Progesterone is one of the female sex hormones. It works in the body to balance the effects of estrogen and is often referred to as the relaxing hormone. Progesterone is produced after ovulation by the corpus luteum and dominates the second half of the cycle – the luteal phase. The main job of progesterone is to control buildup on the lining of the uterus to help mature and maintain the lining of the uterus if there is a pregnancy. If there is no pregnancy, then progesterone levels drop and the lining of the uterus is released, thus beginning the menstrual cycle, with the normal blood clots in your period.
Progesterone and menstruation
- Progesterone is especially important in the reproductive years, because if you don’t have enough progesterone you may have a hard time conceiving a baby. Every month, when one of your ovaries releases an egg, progesterone levels increase as it helps the uterus to thicken in anticipation of receiving a fertilized egg, but if the walls are not thick enough, implantation does not occur.
- To get pregnant you will need progesterone to keep the uterus in good condition until your baby is born. But if you have progesterone levels too low, then the uterus may not be able to carry the pregnancy to term. When there are low levels of progesterone during pregnancy, it can indicate: toxemia, ectopic pregnancy or even that there may be a danger of fetal death or miscarriage.
- For women who are not pregnant, having low progesterone levels can cause abnormal uterine bleeding. Irregular periods or absent periods can also indicate that the ovaries are not working properly or that there are low levels of progesterone. When there are low levels of progesterone, it will be necessary to go to the gynecologist to do the pertinent tests and to prescribe progesterone in pills in case it is necessary for you to take them to have good health. In addition, you will have to follow your doctor’s instructions for taking them.
- If you do not want to take progesterone and if you do need it, estrogen could become the dominant hormone with the following consequences: weight gain, decreased sexual desire, mood swings, depression, heavy period bleeding, fibroids, endometriosis, problems of the gallbladder, thyroid dysfunction, etc.