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Understanding hormones

Progesterone


Progesterone is produced in the ovaries and in the placenta during pregnancy.Progesterone is a hormone – known informally as a “chemical messenger” –  that is produced in the ovaries and adrenal gland (and in the placenta during pregnancy). In humans, progesterone is transported throughout the body via fat cells in the bloodstream. It affects everything from mood and appetite to gum health, instructing different cell receptors as to how the body should be functioning.

About Progesterone


Progesterone chemical structureProgesterone is a steroidal hormone that is created from cholesterol-based pregnenolone. It plays a central role during menstruation and pregnancy. In women, progesterone levels change frequently depending on menopausal stage, ovulation, and pregnancy. Young girls and postmenopausal women have the lowest progesterone levels while pregnant and ovulating women have the highest levels.

It is important that an even balance of estrogen and progesterone is maintained. If there is an imbalance of progesterone, women may experience adverse menopausal signs and symptoms. Low progesterone levels can result in infertility and, in some cases, cancer.

Click on the following link to discover more about progesterone, or read below to learn more about progesterone’s role and effects.

Why Is Progesterone Important?

Defined as one of the three key hormones at work in a woman’s body, this article helps readers understand how progesterone functions in relation to sexual, as well as overall, female health. It also discusses the dangers of having a low progesterone level and symptoms that can result thereby.

Progesterone Roles and Effects


Progesterone is an essential hormone that plays different roles in the body and is particularly important during ovulation and pregnancy. Balanced levels of both progesterone and estrogen are crucial.

Progesterone’s role in the body

Progesterone and estrogen fluctuation

Listed below are some of the ways in which progesterone affects the body:

  • Sexual health
  • Menstruation
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Mood and emotions
  • Bone health

During ovulation, progesterone signals the uterus to prepare for a fertilized egg. If an egg is not forthcoming, progesterone withdraws the signal and tells the body to discard the egg.

Progesterone also aids in fat processing and facilitates blood clotting.

Progesterone’s effects on the body

Progesterone has a profound effect on many different areas of the body, including the brain, breasts, heart, liver, ovaries, uterus, bones, and vagina. With such a far-reaching influence, it is easy to see why understanding progesterone is important.

Click on the following link to learn about progesterone’s role and effects or see below for information about progesterone tests.

Progesterone, Pregnancy, and Childbirth

Progesterone plays an important role in pregnancy and childbirth. It causes the lining of the uterus to become thicker, protects the developing fetus, prevents the contraction of the uterine muscles so that you do not go into premature labor, and facilitates the transfer of nutrients from you to your (...)

Q&A: the Role of Progesterone

Progesterone is a messenger chemical which sends signals to the rest of the body to maintain proper functioning. It plays an important role in pregnancy, gum health and blood clotting. Imbalanced levels of progesterone can cause uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms. Progesterone replacement therapy (PRT) may help these symptoms, (...)

Progesterone Tests


Progesterone imbalance can cause untold misery and serious health conditions. Women who think they may have any hormonal imbalance are encouraged to undergo testing.

There are different types of tests available for measuring progesterone levels. The blood test and the saliva test are detailed below.

Blood test is one of types of tests available for measuring progesterone levels.

  • The blood test is an easy, relatively painless way to measure progesterone levels. No oral contraceptives should be taken within twenty-four hours of the test. Results are generally available within one day.
  • The saliva test is faster than the blood test and measures the progesterone that is not being used by the body.

Women interested in more extensive progesterone testing should talk to their physician. Oftentimes, blood tests performed over a period of several days can provide a clearer picture of how progesterone levels are fluctuating.

Click on this link to read more about progesterone tests, or continue to the next section to learn about different progesterone levels.

5 Signs of Progesterone Imbalance

Progesterone is an important hormone in a woman's body. It influences mood, sexual function, and weight; it also prepares the uterus for fertilization and menstruation. The five best indicators of a progesterone imbalance include acne breakouts, urinary infections, weight gain, loss of libido, and anxiety or similar mood-related symptoms.

Progesterone Levels


Progesterone levels fluctuate depending on ovulation, pregnancy, and menopausal stage. Varying levels of progesterone can affect women in different ways depending on whether or not the fluctuation is expected. Levels of progesterone are always higher during pregnancy and lower in postmenopausal women.

Key Products to Balance Progesterone

Progesterone is one of the primary hormones in a woman's body and is responsible for initiating the significant bodily changes that take place throughout her (...)

Low Progesterone Levels


Low levels of progesterone are the norm during postmenopause, as women leave the reproductive phase and the ovaries slow hormone production. Consequently, women may not produce a sufficient quantity of progesterone.

Some of the signs and symptoms of low progesterone hormone levels are infertility, loss of libido, gallbladder disease, breast tenderness, and mood swings.

Click on the following link for more information about low progesterone levels, or continue reading to learn about the causes of low progesterone levels.

Causes of low progesterone levels

Decreased progesterone levels can be either natural or induced. Natural causes are usually related to menstruation and menopause, whereas induced causes are usually related to poor health.

Natural causes of low progesterone levels include:

  • Menstruation
  • Ovarian slowdown during menopause
  • Continued ovarian slowdown during postmenopause
  • Post-birth drops in progesterone

Endometrial cancerInduced causes of low progesterone hormone levels include:

  • Poor diet and/or lack of exercise
  • Stress

Click on the following link to learn more about causes of low progesterone levels, or read on to find out about the symptoms of low progesterone levels.

Symptoms of low progesterone levels

There are various symptoms that indicate low progesterone levels.

Symptoms of low progesterone levels include fatigue, headaches, irregular periods, night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, breast tenderness, and anxiety.

Stress causes by low progesterone

However there are also other, less common, symptoms of low progesterone hormone levels, such as:

  • Breast or endometrial cancer
  • Gum disease
  • Brittle nails

Women who think they may be suffering from low progesterone levels should contact a medical professional immediately to avoid serious or potentially fatal conditions.

Click on the following link to learn more about symptoms of low progesterone levels or continue reading to better understand high progesterone levels.

3 Foods to Eat to Boost Your Progesterone

3 foods that can increase progesterone levels in menopausal women. Many women experience uncomfortable symptoms during menopause due to a deficiency of the natural hormone progesterone, which plays a role in ovulation and many other of the body's functions. Three dietary staples that can help boost progesterone production are (...)

How Do Progesterone Levels Impact Fertility?

The hormone progesterone plays a major role in a woman’s menstrual cycle. When levels of progesterone are low, this may be an indication that you are entering menopause. Lifestyle changes like maintaining a healthy diet, using natural supplements and regular exercise can be beneficial in boosting progesterone levels in (...)

How Do Low Progesterone Levels Affect My Mood?

Progesterone is one of the most important hormones in a female’s body. It helps prepare the body for pregnancy, and sustains the embryo. It also aids in metabolic processes and menstruation. Many women experience drops in progesterone levels during menopause, and should have regular doctor’s visits in order to (...)

High Progesterone Levels


Progesterone levels during pregnancyHigh progesterone levels, caused by a variety of factors including poor diet, lack of exercise, and estrogen deficiency, play important roles during pregnancy and ovulation. Increased levels of progesterone can cause decreased libido, incontinence, vaginal infection, hot flashes, and drowsiness.

Click on the following link to learn more about high progesterone levels or continue reading about the symptoms of progesterone imbalance.

Causes of high progesterone levels

High progesterone levels can be caused by a number of factors and may either be natural or induced.

Natural causes. These causes are typically linked to menopause. For example, this could be due to decreased estrogen production in the ovaries.

Induced causes. This group of causes is usually related to health conditions. For example, a poor diet and lack of exercise place stress on the body and make it harder to effectively balance estrogen and progesterone.

Click on the following link to learn more about causes of high progesterone levels or continue reading to gain an understanding of the various symptoms of progesterone imbalance.

Symptoms of high progesterone levels

Due to the important role that progesterone has in the body, as a steroidal hormone, having high levels of progesterone hormones can cause many different side effects. Although it is normal to have high progesterone hormone levels during pregnancy and ovulation, high progesterone levels can cause serious side effects at other times.

Fatigue is usually the first symptom experienced by women suffering from high progesterone levels. Others include:

  • Mood swings
  • Breast tenderness
  • Irritability
  • Vaginal dryness

Other, less common symptoms include acne, urinary infections, incontinence, and migraines.

For more information on the symptoms of high progesterone levels, click on the link or read on for a better understanding of the relationship between progesterone and menopause.

5 Warning Signs of High Progesterone Levels

High progesterone levels can occur during times of hormonal balance, such as menopause, as well as in proportion to low estrogen levels. Several bothersome signs and symptoms can result, including vaginal dryness, bloating, mood swings, breast tenderness, and loss of libido. Experts recommend diet and lifestyle adjustments before trying (...)

Cancer and Progesterone

Progesterone occurs naturally in the body, and is essential during menstruation and pregnancy. When women are experiencing menopause, they may suffer from a lack of progesterone, and may turn to HRT to replace progesterone. This process involves the administration of synthetic progesterone, which can have side effects, including an (...)

Progesterone and Menopause


Menopause signals the end of the reproductive phase, causing the ovaries to slow estrogen and progesterone production. The end of menstruation, while a blessing in some ways, can be accompanied by unpleasant side effects caused by an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone.

Progesterone levels fluctuate during each menopausal stage. See the list below for details.

Life cycle of progesterone

  • During premenopause, blood progesterone content is typically between 8-10 ng/ml. This increases during pregnancy and ovulation.
  • During perimenopause, progesterone levels begin to fluctuate more erratically, and may be either high or low.
  • During menopause, progesterone levels can vary from 0.1 – 8 ng/ml (low) to 10-16 ng/ml (high).
  • During postmenopause women’s progesterone levels usually remain stable at 1 ng/ml.

Each menopausal phase features different symptoms, outlined below:

  • Premenopause. High libido after ovulation and mood swings during ovulation.
  • Perimenopause. Irregular periods, hot flashes, and depression.
  • Menopause. Continued irregular periods, vaginal infections, and increased risk of uterine cancer.
  • Postmenopause. Infertility and weight gain.

Click on the link for more information on progesterone and menopause, or read the next section to gain a better understanding of progesterone deficiency.

Progesterone and Menopause

Progesterone plays a vital role in the menstrual cycle, making it an integral hormone during the cessation of menstruation, otherwise known as menopause. Declining levels of progesterone in the body can cause irregular periods; one of the first signs of menopause. Progesterone also impacts sexual health, bone health, moods, (...)

Balancing Progesterone and Estrogen during Menopause

Levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuate when a woman is experiencing menopause. These fluctuations can cause uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms, like vaginal dryness, breast tenderness, headaches, fatigue, and mood swings. Lifestyle changes, alternative medicine, and hormone replacement therapy are treatments that can help to balance estrogen and progesterone (...)

Progesterone Deficiency


Natural progesterone deficiency occurs when the ovaries produce a deficit of progesterone or a surplus of estrogen. Its causes can be either natural or induced, especially during menopause.

Low levels of progesterone cause premenstrual syndrome.

To determine the presence of a progesterone deficiency, saliva and blood tests are available.  The results of such tests are typically available within twenty-four hours and can be performed over a period of several days in order to get an accurate representation of hormone fluctuations.

Symptoms of progesterone deficiency include irregular periods, loss of libido, mood swings, night sweats, and increased risk of endometrial cancer.

For more information, visit this comprehensive article on progesterone deficiency, or keep reading to learn about progesterone dominance.

How Can Progesterone Deficiency Symptoms be Identified?

Progesterone, known as the pregnancy hormone, plays a role in a woman’s entire reproductive life. Progesterone deficiency can cause a host of disconcerting symptoms, such as anovulation, miscarriage, carbohydrate cravings, irregular periods, and ovarian cysts. Consult with your doctor for a definitive diagnosis and treatment options if you think (...)

Progesterone Dominance


Progesterone dominance usually occurs in menopause due to shifting levels of progesterone and estrogen. If an insufficient quantity of estrogen is produced by the ovaries, progesterone dominance will occur.

Progesterone dominance can also be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. Without a health-conscious diet and regular, moderate exercise, the body struggles to maintain balanced hormone levels.

Symptoms of progesterone dominance include mood swings.Symptoms of progesterone dominance include drowsiness, mood swings, weight gain, vaginal dryness, and incontinence.

Read more at the following link on progesterone dominance, or continue below to learn about progesterone imbalance.

Progesterone and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) occurs when a woman is suffering from an overproduction of androgens (mainly testosterone) and a shortage of progesterone. Symptoms such as (...)

Progesterone Imbalance


Balanced levels of progesterone and estrogen are vital for, among other things, ovulation and healthy pregnancy. Since progesterone levels fluctuate on a daily basis, hormonal imbalance is always a risk that, if realized, will be accompanied by a number of disagreeable side effects.

Progesterone imbalance can lead to incontinence.There are various causes of progesterone imbalance, though menopause and subsequent ovarian hormone production are most often to blame. Progesterone imbalance can lead to incontinence, breast tenderness, fatigue, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.

To discover more about progesterone imbalance, click on the link, or continue reading below for more information about treating progesterone imbalance.

Can I Boost Progesterone with Herbal Supplements?

An excess or lack of progesterone can have adverse effects. Women with progesterone dominance can suffer from drowsiness, acne, mood swings, weight gain and low libido. Progesterone deficiency can cause breast tenderness, gum disease, osteoporosis and an increased risk of endometrial cancer. Herbal supplements like ginseng, red clover and (...)

Treatments for Progesterone Imbalance


There are many unpleasant symptoms of progesterone imbalance. Fortunately, there are several treatment options.

Lifestyle treatments

Women suffering from progesterone imbalance should begin by making lifestyle changes. Regular, moderate exercise and a balanced diet help keep the body healthy. A healthy body is much better able to maintain hormonal balance.

Natural and alternative treatments

Alternative treatments like acupuncture are good for menopausal women.Natural and alternative treatments, which cause fewer side effects than prescription medications, are good for women who wish to avoid introducing foreign chemicals into the body. Natural medications have been reported effective by many women, as have therapies such as acupuncture.

Drugs and HRT

Drugs and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) should be utilized only as a last choice. Prolonged use of either can cause serious and potentially fatal conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Having clear notions of the possibilities available to alleviate progesterone imbalance is essential for women of all ages. Click on the following link to keep learning about treatments of progesterone imbalance.

How to Boost Low Progesterone Levels

For the body to function correctly, progesterone levels must be in balance with the other hormones. However, during menopause, progesterone levels often drop, causing a number of unpleasant symptoms. It is possible to boost one’s progesterone levels by consuming a well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and exercising regularly.

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Progesterone vs. Estrogen: How Are They Different?

Estrogen and progesterone work together in the body to regulate menstruation in addition to many other roles. Estrogen is dominant during the first half of the cycle, while progesterone is essential during the second half. An imbalance of these hormones can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, especially during menopause, when (...)

3 Daily Habits to Make You Feel Great with Low Progesterone

Low progesterone can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, but there are still ways to feel great even when you are suffering from low progesterone levels during menopause. Simple daily habits – including exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep – are a great place to (...)

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