You're in the right place if you're looking for what progesterone does for a woman's body. The short answer is a whole heck of a lot, and without this vital hormone life, some severe side effects can occur.
Before we dive into why progesterone is so important for women, let's first look at what the hormone is and how it functions in the body.
Progesterone is one of two female hormones produced primarily in the ovaries. It's an essential part of the menstrual cycle and fertility. As women age, the ovaries produce less and less progesterone. It's a natural part of aging, but this doesn't mean you have to live with the side effects.
Also, some women can have low progesterone for reasons not connected to aging, causing health and fertility problems. Progesterone is critical for many female functions, and abnormally low progesterone levels can result in severe consequences.
Women produce different amounts of progesterone during their menstrual cycle in conjunction with estrogen. Think of estrogen and progesterone as the other's yin and yang. Both hormones work together to provide the flow of each woman's monthly cycle.
In the early days of the menstrual cycle, the body produces more estrogen, and by midway through, estrogen begins to decrease to allow more progesterone to occur. Each hormone has distinct functions, but without the other, women can become estrogen dominant from low progesterone or progesterone dominant from low estrogen. Low estrogen and progesterone can indicate something is wrong or that a woman is entering menopause.
When a woman ovulates, an egg is released from the ovaries into the fallopian tubes. This is a sign for the body to generate a more significant amount of progesterone. The reason is that the egg, once fertilized, will bury into the uterine walls.
Progesterone is the magic hormone that makes implantation as warm and inviting as possible for the egg. Without progesterone production, the body may believe implantation hasn't occurred and will start to generate estrogen.
This will result in the uterine lining to shed and a period to begin. Too little progesterone shortens the menstrual cycle making it hard for the fertilized egg to attach correctly, resulting in infertility issues.
As mentioned, progesterone helps with egg implantation, and this results in higher fertility rates. Women need progesterone to conceive and grow the baby. Even after implantation, the body continues to produce high levels of progesterone. And even the kind of progesterone changes as the fetus develops.
During the early weeks of any pregnancy, you have a higher chance of miscarriage or something going wrong. Progesterone is the hormone that helps babies develop and continues to play a vital role throughout the pregnancy and after.
Even after the baby enters the world, progesterone continues to play an important role. After the placenta comes out after giving birth, this signals to the body that it's time to breastfeed. In addition, high levels of progesterone during pregnancy prevent the production of prolactin.
After giving birth, progesterone levels decrease, and the prolactin increases. It's generated by the suckling of the baby on the breast and lower progesterone levels.
Menopause is an incredible time in a woman's life. It signals the end of being able to have a baby and ushers in the golden years. But golden years can come with some nasty symptoms at first.
Menopause usually occurs in a woman's early 50s, but women can be perimenopausal for years before. Think of it as your body is test-driving lower hormones. Because low estrogen and progesterone are what thrusts your body into menopause.
Suddenly, your hormones take a dive off a cliff, and everything becomes whacky. Suddenly, you can't sleep, you're gaining weight, and that moody woman has become you. Well, there is an answer to all of this— bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) with estrogen and progesterone.
It stands to reason that if low hormones cause menopausal symptoms, they should be able to alleviate them. Also, if you have a uterus and take estrogen for menopause, taking progesterone is advised.
Speak to your healthcare provider about the magic of hormone therapy and find out how progesterone can help you fight menopause. Women don't have to suffer when there's a healthy option available. Progesterone provides hormonal balance for menopausal women.
The hard part about having low progesterone is that symptoms can be similar to other health concerns. Plus, each woman is different, and lower progesterone levels affect bodily functions differently depending on the health of each person. Still, there are some key signs you're deficient in progesterone, including:
If you're living with any of the above symptoms, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to test your progesterone levels. Then you can decide if a progesterone supplement is right for you.
We live in a world with choice, and this is true for progesterone therapy. Progesterone comes in tablets, pills, suppositories, and creams. However, the best kind of progesterone supplement is a topical application.
Transdermal progesterone comes in an easy-to-use bottle and is infused with natural oils and ingredients that soothe the skin. The progesterone cream is light and non-greasy. Women apply it gently in places such as the inner thighs, the underside of the arms, and the back of the knees. These skin parts are more tender and thinner, making it easier for the dermis to lap up the progesterone.
The hormone travels through the layers of skin, directly to the bloodstream, and bypasses the digestive system. For these reasons, transdermal progesterone is faster and more effective than other supplement routes.
Once you begin using progesterone, you can experience for yourself what progesterone does for a woman's body. It helps fight menopause, regulates the menstrual cycle, and boosts fertility levels. It's a natural force that is unseen but felt all over the body.