There are three major hormones at work in a woman's body: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Hormones are chemical messengers that are sent around the body through the bloodstream and instigate various changes that take place. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone together initiate all the changes that take place in a woman's reproductive system over the course of her lifetime. They bring about changes such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.
As well as introducing developments in a woman's reproductive system, these hormones collectively impact a woman's general health. Shortages and deficiencies in these hormones can result in a number of symptoms and ailments such as headaches, cramps, mood swings, and fatigue.
Progesterone is therefore of vital importance in a woman's body in terms of both her reproductive and overall health. Read on to learn more about what progesterone is, its role in the body, and the dangers of progesterone deficiency.
What Is Progesterone?
Progesterone is a steroid hormone, which means that it is derived from cholesterol. It is produced and secreted from the adrenal gland, and, during menstruation, production of progesterone is dependent on three other hormones: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and estrogen.
What Does Progesterone Do?
Progesterone plays a particularly important role during menstruation. One of its functions is to work with estrogen to prompt the release of an egg from the ovary, but its principal role is to control the thickening of the uterus lining in preparation for receiving a fertilized egg. If the egg is fertilized, its role continues during pregnancy to ensure uterine health.
What Is Progesterone Deficiency?
Progesterone deficiency can occur during the stages in a woman's life when her hormones are in fluctuation: namely, puberty and menopause. In these cases, a woman may experience a range of symptoms, including the following:
- Loss of libido
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Mood swings
- Breast tenderness
There are also a number of more serious physical symptoms. These include:
- Irregular periods
- Muscle weakness
- Speeding heart rate
- Vaginal infections
Other symptoms might include:
- Gum aches
- Vaginal dryness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Weight gain
Because progesterone plays such an important role in the female body, it is important to look out for these symptoms and take the necessary action to treat low levels of progesterone.
As one of a woman's most vital hormones, progesterone is of utmost important to general and sexual female health. For more information about progesterone, variations in progesterone levels, and how to treat progesterone excess and deficiency, click on the link below.