Progesterone is a hormone that is both produced in the body and can be obtained from milk and some plants. While it is produced in the testes in men, it is produced in the ovaries in women. Milk contains progesterone because dairy cows are usually milked during pregnancy, a time when they have high progesterone levels. Although progesterone is not readily available in plants, the diosgenin steroid found in some plants such as yams is easily convertible to natural progesterone. Progesterone levels in women differ greatly from that in men. In women, progesterone level remains low during pre-ovulation stage, rising after ovulation. While the level remains high in case of pregnancy, it drops, resulting in menstrual flow.
Progesterone hormone plays very important roles in your menstrual cycle. As your pituitary gland in your brain produces and releases follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH), a new egg matures in your ovary, which is released every month. As your ovarian follicle develops, it produces and releases both estrogen and progesterone hormones into your uterus. The release of estrogen and progesterone hormones into the uterus leads to the thickening of the uterine lining, in effect making it ready to receive, sustain and nourish implanted egg. In case there is no implantation, both estrogen and progesterone levels drop, resulting in menstruation flow. In case implantation occurs, the production of progesterone switches to the placenta. Progesterone and pregnancy are related in that elevated progesterone level is bound to remain during pregnancy term.
Because progesterone early pregnancy level is usually high, it is believed that such is the cause of premenstrual syndrome (pms) symptoms such as mood swings and breast tenderness amongst others. It is also believed that progesterone ovulation is the cause for missed progesterone period, which is characterized by low progesterone level. Apart from making it possible for you to attain pregnancy, progesterone is also beneficial in offering protection against unwanted pregnancy. Progesterone is combined with estrogen in formulating oral contraceptive pills. However, you are likely to come across progesterone only pill, which is used as an emergency contraceptive pill capable of preventing pregnancy within 72 hours of unprotected sex. The effects of progesterone pills are mild and fade away soon after use.
The importance of progesterone hormone is not restricted to allowing for pregnancy and for birth control. Progesterone is commonly used as hormone therapy treatment (HT) by menopausal women to manage the adverse side effects associated with menopause such as hot flashes, which can also be managed by estradiol hormone. This can be through progesterone injections. Introducing anything into your body is bound to produce side effects, however minimal. Same with introducing progesterone into your body. Effects of progesterone include menstrual cramps, bloating, continuous menstrual flow, dizziness, nausea and dry mouth amongst other effects. The use progesterone and weight gain is also common in most women. Progesterone side effects are however manageable and fade away once your body gets used to the same.
Both estrogen and progesterone are very important female hormones. Lack of healthy progesterone levels in your system can mean several problems including incapability to attain pregnancy. This makes it necessary to ascertain your progesterone normal levels and if need be increase the same by using progesterone supplements. Your doctor or health care provider should be able to perform appropriate progesterone test and recommend suitable treatment or supplement to use, especially if you are on progesterone ivf treatment. Various types of progesterone products are available in the market for different applications. While some are for oral use, others are in form of creams. Both Progesterone tablets and progesterone cream are medically prescribed for managing menopause symptoms, treating uterine bleeding problems and in the treatment of infertility.