hormonal changes in menopause

Does Menopause Cause Hormonal Imbalance?

In the years leading up to menopause, typically known as perimenopause, many people may experience both physical and emotional changes taking place due to hormonal fluctuations. While this is a fairly common occurrence, symptoms related to hormonal changes may largely depend on whether there is too much or too little of a certain hormone. 

Although menopause hormone imbalance may cause further discomfort, including things such as weight gain, acne, dry skin and eyes, thinning hair, or mood swings, understanding how menopause and hormonal imbalance are connected will help shed more light on finding suitable treatments and possible remedies. 

Connections between Menopause and Hormonal Imbalance

In human physiology, hormones are produced in the glands and throughout the rest of the body. While each part of the body may produce an assortment of hormones, it’s important to remember that each has a different purpose or function, and in some instances will work together to regulate chemical balance in the body. 

In people who may be experiencing menopause, two main hormones - estrogen and progesterone - will begin to decline during the early years of menopause, usually during perimenopause. Once a person reaches the age of menopause, usually around 52 years, the decline of estrogen and progesterone will begin to further decline, causing irregular menstrual periods and vaginal atrophy (vaginal dryness), among other symptoms. 

Hormones typically assist with regulating various parts of the body, and in people experiencing menopause, this may include their metabolism; ovarian function; fertility; mood and stress levels; body temperature; sexual function, and sleep cycles. 

Due to decreased estrogen levels, it becomes harder for the body to regulate certain functions, often leading to people experiencing several of the above-mentioned symptoms. Keep in mind that during menopause, other factors including diet and lifestyle may also affect the severity of these symptoms, and everyone may experience menopause differently. 

Hormonal Changes During Menopause

Experts suggest that as the body begins to age, and hormonal levels fluctuate, certain changes may occur over time. 

Estrogen: During perimenopause, estrogen levels will begin to decrease, and as a person enters menopause, production rapidly decreases, causing severe fluctuations of this critical hormone, and becoming unpredictable to measure. 

Progesterone: As menstrual cycles become increasingly irregular, progesterone production will steadily decline, and will typically cease during menstrual cycles. After the final menstrual period, production of progesterone will completely stop, and ovulation will no longer take place. 

Testosterone: Those assigned a vagina at birth will continue to produce testosterone until their 20s when production will peak and steadily decline afterward. However, by menopause, this level would have already declined to half of its peak. The ovaries will continue to produce testosterone, even after estrogen levels have completely dropped. 

Take A Look At Podcast: Hormones and Menopause: 

Causes of Hormonal Imbalance in Menopause

Hormonal imbalance may take place at different points in everyone’s life. However, this imbalance usually occurs when the endocrine glands begin to experience some functionality problems. 

Hormonal imbalance may be caused by: 

More than this, as menstrual cycles begin to become more irregular and less frequent, the production of certain hormones will fluctuate. Decreased ovulation will further extend the imbalance of hormones, as less estrogen and progesterone are being released during this period. 

Hormonal Imbalance Diagnosis

Having access to the necessary resources is vital to diagnosing this imbalance, however, some treatments may have different levels of efficacy for each person.

How Healthcare Professionals Diagnose Hormonal Imbalances in Menopause

Advancements in technology have enabled healthcare professionals to use blood and urine samples to diagnose hormonal imbalances. For people in menopause, testing could help to determine the levels of various hormones, including estradiol; follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH).

Although blood tests are usually not required to test for hormonal imbalances, it’s often considered to provide the most comprehensive overview of potential hormonal fluctuations that may occur in the body.

Effects of Hormonal Imbalance in Menopausal Women

As mentioned, each person may experience hormonal imbalances during different points in their life, and the effects thereof may either be mild or severe. 

However, for people in menopause, the effects of improper hormone levels could include: 

  • Changes in mood and emotional behavior: People may experience a change in their moods, often leading to feelings of increased depression and anxiety. 
  • Irregular menstrual cycle: As menopause continues to intensify, menstrual cycles will become increasingly irregular, and often stop. People who haven’t had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months are usually considered to be in menopause. 
  • Vaginal dryness: The lining of the vagina may begin to dry, leading to discomfort during sexual intercourse.
  • Hot flashes and night sweats: Due to fluctuations in hormones, some people may have periods of hot flashes, either on their body or face. 
  • Weight gain: As glands begin to produce fewer hormones, people in menopause may experience weight gain. 

Managing Hormonal Imbalance During Menopause

For people in menopause, managing these imbalances may help them alleviate some of the discomfort they might experience, however, various therapies and remedies may not be effective for everyone. 

  • Hormone replacement therapy or medication: Hormone therapy is a common treatment to assist with managing hormonal imbalances for people in menopause. Medication may include estrogen tablets to help temporarily regulate some severe symptoms. 
  • Vaginal estrogen: Those experiencing vaginal dryness might consider using a vaginal estrogen to alleviate feelings of irritation and discomfort during sexual intercourse. Estrogen tablets may also work, however applying a lotion directly to the vaginal tissue might be the most effective. 
  • Dietary supplements: In some cases, dietary supplements that contain vital minerals and nutrients to assist with natural female lubrication or hormonal production might be useful. However, it’s important to only use dietary supplements after consulting with a healthcare provider. 

Tip To Making Lifestyle Changes in Supporting Hormonal Balance

Aside from medicinal treatments and therapies, some lifestyle choices might help alleviate hormonal imbalance symptoms or symptoms commonly related to menopause. 


Regular exercise is one of the best ways to stay in shape and ensure the overall well-being of the body and mind. 

Healthier Food Options

Consuming food that is low in fat, sugar, and carbohydrates may have a positive impact on the overall condition of a person's weight and skin. Incorporating food high in vitamins and minerals is crucial for people experiencing menopause. 


Even a few minutes of meditation each day can help relieve the body of additional stress and feelings of anxiety. 

Warning Signs of Hormonal Imbalance During Menopause

There may be times when people will experience severe symptoms of hormonal imbalance, however, these may only be temporary. Often, it’s advised that people who experience severe symptoms consult with a medical professional to explore possible treatment options. 

Things to look out for: 

  • Decreased sex drive and low libido
  • Irregular menstrual cycles 
  • Prolonged headaches or migraines
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Vaginal dryness or discomfort during sex 
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse 
  • Dry skin and eyes 
  • Thinning of the hair 

Common Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms

There are multiple symptoms related to hormonal imbalance, however, some to look out for are: 

  • Sudden weight gain 
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Insomnia or feelings of sleeplessness 
  • Changes in body temperature 
  • Tender breasts 
  • Increased blood pressure 
  • Feelings of constant fatigue 
  • Dry skin or long-term rashes 
  • Headaches or severe migraines
  • Bloating or feeling bloated 
  • Increased thirst 
  • Severe irritability and anxiety 
  • Feelings of depression 
  • Changes in blood sugar levels during the day
  • Blurry vision or poor eyesight 


What are the Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance During Menopause?

Various symptoms may occur, however, some of the most frequently reported symptoms include; irregular menstrual cycles; vaginal dryness; mood swings; tender breasts; bloating; weight gain or loss; night sweats, and hot flashes. 

How can I Rebalance my Hormones during Menopause?

Seeking treatment options is one possibility. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is considered the most common treatment. Additionally, a vaginal estrogen cream directly applied to the vaginal tissue may help, or using a dietary supplement to help regulate the production and supply of hormones in the body. 

Final Thoughts

During menopause, people will often experience various points of hormonal fluctuation. However, this is only temporary, and once menopause has ended, and the production of some hormones has completely stopped, some symptoms may become less severe or frequent. 

Knowing how to handle hormonal imbalances is important as this will allow people to clearly identify when they might be experiencing a sudden increase or drop in some hormones. More than this, it would allow them to seek the necessary treatment options or find suitable remedies to help alleviate some of the discomfort. 


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