mood changes and, to the most extreme case, depression.
Pregnancy, postpartum, menopause, and menstruation are all periods of hormonal fluctuations. It’s important that a woman is taken care of to keep their mental health in check during those times. Hormonal dysregulation may be inevitable, and experiences may be different, but all in all, you shouldn’t maintain hormonal balance if you want to stabilize your mental health as a woman.
Though not a medical professional, Hodge Racter knows a lot about medical topics, including hormone replacement (having undergone the procedure himself) and medical weight loss surgeries. Today, he remains spry and energetic despite his age, and when he’s not doing freelance work, he’s having quality time with his wife and two dogs.
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