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What Is The Normal Blood Pressure For Women?

In general, normal blood pressure (bp) for both men and women is considered to be within the range of 90-over-60 mmHg and 120-over-80 mmHg, this range is also known as normotension. However, women do experience differences in bp readings at different stages of their lives when compared to men, particularly around pregnancy and menopause. This article explores some of the reasons and related studies as to which factors affect women’s blood pressure and how you can work towards achieving a healthier set of numbers if you have hypertension.

Normal blood pressure for women

General Classifications of Blood Pressure

It is generally accepted that there is no difference in what constitutes a dangerous bp level when comparing that of men to women. Blood pressure readings above the normotension range for both men and women is considered as having high blood pressure, termed hypertension. How far above that normal range your readings are, will rank you on slightly differing scales as having one of the following: Elevated, Prehypertension, Hypertension Stage 1, Hypertension Stage 2, or Severe Hypertension also known as Hypertensive Crisis or even a Hypertensive Emergency, blood pressure statuses.

You can look up any bp reading by entering it into the boxes below, read its analysis, see it plotted on both the international and the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association (ACC-AHA) bp scale charts and also discover your related pulse pressure reading and what it means.

Please enter a number from 50 to 250.
Must always be less than your Systolic number, min:40 max:150

There are a variety of factors that affect blood pressure readings so don’t jump to any conclusions from a single measurement. It is therefore advisable to buy one of the many blood pressure monitors available for home use, so that you can gain a reasonable average reading over time. Once you have a good idea of your typical readings at various times throughout the day, you can then discuss any concerns with your medical practitioners if you find readings are persistently beyond the normal ranges.

What Is Normal Blood Pressure For A Woman And When Does It Differ From That Of A Man?

The healthy normal blood pressure range for a woman is having readings of between 90mmHg systolic over 60mmHg diastolic and 120mmHg systolic over 80mmHg diastolic. Studies have shown that men’s blood pressure is typically higher than women’s at similar ages (by roughly 6-10mmHg) and that men have a greater risk of developing cardiovascular and kidney disease than premenopausal women of the same age do. However, the same studies show that after menopause, women’s bp readings tend to exceed those of men. Why this occurs is not certain. Hormone replacement therapy, which replaces lost oestrogens associated with menopause, has little effect on this blood pressure pattern in the women who undertake it. So it has been suggested that it may be due to androgens such as testosterone.

For example, women with polycystic ovaries syndrome, experience heightened levels of testosterone and associated increased instances of hypertension. The exact mechanism of how blood pressure might be affected by androgens in post-menopausal women is not definitive but they likely interact with the natural blood pressure control system which is linked with the kidneys (known as the renin angiotensin system (RAS)).

female blood pressure

Overall, women are less likely to experience high blood pressure than men and are more likely to be informed about it than men, even as young adults. For instance 12% of women were found to have hypertension vs 27% of men in their 20s with 32% of women aware of having hypertension vs only 25% of men.

Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

It is not unusual for a woman’s blood pressure to be lower than the normal blood pressure range for women (a status called hypotension), during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. This is due to hormonal changes, particularly the release of progesterone which has the effect of relaxing the blood vessel walls in order to increase blood flow around the body and to the baby. This lower blood pressure level is generally not of any concern, although it may be a sign of another problem such as an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is where the egg implants itself outside the uterus.

Low blood pressure is generally associated with blood pressure readings below 90 over 60 and at these levels there may be some side effects felt from it, which can typically include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Pale and clammy skin
  • Increased pulse rate
  • General fatigue
  • Feeling faint
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea and dizziness

Extremely low blood pressure can be dangerous and potentially lead to going into the medical state of ‘shock’, which occurs when vital organs and the brain do not receive enough blood flow to function correctly.

How to Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure

If you are looking to align yourself with the recommended normal blood pressure readings for women, the advice to both sexes actually remains the same. That is, if your bp readings are consistently reading higher than 120 over 80 then try to work towards achieving a lower blood pressure. Depending on which status your readings fall into, this can be achieved in different ways. For very high blood pressures it will most likely involve the need for medication to be prescribed by your doctor but for lesser levels of hypertension it can generally be brought back under control with lifestyle changes discussed below.

Keep Your Weight Under Control

Obesity is associated with higher blood pressures. If you drop a kilogram or 2.2 pounds, your blood pressure reading should reduce by about 1mm of mercury (mmHg). While this is a good guide, bear in mind that the relationship does not remain constant with larger losses, so losing 10kg may only drop 6mmHg for example. Women are advised to keep their waist size below 89cm or 35 inches and for men less than 89cm or 40 inches. This advice varies for different ethnic groups though, so be sure to speak with your doctor about what is right for you. Maintaining too much weight around the waist in particular, increases the risk of developing hypertension. It is estimated that obesity accounts for about 65–78% of all cases of primary hypertension.

Exercise Regularly and Find Ways to Reduce Stress

If you are aiming for a lower blood pressure, you really ought to be doing some active exercises for a good 30 minutes each day in order to get your pulse rate up, over the long term this will bring down your average readings. This can be achieved by doing activities like walking at speed, swimming, weight lifting, or participating in any active sport. Watch out for what is causing stress in your life and see if you can the avoid things that induce it, or consciously attempt to handle stressful situations in a calm and controlled way. The use of meditation, hypnosis or even just pursuing interests and hobbies outside of work are ways to reduce stress. Pets are also beneficial in reducing stress and dogs in particular are shown to be effective at lowering blood pressure in humans. Aside from interacting with them, they provide a good reason to go out and exercise daily.

Quit Vaping or Smoking and Limit The Amount Of Alcohol You Consume

Smoking tobacco, (or vaping which causes significant increases in blood pressure) and drinking more than the recommended alcohol intake can all influence both short and long term variations in bp readings. Alcohol induced hypertension is thought to affect about 16% of the US population according to past studies.

Analyse What You Eat

Maintaining a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains and opting for low fat dairy products will lower the amount of saturated fats being consumed, which will reduce your chances of developing obesity-linked hypertension. You should also limit the amount of sodium (salt) in your diet to relatively low levels, as salt increases blood pressure directly. However, in a similar way to caffeine, which can also increase blood pressure after consumption (by circa 10mmHg), sensitivity does vary between individuals. Consuming foods with high potassium content has been known to reduce the effects of salt on blood pressure.

According to the AHA most adults should aim to limit their sodium intake to around 1.5 grams per day (a teaspoon contains around 2.5g). The World Health Organisation (WHO) finds that the average real salt consumption is closer to 9-12 grams daily.

By opting for low sodium varieties of processed foods which you buy, you can significantly reduce your salt intake. Processed food is typically very high in salt content, accounting for roughly 80% of the dietary salt intake in most countries according to the WHO. Keep an eye on food labels, to see how your sodium intake is adding up. There are specific diet plans referred to as, ‘DASH diets’ (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and following these can assist in achieving lower blood pressure as part of healthier lifestyle changes.


Normal blood pressure for women is generally considered to be the same as what is considered normal and healthy for men too and that is keeping it under 120/80 mmHg. There are differences between men and women’s blood pressure throughout life though, generally men tend to have slightly higher rates of hypertension before comparable menopausal age, yet studies have shown women’s blood pressure tends to exceed the level of men’s after menopause.

During pregnancy, blood pressure is typically lower, as hormonal changes induce the blood vessels to relax to assist with delivering more oxygen to the mother and baby. This is generally nothing to worry about. Should you find your blood pressure readings are featuring at one of the elevated hypertension status levels, you may be able to lower your blood pressure with simple lifestyle changes or with prescription hypertension medicine.

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