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Hormonal issues before menopause

Reviewed by Dr. Sarika Arora, MD

Many women think there’s plenty of time before they have to think about hormonal imbalance, but we know that isn’t the case. Weight gain, cravings, irritability and fatigue are just a few of the symptoms of hormonal imbalances that can occur at any age – and more women than ever are suffering from them.


Three common hormonal imbalances – PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), irregular periods and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) – are increasing significantly according to our recent look at changes to hormonal imbalance symptoms through the years.

Here’s what women from age 25 to 70 have been telling us in our Hormonal Health Profile when we compared completed profiles from 2016 to 2008:

  • Women report moderate to severe PMS symptoms increased 44%.
  • Women report moderate to severe irregular periods increased 32%.
  • Women report moderate to severe PCOS increased 51%.

“These are disturbing trends but consistent with what I see in my medical practice,” says Dr. Amber Hayden, DO. “But this is more than a question of women’s discomfort because of their symptoms. What concerns me is that an imbalance in just one sex hormone can lead to problems with weight, insulin resistance, thyroid problems or other serious health issues.”

Most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance

  • Irregular or absent periods
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability and/or moodiness
  • Skin issues
  • Hair loss/unusual hair growth
  • Infertility
  • Fatigue/loss of energy

More about the symptom study

The Women’s Health Network hormonal profile allows women to rank their experiences with common symptoms of hormonal imbalance. In an analysis to track how symptoms are changing over time, 10,000 profiles completed by women ages 25 to 70 in 2016 were compared to 10,000 profiles taken by similarly-aged women in 2007-2008. According to the analysis, women today are reporting significant differences in the type and severity of their symptoms.

Do you suffer from hormonal imbalance?

Many women may not realize that hormonal imbalance is the cause of symptoms such as weight gain, cravings, irritability or insomnia. Knowing more about your symptoms is the best way to learn how to relieve, or even prevent them. Our Hormonal Health Quiz has helped hundreds of thousands of women have a better experience during the midlife transition, and it can help you too.

Last Updated: November 27, 2022
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