Progesterone is a hormone produced by the female body. It is mainly a reproductive hormone and is created inside the ovaries. The process of progesterone production starts after the monthly ovulation is over. Progesterone is one of the most important female sex hormones because it regulates the female menstrual cycle and prepares the uterus for pregnancy.
After ovulation, progesterone works to thicken your uterus lining. This thickness prepares the uterus to support egg fertilization. If fertilization happens, the egg is implanted in the uterus wall. Progesterone level rises and maintains uterine lining and wall’s thickness throughout pregnancy. However, progesterone levels start dropping if no fertilization happens. This marks the start of menstruation.
This hormone also works with testosterone, a hormone that promotes the production of adrenal hormones, thus helping adrenal functioning. Some amounts of progesterone are also needed by men for sperm development. This post deals with many symptoms of progesterone deficiency that women face, which can be mitigated with progesterone supplementation. As with all hormone therapy, it's recommended you head to your doctor to get a quick progesterone test, and have your estrogen and progesterone receptor tested. If levels are too low and it's shown you have progesterone deficiencies, you might consider this hormone replacement therapy.
Other than regulating the monthly reproductive cycle in females, progesterone performs several important female body functions. Its presence is necessary for breast development and for breastfeeding. The levels of progesterone in a female body determine the level of another important sex hormone, your levels of estrogen. The higher your progesterone level is, the lower the ratio of estrogen in your body and vice versa. So estrogen and progesterone have bit of an inverse relationship.
It’s very important to maintain a consistent progesterone level because of the wide range of functions it performs in the body. Lower levels of progesterone are very harmful during pregnancy. Low levels of progesterone affect the female monthly cycle and leads to a number of other issues as well - and can cause irregular cycles.
Hence, it’s important to look out for the some signs of low progesterone that show in your body. You must identify this deficiency and treat it before it’s too late. Given below are symptoms of low progesterone that you must look out for!
As stated above, progesterone levels have a lot to do with pregnancy. You must get your progesterone levels checked if you’re unable to conceive without any obvious issue or have a miscarriage. There’s a chance that your uterus is unable to host the fertilized egg because of a thin lining, caused by low progesterone. Women with low progesterone must first try to raise the hormone levels and then attempt to get pregnant. One important note is that the most common oral contraceptive is a hormonal birth control that uses progesterone, which prevents ovulation from taking place so it is important to a healthy pregnancy to consult your physician before considering any kind of hormone therapy.
During the luteal phase, the corpus luteum is where your progesterone is produced and secreted in preparing the lining of the uterus for a possible fertilized egg.
Lower progesterone levels slow down your body’s metabolism too. This also imbalances the body’s hormone levels. These two factors then contribute a lot of weight gain. In such a case, you’re likely to gain some extra pounds despite eating well and exercising.
Up to this point, we discussed symptoms that any woman would go through, regardless of her child-bearing status. However, lower progesterone and higher estrogen levels can have some serious implications for pregnant women in particular. Given below are some low progesterone symptoms that are common in pregnant women. You must watch out for these and take the necessary steps if you experience any of the following.
Lower progesterone levels affect your hormone levels, which may lead to spotting while pregnant. Sometimes, this spotting can be heavy enough to feel like an actual menstrual flow. It may come together with cramps, so if you experience these symptoms, call up your OB/GYN.
Lower progesterone levels mean a thin uterus lining. In rare cases, it can also mean no uterus lining at all. If your progesterone levels drop to a serious level halfway through your pregnancy, there’s a chance that your lining will weaken. A weaker endometrial or uterus lining means the developing fetus gets less or no nutrition. This can lead to a miscarriage, or in some cases, a stillbirth.
Other than these, pre-term deliveries, post-partum depression, anxiety, and hair loss are some problems that pregnant women with low progesterone levels face.
Progesterone is an important female hormone that is needed by the body. Any change in its production or presence can result in an overall hormonal imbalance, which can affect your body. Progesterone therapy can regulate levels associated with various symptoms that you can keep a lookout for. By doing so, you may be able to quickly detect low progesterone levels and thus can seek effective treatment. If you do however decide to start supplementing with progesterone, be aware of how to reduce the side effects of progesterone.
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