Hormonal Imbalances is labelled with a scale that is showing one side lower than the other indicating imbalances

Are you suffering from any of the 13 signs of hormonal imbalances? Oftentimes, our menstrual cycle issues are seen as common ailments that are put in the pile of ‘women’s problems’ and then often considered normal. Therefore, not much attention is paid to educating women about what could be the hormonal imbalance that is causing these life-disrupting symptoms.

In this article I not only discuss 13 signs of hormonal imbalances, but I help you to understand which hormonal imbalances are causing these symptoms. When we understand and treat the underlying cause, we can then bring about hormone balance, healthy periods and improved fertility.

Together, we’ll explore two types of hormonal imbalances

  1. The delicate dance between oestrogen and progesterone, and 
  2. The complexities of high testosterone levels. 

So, let’s get started.

Hormonal Imbalance of Oestrogen and Progesterone

In a balanced menstrual cycle, oestrogen and progesterone play a vital dance in your menstrual cycle, and when they are in harmony, your period should come and go with ease.

I know, sounds like a dream! However, when this balance is disrupted, several symptoms can manifest. 

Your menstrual cycle should occur in a cyclical, predictable pattern and your period should show all the signs of a healthy, normal period. 

**If you are not sure about what constitutes a healthy period and a healthy menstrual cycle? I urge you to take a step back and revisit my previous article, “What is a Normal, Healthy Period?” 📘🕰️ 

However, if these hormones cannot be produced in sufficient quantities or an excess production of one over the other occurs, these imbalances can lead to some annoying signs and symptoms and you might experience one of the 13 signs of hormonal imbalances.

Understanding Hormonal Imbalance in Your Menstrual Cycle: A Recap 🌼

I understand more than most that the majority of menstruators do NOT have a perfect 28-day menstrual cycle. However, for the sake of education and to explain the intricacies of your menstrual hormones, I’ll use the standard 28-day cycle as a reference point to discuss your hormones and menstrual phases.” 📆🌸 

In the span of 28 days, your menstrual cycle unfolds in two main phases

  1. The Follicular Phase and 
  2. The Luteal Phase.

Follicular Phase (Day 1 to Ovulation): During the first half of your cycle, oestrogen is your dominant hormone. Its role includes preparing the uterine lining for potential pregnancy and creating fertile cervical fluid, which aids sperm movement. When oestrogen reaches a certain level, it triggers the release of luteinising hormone (LH) from the brain, crucial for ovulation.

Ovulation: Around the middle of your cycle, usually Day 14 in a 28-day menstrual cycle, an egg is released from your ovary. 

Luteal Phase (After Ovulation to the day before your Next Period): Following ovulation, the Luteal Phase kicks in. The follicles that housed the egg transform into the corpus luteum, a vital gland responsible for producing oestrogen and progesterone. Progesterone becomes the dominant hormone, ensuring the uterine lining is hospitable for a potential pregnancy. If fertilisation doesn’t occur, hormone levels drop, prompting your period, and the cycle resets at Day 1 of your next menstrual cycle.

Ovulation and Hormonal Imbalance

Only when ovulation happens will there be any production of progesterone. If ovulation doesn’t happen, there’s an obvious hormonal imbalance. Oestrogen continues to rise without its balancing partner, progesterone, leading to symptoms associated with high oestrogen, like heavy bleeding or mood swings.

Even if ovulation occurs, sometimes there’s a hiccup. The corpus luteum, responsible for producing progesterone, might not function optimally, causing insufficient progesterone levels and causing hormonal imbalances.

Understanding the dominant hormones in these phases helps you recognise why your body might exhibit certain signs of imbalance. Balanced hormones keep this cycle smooth, but imbalances can lead to various menstrual issues. 

And now we finally get to the 13 signs of Hormonal Imbalances…

Signs of Oestrogen and Progesterone Imbalance 

  1. Heavy Bleeding: 

Heavy bleeding is a clear indicator, often associated with elevated oestrogen levels or heightened sensitivity to oestrogen’s effects. 🩸

Oestrogen plays a vital role in thickening the uterine lining, causing it to grow and thicken. If there’s an excess of oestrogen or increased sensitivity, the lining becomes thicker, leading to heavier periods. This situation worsens in the absence of sufficient progesterone, a hormone responsible for thinning the lining.

How to Identify Heavy Periods: Heavy bleeding constitutes losing more than 80ml of blood per period. For a detailed guide on determining if your periods are heavy, check out my previous article, “Normal Blood Loss.”💧🩸📏

  1. Painful Periods: 

Experiencing period pain is common and considered normal when the discomfort is manageable and you can continue with your daily life. But when it becomes intense, disrupts your daily life 🌧️ and requires pain medication to manage the pain, this is when you know your period pain is unhealthy and requires medical advice and exploration. 

Normal period pain, caused by the release of prostaglandins, is usually manageable. However, in an environment where oestrogen surpasses progesterone, leading to a hormonal imbalance, the levels of prostaglandins can further increase, intensifying the pain. 🎢💔

  1. PMS Galore: 

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a complex condition with over 100 associated symptoms. 

While excess oestrogen can trigger some symptoms, oftentimes, it’s the interplay of normal oestrogen levels and low progesterone that causes PMS. Recognizing this balance is key to exploring natural treatment methods. 🌱✨

PMS symptoms manifest in the week leading up to your period and then subsiding once menstruation begins. I’ll delve deeper into the more common PMS symptoms of mood changes, breast tenderness, and bloating, below. 🌧️🌸

But as we learnt earlier, with over 100 symptoms and too many to list, PMS might bring along headaches, migraines, food cravings, acne, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, and a myriad of other challenges. Stay tuned for insights into managing these diverse symptoms effectively in future blogs! 💪🌟

  1. Mood Swings: The Hormone Rollercoaster

Mood swings, a common aspect of hormonal imbalances, can take you from anger and irritability to overwhelming feelings of sadness and teariness. Have you ever found yourself in tears without understanding why? It might just be your hormones at play. 😢😡

Progesterone, our calming hero, exerts mood-enhancing effects on your nervous system. When there’s a lack of progesterone due to missed ovulation or low levels compared to oestrogen, these mood symptoms can intensify, leading to emotional turbulence. 🌪️

And let’s not forget about PMDD, or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, a more severe form of PMS. It plunges women into deep feelings of depression, hopelessness, and intense anxiety, where negative thought patterns become both unusual and unexplainable. The impact on daily life and relationships during this premenstrual period can be incredibly challenging for people with PMDD. 🌧️

  1. Breast Pain During PMS: 

In the week leading up to your period, many women experience swollen, enlarged, and often painful breasts as part of the PMS package. 

For some, it’s not just discomfort but also lumps, nipple soreness, and a strange warmth that can make this time particularly challenging. These symptoms arise due to the stimulating effects of oestrogen, often exacerbated by insufficient progesterone to balance the hormonal seesaw. 

  1. Bloating and Weight Gain: 

Ah, the infamous bloat! That cyclic, unwelcome visitor that makes our pants feel snug and our confidence a bit shaky. 

During your period, bloating and weight gain often occur due to fluid retention, making clothes feel tighter around the waist. For some, it’s not just an inconvenience but a real struggle, with certain outfits becoming off-limits. This discomfort arises from an imbalance: too much oestrogen and not enough progesterone to balance it out. Oestrogen, in its abundance, tends to retain salt and water, while progesterone, our natural diuretic, helps regulate these fluctuations. 

  1. Spotting: Pre-Period Bleeding🩸🔍

Ever noticed a light pink or brown discharge before your period starts? That’s spotting, indicating your progesterone levels are dropping prematurely. The confusion lies in people thinking this spotting is the beginning of a new cycle, however, it’s a continuation of your current one. Your next menstrual cycle officially begins with your full flow, marking Day 1 of your cycle. Understanding this can bring clarity to your cycle patterns and menstrual cycle length, while also providing insights into potential treatment options, including which hormones to address. 

  1. Short Menstrual Cycles: 

A short menstrual cycle, defined as less than 21 days (or less than 25-26 days for fertility considerations), can be a puzzle. It might be due to a lack of ovulation, a short follicular phase, or a short luteal phase. 🧠🤔 Identifying the cause involves understanding if and when ovulation occurred, which can only be confirmed by a consistent rise in basal body temperature or by a progesterone blood test.

Short follicular phases, common in later stages of life and heading towards menopause, showcase wild hormonal fluctuations of oestrogen in particular. 🌪️ A luteal phase shorter than 11 days indicates a compromised corpus luteum, struggling to produce enough progesterone and therefore, problematic for those trying to conceive or truly balance their hormones. 🌸

In the absence of clear ovulation signs, a cycle shorter than 21-25 days hints at underlying hormone imbalances. Identifying whether you are suffering from a short follicular or luteal phase or anovulation (where ovulation doesn’t occur) is key to identifying the specific hormone imbalance. Too little oestrogen to cause ovulation or not enough oestrogen to produce a healthy corpus luteum that goes on to produce low levels of progesterone – these are the questions we want to try and answer to solve your short cycle puzzle.🧩🔍 

Join the waitlist for my “Master Your Menstrual Cycle” online course, where you’ll gain expert knowledge in tracking your fertility signs. Learn to identify ovulation, understand the lengths of your follicular and luteal phases, and grasp your fertility window. Become confident in managing your reproductive health journey! 🌸📚 #EmpoweredFertility 🌟

Signs of High Testosterone Hormonal Imbalance

High testosterone, a common imbalance, can result from an imbalance in the brain hormones FSH: LH or can be stimulated by an insulin overload.🧠🔄🥞

When the ovaries receive the signal to overproduce testosterone, ovulation can be thrown into disarray – either delayed or, in some cases, absent. This disruption impacts your fertility journey, making it more difficult to identify your fertile window for timing sexual intercourse for possible conception. My “Master Your Menstrual Cycle” online course can assist with these difficulties, clarifying your fertility. Join the waitlist now.

High Testosterone Troubles 🚫

  1. Long Cycles: 

If your menstrual cycles are stretching beyond the usual 35-day mark, then you are experiencing a long follicular phases and late periods. 🗓️⏳

In this cyclical saga, unpredictability reigns, making it challenging to pinpoint ovulation’s delicate timing. Long cycles often raise the flag of PCOS, where high testosterone is either diagnosed through symptoms (hirsutism, baldness or acne mentioned below) or blood test results. 

Bear in mind, PCOS is not the only reason for prolonged cycles, other various sources include: illness, stress, undereating, or overexercising. 🤔💪 It’s crucial to dig deeper and find the underlying cause, guiding your journey to hormonal balance.

  1. Hirsutism: 

Let’s talk about hirsutism – the unwelcome thickening and darkening of facial and body hair, making unexpected appearances on breasts, around nipples, over chests, backs, or bellies. These rebellious strands shout of high testosterone levels, even if traditional blood tests don’t reflect high testosterone.

  1. Male Pattern Baldness: aka androgenic alopecia

Now, onto male pattern baldness, the quiet struggle on the crown of the head. High androgens, those pesky male hormones, constrict the hair follicles, making growth difficult. Hair thins, breaks, and falls out, revealing the impact of hormonal imbalances. 

  1. Adult Acne: 

Acne, the nemesis of adulthood, especially around the chin, can be related to high testosterone. Unlike cyclic acne, which is often related to the imbalance between oestrogen and progesterone. Acne that is related to high testosterone is a more persistent visitor that stays throughout the menstrual cycle.

The Weight of Hormonal Imbalance on Infertility

  1. Infertility: 

Infertility. This heart-wrenching challenge can stem from these imbalances.

  • Excessive Estrogen, Scant Progesterone: When oestrogen overpowers progesterone, it often signals an ailing corpus luteum. This vital gland struggles to create a lengthy luteal phase, hindering healthy conception, implantation and embryo development. 
  • Testosterone Troubles: On the flip side, an excess of testosterone can obstruct or delay ovulation, transforming your fertile window into a guessing game. Conception becomes challenging as ovulation and timing sexual intercourse is less predictable.

But fear not! With the right guidance from a knowledgeable health practitioner, these 13 signs of hormonal imbalances can be understood and improved to give you back hope on your fertility journey. 


Recognising whether you suffer from any of these 13 signs of hormonal imbalance is the first step in taking control of your menstrual cycle health. You can first understand which hormones are out of balance, which helps to select the best treatment moving forward. Whether it’s managing heavy periods, understanding PMS symptoms, or addressing fertility concerns, a holistic approach can restore balance. Remember, with the right guidance from a knowledgeable hormonal health practitioner, these imbalances can be understood and improved, paving the way for a healthier, more balanced you.

A great place to start is understanding your fertility signs and deciphering your menstrual cycle with my online course “Master Your Menstrual Cycle.”🔄 Click here to join the waitlist for the next enrolment. 

If you have any questions about the 13 signs of hormonal imbalances, please leave a comment.

Here’s to happy and healthy cycles!

Amanda xx