Too much or too little of a hormone or hormones can cause a hormone disorder. Hormones are proteins that control important processes in the body:
- Growth and development
- Sexual function
- Fertility and reproduction
- Emotions and mood
- Use of nutrients
At Dignity Health Southern California, we specialize in the unique needs of women. Our highly coordinated, collaborative team approach ensures you have the full support of the experts you need for proper diagnosis and effective treatment. Use our Find a Doctor tool and visit a women's center near you to learn more about how we treat female hormone disorders in Southern California.
Common hormone problems in women include:
- Ovarian insufficiency (also called premature ovarian failure), which occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop working before age 40.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can cause weight gain, fertility issues, irregular periods, and ovarian cysts.
- Hirsutism, excess hair growth.
- Thyroid disease, including hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) and hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid hormone).
Symptoms of Hormone Problems in Women
Common symptoms of female hormone disorders include:
- Hot flashes
- Irregular menstrual periods or lack of periods
- Changes in sex drive
- Excessive hair growth on the chest, back, face, and abdomen
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
What Causes Hormone Problems in Women
Factors that can affect hormone levels, causing them to be too high or too low, include:
- Medications, including steroids.
- Genetics (gene mutations).
- Aging. As a woman approaches menopause, estrogen levels decrease.
- Tumors (usually non-cancerous) on the ovaries or adrenal glands. Tumors can cause these glands to secrete excess androgens (“male hormones”).
Treatment for Female Hormone Disorders at Dignity Health Southern California
The right treatment for you will depend on the type of hormone disorder you have, how severe it is, your age, your family planning goals, and your medical history. Your doctor will talk with you extensively and weigh all factors carefully before recommending treatment options. Your treatment plan may include:
- Medication to control symptoms.
- Hormone replacement therapy to re-balance hormone levels. Depending on your reproductive goals, birth control pills or medication to aid conception or improve fertility may be recommended.
- Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, improving your diet, and increasing physical activity.
- Fertility treatment, including in vitro fertilization (IVF).
- Surgery, if a hormone disorder is related to a tumor.
Your treatment plan will be personalized, with the goals of relieving your symptoms, maintaining your health, and improving your quality of life.
Dignity Health offers specialized treatment for hormone problems in women in Southern California.