What Is Progesterone?

Progesterone is one of the two main hormones produced by the ovaries of women. It is secreted by the adrenal glands in smaller amounts. Progesterone's primary role is in ensuring the survival of the fertilized ovum, the embryo, and fetus throughout gestation.

Progesterone's primary role is to ensure the survival of the fertilized ovum

Progesterone helps in the production of testosterone and the adrenal hormones. Because of the wide role played by progesterone in so many hormones, a deficiency of progesterone can cause a wide range of problems. Keep reading for more information about progesterone and handling hormone imbalance.

What Are the Functions of Progesterone?

The functions of progesterone are:

  • Stimulates the production of estrogen and testosterone
  • Maintains the uterine lining
  • Protects against fibrocystic breasts
  • Helps transform fat into energy
  • Functions as a natural anti-depressants
  • Helps regulate the thyroid
  • Restores sex drive
  • Regulates blood sugar and copper levels
  • Restores cell oxygen levels
  • Protects against breast and endometrial cancer
  • Boosts bone mass
  • Protects against osteoporosis
  • Regulates blood clotting

In addition to this, the proper ratio between estrogen and progesterone is critical for the body's bio-chemical balance.

What Causes Low Progesterone Levels?

Quick Fact

In the third trimester of pregnancy, the female's placenta produces 300-400mg of natural progesterone per day. Since progesterone is a natural anti-depressant, it comes as no surprise that new mothers suffer the "post-partum depression" when their major source of natural progesterone, the placenta, is lost when the baby is born.

Most women begin to produce less progesterone when they reach their early 30s, and this decrease accelerates in their 40s. Progesterone deficiency causes several symptoms of premenopause and menopause, and creates several health issues for women.

It also follows that menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, and heart disease might not be due to an estrogen deficiency, but due to a relative estrogen excess as a result of progesterone deficiency. During perimenopause, progressively more cycles become anovulatory. These are characterized by low progesterone production relative to estrogen. These are the cycles accompanied by breast tenderness, decreased sex drive, depression, bloating, weight gain, headaches, and foggy thinking, a sign of progesterone deficiency.

Treatments for Low Progesterone Levels

Keep a healthy diet in order to balance progesterone levels

Some women decide to use a natural progesterone treatments, which may be helpful during menopause. Such treatments are available and should be consulted with a medical professional.

While progestin-only treatment is uncommon for menopause, it is possible for it to be suitable for individuals based on a doctor's recommendation. Whatever the course of treatment you decide, the most effective way of dealing with the symptoms of progesterone imbalance is in keeping a healthy exercise routine and diet. This is often enough to allow the body a chance of managing hormone fluctuations on its own. However, there are several beneficial supplementary treatments available and information is available at the link below.

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