The Link Between Hormonal Changes and Heart Palpitations

The Link Between Hormonal Changes and Heart Palpitations

Heart palpitations are sudden fluttering sensations in your chest. They make you feel like your heart is racing or that it’s skipped a beat, and when you notice these sensations, it’s normal to feel worried.

Common causes of heart palpitations are stress, caffeine intake, and physical exertion — but what many people don't realize is that hormonal changes can also trigger palpitations. In fact, understanding this connection can help you better manage your heart health.

Kunal Patel, MD, and our team at NJ Cardiovascular Institute specialize in cardiology, and we know just how concerning it can be to experience heart palpitations. Here’s what you should know about the unique link between hormonal changes and palpitations.

How your hormones affect your heart 

Hormones are chemical messengers in your body. They influence a lot of different bodily functions, including heart rate and rhythm. Specifically, estrogen and progesterone have profound effects on the cardiovascular system — and changes in these hormones can cause heart palpitations, particularly in women.

In fact, your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause, and certain medical treatments like hormone replacement therapy and contraceptives all make estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate significantly.

Your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause

During your menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone levels naturally rise and fall. These changes affect your heart's electrical activity, sometimes triggering heart palpitations just before or during your monthly period.

Pregnancy brings about major hormonal changes, including a surge in estrogen and progesterone levels. As your body adjusts to support your developing baby, your heart works harder. For some women, these changes can lead to heart palpitations. While palpitations during pregnancy are usually benign, it's important to consult your healthcare provider.

In menopause, your estrogen levels decline. This hormonal imbalance can cause heart palpitations along with other symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings. While menopausal palpitations are typically harmless, they may indicate underlying cardiovascular issues, especially if accompanied by other symptoms like chest pain or dizziness.

Medical treatments

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a popular treatment to alleviate menopausal symptoms. It increases estrogen levels, but it can sometimes trigger palpitations as your body adjusts to a new hormonal balance.

Finally, contraceptives that contain estrogen can also influence your heart’s rhythm. While rare, some women can experience palpitations as a side effect of hormonal birth control.

Other possible factors

Aside from these natural hormonal fluctuations, conditions like hyperthyroidism can also lead to heart palpitations. Thyroid hormones influence metabolism and heart function, so an overactive thyroid can cause the heart to beat faster and irregularly.

Managing hormone-related heart palpitations

If you notice an unusual heartbeat or palpitations, don’t ignore them. Dr. Patel and our team can pinpoint the cause, so you can better manage your heart health. Managing hormone-related heart palpitations often involves addressing the underlying hormonal imbalance or trigger.

Tracking your menstrual cycles and managing stress levels can help you get more in tune with your body and reduce menstrual palpitations. If you’re pregnant, regular prenatal care and monitoring can ensure the safety of both you and your baby.

In menopause, lifestyle modifications like regular exercise, stress management, and dietary changes can help alleviate symptoms. If you are on HRT or contraceptives, adjusting the dosage or trying alternative medications may be necessary to minimize palpitations.

Your hormones can have a significant impact on your heart — and better care starts with better understanding. By staying informed and proactive about your heart health, you can navigate hormonal fluctuations with greater confidence and peace of mind.

Learn more with a consultation at NJ Cardiovascular Institute at one of our offices in Elizabeth, Lakewood, Paramus, or Secaucus, New Jersey. Call or send us a message online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Are Varicose Veins Dangerous to My Health?

Are Varicose Veins Dangerous to My Health?

Varicose veins can be unsightly and embarrassing — but does their presence pose a greater threat to your health? Learn more about varicose veins, possible complications, and how varicose vein treatment can make a difference.

I'm Nervous About My Stress Test: What Can I Expect?

Exercise stress tests are a safe, noninvasive way to assess your heart health. But if you’re scheduled for one, it’s normal to be nervous. Find out what to expect during your stress test and how getting one can help protect your heart health.

The Dangers of High Blood Pressure

Half of American adults have high blood pressure. But just because it's common doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. Learn the risks of high blood pressure and find out how proactive management can help you live a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Chest Pain During Cardio: What You Need to Know

Chest Pain During Cardio: What You Need to Know

Regular physical activity is important for staying in shape and preventing problems with your cardiovascular system. If you have pain in your chest while exercising, it could be due to a variety of conditions.
When to Worry About Shortness of Breath

When to Worry About Shortness of Breath

There are a number of reasons you may find yourself short of breath, many of them temporary and mild. However, sometimes not being able to catch your breath is a sign of an underlying problem that needs medical treatment.
How to Make Heart-Healthy Choices This Holiday Season

How to Make Heart-Healthy Choices This Holiday Season

Are the holidays synonymous with rich meals, decadent cookies, and fancy cocktails? You’re not alone — but don’t let these temptations derail your heart-healthy habits. Get our tips for making heart-healthy choices and enjoying the season.