Whether it’s regulating our mood or controlling our metabolism, hormones are responsible for many bodily functions. Quietly working away in the background, they keep our body healthy and happy. But hormones also play a role in keeping the menstrual cycle regular and starting the process of menopause.

Unfortunately, every once in a while, hormones can start to act up and when they do women may experience one or more of the following:

Irregular Menstrual Cycles

A regular menstrual cycle or period is one that usually appears at roughly the same time every month. Women that have an irregular cycle may notice

  • A period that lasts longer than 35 days
  • Bleeding in-between periods
  • Missing three or more periods in a row
  • Heavy or extremely painful periods

Because these symptoms may be caused by a number of different issues it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible. Regardless of the cause, an irregular menstrual cycle is something that should not be dismissed.

Premenopausal Symptoms

The hormone estrogen begins to decline as we age. This is especially true when women approach menopause. Menopause is the point in a woman’s life when menstruation stops. The symptoms of menopause may start to appear around the age of fifty-one or a few years before. Symptoms such as:

  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Irritability

Menopause is normal and on its own it does not need to be treated. But in some cases, these symptoms may become difficult to tolerate or interfere with your quality of life. To help manage the symptoms your doctor may recommend medications such as bio-identical hormones or estrogen replacement therapy.

Other hormonal issues that women face:

  • Excessive hair growth (hirsutism)
  • Reduced libido
  • Adult-onset acne

Because our hormones control many bodily functions, a hormone level that becomes abnormally high or low can cause a number of different symptoms. These should always be checked out by your doctor who can find the root cause of hormonal imbalances or recommend a number of treatment options.