How women can balance their hormones through every stage of their lives

Happy daughter embracing her smiling mother. balance hormones
It's important for women to balance hormones through each life stage. (Getty Images)

Hormones control many bodily functions, such as our metabolism, our mood, reproduction, and the way our organs work – which is why it’s so important for women to balance their hormones.

However, many people don’t know how to recognise the signs of a hormone imbalance, or make common mistakes when attempting to balance their hormones, or don’t realise that each life stage for a woman required a rebalancing.

"As we evolve, as do our hormones, and therefore the way we support them needs to shift too," hormone specialist and registered nutritionist Hannah Alderson, explains.

So, how can women rebalance their hormones during crucial life stages? Alderson explains what you need to do, below.


During puberty, which is the process of physical maturation in which an adolescent reaches sexual maturity and becomes capable of reproduction, hormones can often be imbalanced.

"While this is still a natural shift that we do not want to stop, there can be a few bumps in the road if your hormone production gets a bit eager or subdued," Alderson explains. "Puberty imbalances usually present via too much or too little of a hormone being produced – and this in case we are talking about your main sex hormones: testosterone and/or oestrogen.

"All the lovely things that we would apply to hormonal health at any stage of life include diet, in particular blood sugar regulation and maximising anti-inflammatory foods and minimising ultra processed food, as well as your gut health, sleep, body clock, and movement."

A variety of healthy foods like fish, nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables, and oil rich in omega-3 nutrients
Anti-inflammatory foods can help to balance hormones. (Getty Images)


During a woman’s fertile years, Alderson says that if there is an overproduction of the hormones androgens or free testosterone in the body, this can lead to issues with ovulation.

"[When this happens] oestrogen levels can be impacted which is an essential part of fertility," Alderson adds.

She says that diet, particularly foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, are important to consume during this period.

On the other hand, you should also be wary of your blood sugar levels, avoid ultra-processed foods (UPFs) where possible, and place emphasis on gut health, sleep, and body clock.

"Don’t forget movement, plus supporting the vaginal microbiome and reducing toxin exposure via products like plastic," she adds.

Perimenopause, menopause and beyond

Alderson says that one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding the menopause life stage is that it’s just about the cessation of a woman’s period.

"Menopause is not just the loss of fertility and periods – it's a major metabolic shift," Alderson explains. "This shift is characterised by deficiency, mainly oestradiol, the strongest of the three naturally occurring oestrogens, plus progesterone and testosterone."

Portrait of a woman sleeping on a bed by the window. Day useful relaxing sleep.
Getting sufficient sleep is important for balancing hormones. (Getty Images)

The drop in oestrogen levels can impact reproductive, immune, cognitive and emotional health, along with gastrointenstinal and musculoskeletal health.

"We need to ease the blow for the body and provide the best environment for this metabolic shift," Alderson adds. "Research tells us that hormone imbalance arises from genetic and environmental factors; with diet-induced inflammation, elevated cortisol and insulin resistance at the driving seat alongside gut dysbiosis, an unstable circadian rhythm and exposure to endocrine disruptors such as plastics."

Therefore, women in menopause and beyond should consider balancing their blood sugar levels, eating a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods such as the Mediterranean diet, and balancing cortisol levels by focusing on reducing stress and having sufficient sleep length and quality.

"There may be factors that fall outside of your control when it comes to your hormones," Alderson says. "But a lot of them are directly impacted by the decisions you make."

Hormones: Read more