Progesterone is considered one of the most vital of the female hormones; it is produced primarily in the ovaries. During menstruation, it's secreted in large quantities during the latter half of the cycle to help prevent menstrual contractions. During pregnancy, the placenta produces large amounts of progesterone which aids the development of the uterine tissues. Without progesterone, basic metabolic functions become imbalanced leading to uncomfortable symptoms within the female body. Continue reading to learn about common symptoms associated with low progesterone.
Low Progesterone: What Does it Mean?
As menopause approaches, progesterone levels begin to decline. However, some women experience low progesterone before menopause even begins due to limited amounts of progesterone in the body.
Symptoms of Low Progesterone
Women suffering from low progesterone levels are more likely to suffer from a host of symptoms including severe migraines, irregular periods, and anxiety. These physical signs can also include hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, and vaginal dryness. The most common symptom of low progesterone is a decreased libido. This is the primary reason why many postmenopausal women are considered sexually inactive — although this doesn't apply to all women. Women suffering from low progesterone are likely to age faster, develop wrinkles at a quicker rates and tend to suffer from unusual or unexplained symptoms such as water retention or itchy breasts.
What Effect Does Estrogen Have on Low Progesterone?
Estrogen and progesterone work in tandem. When estrogen levels rise beyond the usual range, progesterone levels plummet leading to weight gain, mood swings, chronic fatigue, and depression. This condition is also referred to as estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance can be a serious condition and represents a significant hormonal imbalance, which has led some experts to believe it is a precursor of breast cancer. Low progesterone accompanied by estrogen dominance is also known to stimulate fibroids. Similarly, women with disturbed menstruation due to low levels of progesterone are more likely to develop endometrial cancer.
Low progesterone is easily diagnosable. Wellness exams or routine check-ups can help women establish if they have low progesterone levels through blood tests. Numerous progesterone aids are available for treatment and progesterone levels can be balanced with the method that best suits a woman's lifestyle. Click here to learn more about progesterone and its effects on menopause.