Stress and hormones through the phases of life

The hormonal balance is affected by stress throughout life, from childbearing age to after menopause. Although most women are aware of this, many continue to stress. When everyday life coincides with a number of stressful situations and hormonal imbalances, it's not always easy to just "stop stressing". Sometimes it's difficult to determine what's the cause and what's the effect: Are we stressed because of a hormonal imbalance, or is it our stress that creates this imbalance? And what can we do about it?


During premenopause, oestrogen and progesterone levels begin to fluctuate widely. Stress increases cortisol production, which can lead to hormonal imbalances and exacerbate symptoms such as irregular bleeding, hot flushes, sleep problems and mood swings.


During the menopause itself, the production of oestrogen and progesterone decreases dramatically. At the same time, stress can further exacerbate the hormonal imbalance, leading to symptoms such as sleep problems, fatigue, anxiety and mood swings.


Cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone, is produced in the adrenal glands in response to stress. Cortisol levels can interfere with the production of other hormones, including oestrogen and progesterone, when they are constantly high. This can lead to a relative oestrogen dominance, where the body experiences symptoms of high oestrogen levels even though these levels are actually decreasing. The result can be a worsening of menopausal symptoms such as

🌸 Increased hot flushes and night sweats: Stress can increase the frequency and intensity of hot flashes.

🌸 Decreased sleep: High cortisol levels can make it difficult to fall asleep and sleep through the night.

🌸 Mood swings: Changes in hormone balance, combined with stress, can lead to irritability, anxiety and depression.


In postmenopause, estrogen and progesterone levels are very low. High cortisol levels due to stress can further worsen hormone balance, which can affect:

🌸 Bone health: High cortisol levels can lead to reduced bone density, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.

🌸 Cardiovascular health: Chronic stress and high cortisol levels can contribute to high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease.

🌸 Metabolism: Stress can have a negative impact on metabolism, which can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

🌸 Sleep disturbances and mood swings: Stress can lead to sleep disturbances and increase the risk of depression and anxiety.


Stress can negatively affect hormone balance and thus fertility. High cortisol levels can disrupt the production of oestrogen, progesterone and luteinising hormone (LH), which can lead to irregular periods and reduced fertility. Reduced estrogen levels due to stress can also lead to dry and sensitive mucous membranes, even in younger women.

VagiVital AktivGel is specially formulated to moisturise and strengthen the mucous membranes of women of all ages ❤️

Buy VagiVital AktivGel here!


Research has examined the relationship between stress and various aspects of women's health. The results show that stress can exacerbate some health problems, but that stress management techniques can alleviate symptoms and improve health.

🌸 Several studies have shown that women who experience higher levels of stress during menopause often report more severe symptoms.

🌸 A study published in the Journal of Women's Health found that stress management techniques such as mindfulness and yoga can significantly reduce menopausal symptoms.

🌸 Another study published in Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society showed that women who participated in stress management programmes reported fewer and less intense menopausal symptoms compared to those who did not participate in such programmes.

🌸 Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that women who participated in stress management programmes had better bone health and a lower risk of heart disease.

🌸 A study published in Fertility and Sterility showed that stress-reducing techniques, such as yoga and meditation, can improve fertility in women with stress-related fertility issues.


Both exercise and healthy eating are important, as most women realise. Both yoga and meditation clearly show a lot of health benefits around stress management, which is not really news. But when we're trying to reduce stress, we often add another list of "useful" and "healthy" activities to help us reduce stress, which can be even more stressful in itself. The thought of making it to a yoga class can be what burns the top off. In fact, there are limits to how much more we can add to the activities we already do on a daily basis. One way to try and reduce stress is to think about what you should stop doing to find a better balance in your life. It might be worth looking at your job, family situation and relationships. Ask yourself questions like these:

🌸 What can I remove from my everyday life to reduce stress?

🌸 Are there activities or commitments I can stop doing to create more space for rest and recovery?

🌸 Is there anything in my work or personal life that I can reprioritise or delegate to others?

🌸 How can I communicate my needs more clearly to family and/or colleagues to get more support?

Take care of yourself and Stay Pussytive ❤️

/Fanny Falkman Grinndal
Business Manager Nordics
Peptonic Medical AB