Progesterone is a women steroid hormone responsible for the changes in the endometrium in the second half of the menstrual cycle. It is also responsible for fertility and pregnancy. Progesterone hormones prepare the lining of the uterus (endometrium) for implantation of a fertilized egg and its development, and maintain the uterus throughout pregnancy. Low progesterone hormones have negative influences on your body, fertility, pregnancy and can even lead to an expelling of a fertilized egg.
Progesterone Hormones Production
After ovulation, the "yellow body" (corpus luteum) that released the mature egg into the fallopian tube begins to secrete high levels of progesterone from the granulosa cells within it. This hormone stimulates the growth of rich blood vessels that supply the uterus lining (endometrium).
It also causes the expansion of tiny glands in the endometrium that produce a fluid (uterine fluid) that can be used to nourish sperms and embryos that find their way into the uterus.These tiny glands are created by the estrogen hormone and the progesterone takes over the job of making them mature into "feeding structures".
The production of progesterone will normally drop away after about 10 days beyond ovulation. It is this sudden reduction in the hormone that will prompt the menstruation period to begin due to the reduced oxygen supply from the blood vessels that were previously encouraged to grow by the progesterone hormone.
Progesterone hormone has a very important role in ovulation process. This is the reason why it should be in healthy levels. Continue to read what happens when the body reach low progesterone hormone levels.
In a recent research, health investigators attempt to figure out if menstrual cycle and declination of hormonal levels during menopause transition are related with sleeping problems.
Low Levels of Progesterone
The proper amount of natural progesterone is crucial for fertility and to a woman who is trying to become pregnant. Without adequate progesterone, the fertilized egg can be expelled.
Because progesterone is essential to prevent the premature shedding of the supportive secretory endometrium, a significant drop in progesterone levels or blockade of progesterone receptor sites during the first 10 - 12 weeks of pregnancy may result in the loss of the embryo (miscarriage).
There are more effects due to low progesterone hormones that can include any or all of the following symptoms:
- Infertility/not ovulating
- Early miscarriage
- Carbohydrate cravings
- Breast tenderness
- Irregular periods
- Ovarian cysts
- Menstrual cramps
- Water retention
- Lower body temperature
Doctors now believe that postpartum depression (an acute form of depression occurring in women after giving birth) may be triggered by low levels of the hormone progesterone.
Progesterone Imbalance Treatments
Progesterone is a very important hormone because it is charge of supporting female body for pregnancy. Therefore, it has a crucial role within fertility and conception. This is the reason why progesterone imbalance have serious effects on overall body functioning. In fact, these effects usually appear as symptoms that can become harmful if not given the right attention. Therefore, you should get informed about the available treatments for progesterone imbalance.
Pharmaceutical companies would have you believe that for progesterone imbalance treatment, drugs are the best solution, but that isn't the case. Before you make the choice of taking synthetic progesterone hormones, you should consider less risky approaches, like alternative medicine or lifestyle changes.
Three approaches for progesterone imbalance treatments
There are three levels of progesterone imbalance treatments:
- (1) Lifestyle Changes,
- (2) Alternative Medicine and
- (3) Drugs and Surgery.
You should always start with the least risky approach (lifestyle changes) and go on to riskier approaches (surgery/drugs) only if necessary.
(1) LIFESTYLE CHANGES
The first level of progesterone imbalance treatments involves no risk but may be the hardest way to go. Women have to restrict themselves from many things. So if a woman is considering this approach, she will need a strong mind and a positive thinking for managing these changes.
Surprisingly, there has been less research on how lifestyle changes can affect progesterone imbalance. Nonetheless, techniques for stress reduction (e.g. yoga), a diet rich in estrogenic food (soy, alfalfa, cherries, rice, wheat and yams) or even becoming more fit by doing regular exercises, will have positive effects on a woman's progesterone imbalance.
It's not easy to follow up this approach, that's why you might want to consider the next level of progesterone imbalance treatment, because alternative medicine is an excellent way to control progesterone imbalance.
(2) ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Alternative progesterone imbalance treatment involves little or no risk and can be considered as the safest way to treat progesterone imbalance. In this level of approach, Herbal remedies are the most effective option.
There are basically two types of herbs for progesterone imbalance treatment: phytoestrogen and non-estrogenic herbs. Phytoestrogen herbs (e.g. Black Cohosh, Dong Quai) contain plant estrogens. Therefore, these herbs replace the missing estrogen, which is the main cause for progesterone imbalance; unfortunately, phytoestrogen herbs produce several side effects (like breast cancer, heart attacks and strokes) as a result from adding hormones from outside.
Unlike phytoestrogen herbs, non-estrogenic herbs don't contain any estrogen. Instead, non-estrogenic herbs nourish your hormonal glands into healthy production of your own natural hormones. This ultimately ends up in balancing overall hormones levels. Due to this, non-estrogenic herbs, like Macafem, can be considered as the safest way of natural progesterone imbalance treatment.
Nature & Health magazine. Dr. Chacon says:
A combination of progesterone imbalance treatments is a good route to take. Lifestyle changes combined with alternative medicine will probably take care of progesterone imbalance in a more efficiently way.
(3) DRUGS & SURGERY
Interventions at level 3 involve the highest risk and often the highest costs. The most common drug therapy for progesterone imbalance treatment in the US is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). There's no doubt that this is the quickest and strongest way to combat hormonal imbalance; unfortunately, it entails serious side effects and increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, strokes and heart attacks.
If you still consider following this risky approach, take a visit to your physician, and get informed about what this progesterone imbalance treatment option involves.
Remember that these three levels of progesterone imbalance treatments are not mutually exclusive. You can use different approaches at different times or combine several at the same time. Nowadays more and more women think that the best progesterone imbalance treatment is accomplished via a combination of healthy lifestyle and alternative treatments.