Where does Progesterone come from?
Progesterone is released by the female reproductive system that prepares the uterus for conception. It maintains the inner lining (endometrium) of the uterus. Ovaries, placenta, and adrenal glands form Progesterone. The term progestin shows synthetic hormone with functions similar to Progesterone such as levonorgestrel.
Progesterone is a steroid hormone present in our bodies that has many important functions. It has a central role in the maintenance of pregnancy. This hormone is generated in the ovaries, the placenta (during pregnancy), and in the adrenal glands. It is a key hormone that makes a woman’s body ready for conception and pregnancy and controls the monthly menstrual cycle.
During menstruation, at the 14th day egg is released, and the mature ovarian follicle that protects egg is converted to corpus luteum. This structure makes Progesterone that is the most important hormone for preparing the body to conceive, but in case the egg is not fertilized, its level falls, and menstruation begins.
What is Progesterone?
It is an endogenous steroid and a sex hormone that is essential during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and embryogenesis. It can also be prepared in laboratories.
Why do you require Progesterone?
Progesterone is present in both men and women. It has many essential functions in women during menstruation and conception. A woman can take it before getting pregnant. Low levels can cause:
- Miscarriages or infertility
- Sex drive
- Uterine bleeding or irregular periods
- Weight gain
- A physician may ask you to take different forms of Progesterone.
Where does Progesterone come from?
Progesterone is excreted by the female reproductive system that forms uterus for conception. It regulates the inner lining (endometrium) of the uterus. Ovaries, placenta, and adrenal glands make the Progesterone. The term progestin indicates synthetic hormone with working the same as Progesterone such as levonogesral.
In ovaries, the location where Progesterone is produced is corpus luteum. Progesterone makes the endometrium ready to have a fertilized egg, so this egg can get implanted for further development. It also stops muscular contractions in uterus that may damage the fertilized egg.
A fertilized egg after implantation causes the formation of the placenta. This placenta is the source of Progesterone during pregnancy. In case fertilization does not occur, corpus luteum starts destroying, and levels of Progesterone falls, and menstruation occurs.
Where can you get natural Progesterone?
The products obtained from soybeans and yams can provide natural Progesterone. This Progesterone has similar effects as that of Progesterone formed by a woman’s body.
You can have natural progesterone pills. However, the liver causes the breakdown of this Progesterone rapidly, and a low level of it goes to circulation. Therefore greater pills should be taken.
A woman can also use its suppositories that are made to enter the vagina. They are good for uterus and pregnancy success.
Natural Progesterone is easily available as a cream. The body quickly absorbs this form of Progesterone, which can easily go into the bloodstream. Some important creams are:
- NOW Progesterone Cream
- Emerita Pro-gest Cream
- Wise Essentials Wild Yam and Progesterone Cream
These creams may be applied differently from each other, but usually, a dime-sized quantity of cream is applied onto the inside of the wrists, arms, stomach, or thighs twice a day. Some producers suggest that premenopausal women should use it 14 days before their period for great results.
Natural Progesterone Food
Some foods can stimulate your body to make Progesterone. These are:
- Brussels sprouts
- Whole grains
Some foods also decrease the level of estrogen in the body, which can change the ratio of Progesterone to estrogen. These are:
Taking these foods in your diet can increase progesterone levels in your body.
Health Benefits of Progesterone
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Micronized progesterone (Prometrium) is FDA approved to take it along estrogen as a part of HRT. Research reveals that using Progesterone for HRT protects from side effects of estrogen.
- Absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea)
Taking oral pills of Progesterone or applying gel in the vagina is important for curing the absence of menstrual periods in premenopausal women. Micronized progesterone is FDA-approved for this purpose, as is intravaginal progesterone gel (Crinone 4%).
Intravaginal progesterone gel (Crinone 8%) is FDA-approved for curing infertility in women. Some researches show that applying Progesterone intravaginally and using its injections has equal strength for enhancing pregnancy rates as taking it by mouth. It has been observed that Progesterone taking intravaginally is similar in effectiveness to human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG).
- Mastalgia (Breast Pain)
According to some studies application of Progesterone (Crinone) into the vagina can minimize breast pain and tenderness in women with the noncancerous disease.
- Endometrial hyperplasia
Application of Progesterone (Crinone) intravaginally prevents endometrial hyperplasia in women with healthy uterus taking estrogen replacement therapy. Progesterone gel can also treat abnormal thickening of the endometrium and lower vaginal bleeding in premenopausal women.
- Early Birth
Most researches show that applying progesterone gel or inserting it into the vagina can delay pregnancy (tocolytic therapy). This is helpful for women at greater risk of premature pregnancy.
Application of particular progesterone cream (Progest) to the skin removes symptoms such as hot flashes in menopausal women.
- Function in Males
In males, adrenal glands generate this hormone, and it is linked with sperm development.
Normal Level of Progesterone
We can check its level through blood tests. Its level changes during the whole menstrual cycle, so the amount can fluctuate throughout the month. Progesterone levels are measured by the unit nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Following are the amounts of Progesterone during the menstrual cycle:
- During pre-ovulation it is about <0.88 ng/mL
- During ovulation, it is 12 ng/mL
- During post ovulation, it is about 1.8-25 ng/mL
- During the first trimester, it is about 11-44 ng/mL
- During the second trimester, it is almost 25-84 ng/mL
- During the third trimester, it is about 59-215 ng/mL
- It is present in a lower quantity in males. It is not tested in them but in case of adrenal dysfunction. Normal value is 0.02 ng/mL
Effects of high levels of Progesterone
A higher quantity of Progesterone does not cause any harmful effects. It naturally gains high levels during pregnancy. In fact, it is present in birth controlling pills (oral contraceptives). A study reveals that higher levels prevent ovarian cancer.
Effects of low levels of Progesterone
A low amount of this hormone is dangerous as it has a direct effect on fertility and menstruation. Progesterone provides a suitable environment for the fertilized egg. It becomes difficult for the egg to grow and start development with low levels of Progesterone. A low amount can cause:
- Poor ovarian function
- Absence of menstruation
With natural Progesterone, there may result into headaches, tenderness of breast, and depression. This occurs more commonly with synthetic Progesterone. Always remember to do patch tests with topical creams.
Progesterone is an endogenous steroid and female sex hormone that is necessary during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and embryogenesis. It can also be formed in laboratories. Some foods that boost the progesterone level in your body are dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, and whole grain, etc.
An adequate amount of this hormone is highly beneficial for fertility and sexual drive. The lower level of this hormone is not good for females as it has a direct influence on fertility and menstruation. You should consult your doctor if you feel you don’t have an adequate amount of these hormones and also maintain a balanced diet.