Progesterone happens to be a female sex hormone that is produced mainly in one’s ovaries following ovulation each month. It is rather a crucial part of the menstrual cycle and also maintenance of pregnancy.
Progesterone does help to regulate one’s cycle. But its main job is to get one’s uterus ready for pregnancy. After one ovulates each month, progesterone does help thicken the lining of the uterus in order to prepare for a fertilized egg. If there is no fertilized egg, progesterone levels do drop and menstruation does begin. If a fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall, progesterone does help maintain the uterine lining throughout one’s pregnancy.
Progesterone is required for breast development as well as breastfeeding prevent post depression. It does complement some effects of estrogen for balanced Hormones, another female hormone. It does also indeed work with testosterone, the precursor for adrenal hormones. Men do produce a small amount of progesterone in order to help in sperm development.
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Should one be concerned about low progesterone?
Progesterone is rather important during childbearing years. If one does not have enough progesterone, one may also have a lot of trouble getting or staying pregnant.
After one of one’s ovaries gets released an egg, one’s progesterone levels will increase. Progesterone does also help the uterus thicken in anticipation of receiving a fertilized egg. If it is not thick enough, the egg will not be of course an implant.
Symptoms of low progesterone in women who are not pregnant include:
• headaches or migraines
• mood changes, including anxiety or depression
• irregularity in menstrual cycle
Low progesterone may also cause abnormal uterine bleeding in women who are not pregnant. Irregular or absent periods may also indicate poorly functioning ovaries as well as low progesterone.
If one gets pregnant, one still needs progesterone in order to maintain one’s uterus until one’s baby is born. One body will indeed produce this increase in progesterone, which does cause some of the symptoms of pregnancy, including breast tenderness as well as nausea. If one’s progesterone levels are too low, one’s uterus may not be able to carry the baby to term.
During pregnancy, symptoms of low progesterone do include spotting as well as miscarriage.
Low progesterone may also indicate an ectopic pregnancy. This can also result in miscarriage or fetal death.
Without progesterone to complement it, estrogen may, in fact, become the dominant hormone. This may cause symptoms including:
• weight gain
• decreased sex drive, mood swings, and depression
• PMS, irregular menstrual cycle, heavy bleeding
• breast tenderness, fibrocystic breasts
• gallbladder problems
What to when one suffers from low progesterone?
One may not have any symptoms of low progesterone, and one may not need treatment. But if one is trying to have a baby, hormone therapy could be useful. Hormone therapy does increase progesterone levels and may also help thicken one’s uterine lining.
This may also improve one’s chances of a healthy pregnancy and also carrying to term.
Menstrual irregularities, as well as abnormal bleeding, can also improve with hormone therapy. For severe symptoms of menopause, hormone therapy does usually involve a combination of estrogen as well as progesterone. Women who do take estrogen without progesterone are at increased risk of developing endometrial cancer.
Treatment options for progesterone supplementation include:
• creams and gels, which can be used topically or vaginally
• suppositories, which are commonly used to treat low progesterone that causes fertility problems
• oral medications
Hormone therapy (either estrogen only or a combination of estrogen and progesterone) may also help ease symptoms such as:
• hot flashes
• night sweats
• vaginal dryness
For some women, progesterone does improve mood. Oral progesterone may rather provide a calming effect, thus making it easier to sleep.
Hormone therapy may increase the risk of:
• heart attack and stroke
• blood clots
• gallbladder troubles
• certain types of breast cancer
One doctor will probably advise against hormone therapy if one has a history of:
• breast cancer
• endometrial cancer
• blood clots
• liver disease
Natural remedies for raising low progesterone levels:
• increasing one’s intake of vitamins B and C, which are necessary for maintaining progesterone levels
• eating more foods with zinc, like shellfish
• controlling stress levels, since one’s body does release cortisol instead of progesterone when one is stressed
Progesterone is generally not supplemented in women who are indeed experiencing menopausal symptoms of hormone imbalance. This is because menopausal symptoms are indeed mostly caused by low estrogen levels.
Hormone replacement does indeed carry some risks, so it is important to discuss them with one’s doctor. No doubt, prescription medications are formulated in order to look the same to one’s body as one’s naturally occurring hormones.