Progesterone and Women’s Health

What Is Progesterone

Progesterone is one of the hormones produced and released by the ovaries and the adrenal glands. Women have several progesterone receptor sites located in their bodies, including the breast, uterus, vagina, bones, blood and brain.

The Role of Progesterone

Progesterone stimulates and regulates various body functions. It is a critical part of the menstrual cycle, promoting regular ovulation and increasing the chances of falling pregnant. After ovulation, each month progesterone helps to thicken the lining of the uterus in preparation for a fertilized egg.

If pregnancy occurs, progesterone is also produced in the placenta, and the higher levels remain elevated throughout pregnancy. During pregnancy, progesterone promotes the growth of milk-producing glands in the breasts and assists with breastfeeding.

If the lining of the uterus is not sufficiently thickened for the egg to be implanted, the levels of estrogen and progesterone drop and a normal period occurs.

One of the most important roles progesterone plays is to oppose the stimulation of breast and uterine tissue by estrogen. In this vital role, natural progesterone has be shown to help protect against breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, fibrocystic disease and ovarian cysts. Progesterone also helps support brain health and may decrease symptoms of anxiety, depression and PMS. 

 It is also used in combination with estrogen as part of hormone replacement therapy, to help control the amount of estrogen going into the body.

Low Progesterone

Natural progesterone is a steroid hormone secreted by the ovaries which works in harmony with other hormones, most notably, estrogen, testosterone and thyroid. Without adequate levels of progesterone in the body, these other hormones are unable to perform the jobs our bodies require of them

Progesterone is important throughout your life, but it is especially important during your childbearing years. If you do not have enough progesterone, you may struggle to fall pregnant, and have a problem staying pregnant.

Low progesterone may cause abnormal bleeding. However, note that irregular periods may also indicate poorly functioning ovaries, as well as low progesterone. Here are some symptoms of low progesterone in women:

  • Low sex drive.
  • Anxiety or depression.
  • Headaches or migraines.
  • Hot flashes.
  • Irregular menstrual cycle.

If your body doesn’t produce enough progesterone naturally, you may benefit from taking progesterone supplementation, which is naturally derived from plant sources like all bio-identical hormones. 

How does Natural Progesterone  differ from Synthetic Progesterone? 

Unlike natural progesterone, which opposes the stimulation of estrogen, synthetic progesterone—also known as progestin—actually stimulates estrogen in receptor sites, which may lead to serious health consequences

Synthetic progestin has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and dementia, as well as numerous side effects, such as depression, breast swelling and tenderness, irregular bleeding, fluid retention and weight gain. Progestin is also contraindicated in pregnancy because it may cause harm to the embryo, resulting in birth defects. 

How Can Natural Progesterone Benefit Me? 

Women need progesterone during all stages of life. It works synergistically with other hormones to help support numerous health functions and reduce health risks. Your provider may prescribe natural progesterone to: 

  • Normalize the menstrual cycle. 
  • Alleviate symptoms of PMS (headaches, bloating, fluid retention, mood swings, bleeding and fibroids). 
  • Reduce excessive bleeding during perimenopause. 
  • Help maintain sex drive and vaginal lubrication. 
  • Support embryo and fetus health during pregnancy. 
  • Reduce the risk for breast, uterine, endometrial and ovarian cancer. 
  • Reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. 
  • Reduce the risk for osteoporosis. 
  • Reduce gall bladder activity. 
  • Support healthy blood sugar levels. 
  • Burn belly fat for energy use. 
  • Support cellular growth and oxygen levels. 
  • Support brain health.

If you’ve noticed any symptoms of low progesterone or feel that you may benefit from Natural Progesterone HRT, please call our office for a consultation.

Mandi

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