Signs and Symptoms of Low Progesterone

It is not uncommon for signs and symptoms of low progesterone to eventually accumulate and worsen into irreversible conditions as they are often attributed to incorrect underlying causes.

In order to avoid a potential downward spiral and get health back on track, continue reading to learn more about the signs and symptoms of low progesterone levels.

Symptoms of Low Progesterone Levels

Low progesterone symptoms – many of which are listed below – can occur throughout life and affect more than just the reproductive system.

Symptoms of Low Progesterone Levels

Physical Symptoms

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Hot flashes   
  • Tender or cystic breasts
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea
  • Loss of libido
  • Increased heart rate
  • Body aches
  • Bloating
  • Thinning hair
  • Irregular or absent periods
  • Increased PMS symptoms

Mental Symptoms

  • Depression
  • Low self esteem
  • Memory lapses
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia

Signs of Low Progesterone Levels

Medical signs are results doctors use as evidence to diagnose a hormonal imbalance. Many of these signs women may not associate with low progesterone levels.

Together with symptoms, these medical signs and indications can help a physician correctly detect the absence of progesterone. 

Signs of Low Progesterone Levels

  • Abnormal x-ray, transvaginal ultrasound, laparoscopy, or MRI results
  • Pelvic or abdominal examination showing presence of atypical cysts, scars, or pelvic masses
  • Blood tests showing abnormal serotonin, TSH, T3, or T4 levels
  • Abnormal patterns in levels of the pregnancy hormone hCG (forewarning of a miscarriage)
  • Progesterone tests (blood, urine, or saliva) showing low progesterone levels

Accordingly, when low progesterone side effects are detected sooner rather than later, hormonal levels can be normalized before further complications arise. More serious conditions may develop from a progesterone deficiency if the imbalance continues.

Continue reading to learn more about a couple life-threatening concerns caused by constantly low progesterone levels.

Endometrial Cancer and Low Progesterone

Endometrial Cancer and Low Progesterone

Endometrial cancer is the fourth most common disease in women and is predominantly a hormone-driven cancer. Research studies state that approximately 80% of endometrial cancers arise in the wake of excess estrogen or a lack of progesterone.

In a healthy endometrium, estrogen's growth effects are normally counteracted by progesterone. Estrogen encourages proliferation of the endometrial lining during the follicular phase, and during the luteal phase, progesterone takes over to antagonize estrogen-driven growth and promote differentiation of the cells. The reduced progesterone allows estrogen to induce carcinogenesis, in which healthy cells are changed into cancer cells.

Breast Cancer and Low Progesterone

Breast cancer risk is increased by exposure of the breast to endogenous estrogen hormones unopposed by progesterone. In other words, women who are at risk of breast cancer often exhibit low progesterone levels in the presence of high estrogen.

Research has found that progesterone inhibits the proliferation of several lines of human breast cancer cells that are progesterone receptor (PR) positive, but not those with were PR negative. The opposite is true of the estrogen hormone estradiol, which stimulates the growth of estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer cells.

Furthermore, progesterone enhances functions of tumor suppressive genes while diminishing those of the tumor promoting genes. This leads to increased “apoptosis,” the programmed suicide of breast cancer cells.

Continue reading to learn more about increasing progesterone levels in order to evade the future onset of low progesterone-related health conditions.

Bibliography

  • Carlson, M.J. et al. (2012). Catch It Before It Kills: Progesterone, Obesity, and the Prevention of Endometrial Cancer. Discovery Medicine, 14(76), 215-222. Retrieved November 8, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3964851/
  • Kim, J.J. & Chapman-Davis, E. (2010). Role of Progesterone in Endometrial Cancer. Seminars in Reproductive Medicine, 28(1), 81-90. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1242998
  • Mahmud, K. (2008). Keeping aBreast: Ways to PREVENT Breast Cancer. New York: Strategic Book Publishing. Available from Google Books.
  • Mayo Clinic. (2016). Ovarian cysts: Diagnosis | Endometriosis: Diagnosis | Miscarriage: Diagnosis & Treatment. Retrieved November 8, 2017, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ovarian-cysts/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353411 | https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354661 | https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-loss-miscarriage/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354304
  • National Women's Health Resource Center. (n.d.). Low Progesterone Symptoms. Retrieved November 7, 2017, from http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/low-progesterone-symptoms
  • Stoll, B.A. (Ed.). (1991). Approaches to Breast Cancer Prevention. UK: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Available from Google Books.
  • UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology. (n.d.). Fibroids. Retrieved November 8, 2017, from http://obgyn.ucla.edu/fibroids
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