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Gynaecological Services

Hormone Testing

What is a hormonal imbalance? And why does this factor effect weight gain.

The most common one and that most young women experience is a progesterone deficiency. Your estrogen levels could also be too high in comparison to your progesterone levels. They need to be balanced.



What Are Estrogen And Progesterone?

These hormones are secreted by the ovaries and contribute to a woman’s menstrual cycle and fertility.

Here are some of the effects of estrogen and progesterone.

Estrogen Progesterone
Increases body fat Helps use fat for energy
Salt and fluid retention Natural diuretic
Depression and headaches Natural antidepressant
Interferes with thyroid hormone Facilitates thyroid hormone action
Impairs blood sugar control Normalizes blood sugar levels
Decreases sex drive Restores sex drive

So you can see that if you don’t have enough progesterone to balance out the estrogen, it could cause these issues. And it has a direct influence on weight loss!


Some of the most common symptoms of a hormone imbalance (low progesterone) include:

  • Heavy or irregular periods
  • PMS symptoms (migraines / headaches, cramping, moodiness, tender breasts, cravings, etc)
  • Weight gain (especially around the stomach)
  • Low libido
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Anxiety, irritability and depression
  • Poor sleep and insomnia
  • Hair loss
  • Hot flashes
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Endometriosis
  • Infertility (not permanent – fertility will come back when your hormone balance is restored).

How Low Progesterone / High Estrogen Cause Weight Gain

Sugar Cravings

High estrogen can actually cause an increase in insulin. Increased insulin leads to sugar cravings, and this is why lots of women crave chocolate during PMS (and at other times too!). Progesterone helps to lower insulin levels.

Stored Fat

High levels of estrogen also cause more fatty tissue growth, and your fat cells, in turn, make more estrogen; so it’s a vicious cycle. This excess fat is usually around the stomach because estrogen also dictates where the body distributes fat. This cycle can be helped by balancing out estrogen with progesterone.

Fluid Retention

High levels of estrogen also cause fluid retention. Progesterone is a natural diuretic and can reduce fluid retention and bloating.

Decrease In Thyroid Function

Low progesterone can affect your thyroid, and thyroid issues can cause weight gain/difficulty losing weight. When you have low progesterone, your liver produces excess TBG (a protein). TBG binds to the thyroid hormones and blocks them so your body can’t use them properly.

Appetite & Sleep

Progesterone has a calming effect on the brain, whereas estrogen has an excitatory effect. This means that women with high estrogen experience sleep difficulties.A lack of sleep disrupts the hormone that is in control of your appetite (leptin). When you are sleep deprived, this contributes to an increased appetite and you eating more.


Once Dr Yanke tested your Hormone levels an appropriate course of action will be discussed and medication will be prescribed accordingly.

Dr Yanke also performs Pap smears and Mirena insertion

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