Female Hormones And Mental Health – What Are They?

Did you know that there’s a powerful link between female hormones and mental health?

As a woman, you might experience a rollercoaster of emotions.

Some days make you feel like you can conquer the world, while on other days, you’re just wallowing in negative emotions. While people around you might raise their eyebrows and question your tumultuous emotions, only you know how normal and valid it is. 

Introducing to you the “H Word”: hormones. Hormones are like the backstage crew of your mental health theater, dropping the original script and creating unexpected plot twists. These sneaky little creatures are always at play. 

So brace yourself as we ride on this emotional rollercoaster where we explore the fascinating relationship between female hormones and mental health. It is captivating and crucial, affecting women in ways they might not even realize. 

Female hormones and mental health

Why Are Women Affected More By Hormones?

Before you start assuming that biology is impartial toward men, let us put things into perspective for you. 

Women are comparatively at a higher risk of experiencing mental health conditions than their male counterparts. They may start experiencing it around puberty and the childbearing period. This happens due to the fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels throughout the menstrual cycle. 

On the other hand, men are less likely to experience mental health issues until they reach middle age. This may be because testosterone levels tend to drop down with age. This may also lead to low energy, fatigue, and depression. 

Understanding the relationship between female hormones and mental health is crucial for your well-being.

Common Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance In Females

Hormones are like your body’s messengers responsible for keeping everything in balance. But there will be times when they might mess up, leading to a hormonal imbalance. Following are a few common symptoms of hormonal imbalance. 

  • Mood swings
  • Irregular periods and infertility
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Temperature intolerance
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Hair loss and memory loss
  • Muscle aches, stiffness, or weakness
  • Brain fog
  • Dry skin
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Fast or slow heart rate 
  • Hot flashes, night sweats

We hope the relationship between female hormones and mental health is evident to you. Recognizing and addressing hormonal imbalance symptoms in females is crucial for overall well-being and a healthier life.

What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?

Some things are beyond our control, female hormones being one of them. Many factors can throw off your hormones. The following are a few common causes of hormonal imbalance.

  • Trauma
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Puberty
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Stress
  • Certain medications, including birth control
  • Chemotherapy or radiation treatment
  • Eating disorders
  • Menopause, perimenopause, and postmenopause
  • Aging

Discovering what triggers hormonal imbalance is like unlocking the secrets to feeling your best and paving the way for a healthier and happier you.

All About Female Hormones And Mental Health

female hormones and mental health

Can hormone imbalance cause mental problems? Let’s find out.

The following are a few crucial sex hormones that impact female mental health. 

  • Testosterone
  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • LH
  • FHS

Hormonal imbalance and mental health are interlinked. Fluctuations in these hormones have the power to reshape your brain’s interpretation of life’s many contexts. Imbalances like an excess of estrogen or a shortage of progesterone can disrupt how hormones and brain chemicals communicate, affecting how your brain works.

Now, let’s address the issue of how hormones affect mental health.

Mental well-being is intricately tied to our hormones. Even minimal amounts of hormones produce profound effects on our health. Moods may be affected by many factors, including:

  • Diet
  • Social and physical environment
  • Exercise
  • Sleep patterns

These factors are interlinked with hormones, governing the brain’s response system and ultimately shaping our emotional states. When hormonal conditions are unbalanced, emotions can go haywire.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the connection between female hormones and mental health, specifically examining their impact on conditions such as anxiety, depression, etc. 

How Do Female Hormones Affect Anxiety?

It’s time to comprehend the complicated relationship between female hormones and mental health. 

“How do female hormones affect anxiety?” Answering this question involves untangling the intricate connection between hormonal changes and stress levels.

So let’s begin.

Progesterone has a calming effect on the brain, which means that a deficiency can lead to anxiety. The largest concentration of progesterone is found in the brain’s limbic area. 

A study by Dr. Phyllis J. Bronson, Ph.D., a doctorate in biochemistry, revealed that a lack of progesterone is a crucial contributor to anxiety patterns during mid-life.

In her observations, she noticed that elevated estrogen levels coupled with low progesterone levels resulted in intense anger, followed by a subsequent conciliatory and self-defeating attitude in patients.

Hormones And Depression In Females

Hormones like estrogen and progesterone can fluctuate during your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause. These fluctuations can sometimes lead to depressive feelings.

The following hormones can lead to depression in females:

1. Estrogen

2. Progesterone 

  • This sex hormone regulates menstruation and pregnancy.
  • An imbalance in progesterone can result in mood swings, anxiety, and a depressed mood.

3. Testosterone

  • Although testosterone levels are naturally much higher in males, it’s also found in females. 
  • This hormone stimulates the development of male characteristics, and it also fuels your sex drive. 
  • Reduced testosterone levels can lead to symptoms of depression and low libido.

4. T3 & T4 

  • Thyroid hormones are crucial in regulating various bodily functions, including metabolism. 
  • When the thyroid is underactive, it doesn’t produce sufficient T3 and T4, potentially leading to depressive symptoms. 
  • Conversely, an overactive thyroid can manifest as anxiety-related symptoms.

5. Cortisol 

  • Cortisol is a primary hormone associated with stress. 
  • Elevated cortisol levels resulting from chronic stress can contribute to weight gain, depressive symptoms, and burnout.

6. DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone)

  • DHEA is an adrenal gland hormone that can reduce brain inflammation and assist in the regulation of depression.
  •  An imbalance in DHEA levels can potentially trigger the onset of depressive symptoms.

7. Insulin 

  • This hormone is closely tied to blood sugar regulation and the development of type 2 diabetes. 
  • Dysregulation of insulin has been associated with the occurrence of depression.

Understanding the relationship between hormones and depression in females is crucial for finding helpful solutions.

Feel free to consult with a healthcare professional. They can help you understand what’s happening and recommend ways to balance those hormones and improve your mood. You don’t have to go through it alone.

Postpartum Depression 

After giving birth, many women experience a natural emotional downturn due to hormonal changes, often referred to as postpartum blues or baby blues.

When these postpartum blues persist for more than two weeks, it can lead to a diagnosis of postpartum depression. Common signs include: 

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Bouts of crying
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sleep disturbances
  • A sense of being overwhelmed

These symptoms can intensify, leading to challenges in forming a bond with the child, a significant loss of energy, reduced interest in the baby, and feelings of hopelessness. Some women might even grapple with guilt. Seeking prompt treatment is crucial for women facing these symptoms.


As a woman approaches the end of her reproductive years, her hormones undergo a transformation. For some individuals, particularly those with a history of depression or anxiety, this hormonal shift can trigger the resurgence of mental health issues during menopause.

Also, middle age often brings stressors related to aging and the dual responsibilities of caring for children and aging parents. These stressors can make even minor mental health symptoms more challenging, but it’s essential to seek guidance from a healthcare provider if there are alterations in mood or behavior. They can help regulate your female hormones and improve your mental health. 

ADHD and Hormone Imbalance 

Sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen significantly influence the development of ADHD. A rise in testosterone, which is the crucial male sex hormone, has been demonstrated to impede cognitive function, thereby encouraging symptoms of ADHD.

Numerous scientists believe that dopamine plays a role in ADHD development and symptoms. Research suggests that increasing testosterone levels might impact the cerebral pathways used by dopamine, potentially restricting overall neurological development.

Manage Your Hormones To Improve Your Mental Well-Being

female hormones and mental health

We hope you can now grasp the link between female hormones and mental health.

If you think that your mental health is deteriorating, it’s best to visit a healthcare professional to understand the underlying cause. We recommend seeing an endocrinologist if you have a potential hormonal issue. 

Following changes can be made to see an improvement in your state of mind

1. Lifestyle changes

Focus on the below to bring back a balance in your hormones:

2. Medications

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be used to address some of the mood changes that are experienced during menopause and perimenopause. 

In addition to HRT, the following are a few medications used to address hormonal imbalances. 

  • Thyroid medications to address hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
  • Birth control pills, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medication to address symptoms of PMS
  • Antidepressants to address postpartum depression

Please note that medicines vary according to which hormones are affected.

3. Therapy Options

The following are a few effective therapies:

  • For depression: Cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, systemic therapy, and various types of psychoanalysis.
  • For anxiety: Cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy.
  • For premenstrual syndrome (PMS): Cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, and breathing exercises.

The link between hormonal imbalance and mental health highlights the need for a holistic wellness approach.


Just like life has its highs and lows, your hormones will also have ups and downs. While we can’t escape this emotional rollercoaster, we can navigate it with care and support. Hormones play a crucial role in shaping our minds and bodies.

Please remember that female hormones and mental health are intricately linked. Women endure some major transitions throughout their lives. From periods to pregnancy and menopause, they have no option but to face it all. Every woman is a silent warrior who battles. They don’t have any control over their hormones and how their body functions. Our support and sympathy can help them tread this complicated path and make their journey easier. Our support helps them navigate the complexities of hormonal imbalance. We must show sensitivity and understanding towards all the women in our lives. 

At times, emotions can be overwhelming. Click here to explore insights on emotional healing. To continue learning more about mental health, subscribe to Your Mental Health Pal.

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