Along with estrogen, progesterone is one of the most important hormones in a female’s body. But can it affect your menopausal mood swings? First you need to understand what progesterone is and what it does for your body, and then you will be able to better understand how it can affect you during menopause.
What Is Progesterone?
Progesterone is one of the most important hormones in the female’s body and is produced in the ovaries. During the second two weeks of menstruation, it is secreted in high concentration. During pregnancy, large amounts of progesterone are produced by the placenta itself, and it can help prepare the body for pregnancy and sustain the development of the embryo. Progesterone causes the endometrium to secrete special proteins to prepare it for the implantation of a fertilized egg. If fertilization does not occur, it prevents the body from creating more eggs in the later stages of the menstrual cycle.
Other than its role in pregnancy, progesterone has many other known effects on the female body. It can affect many of the metabolic processes, can help prevent menstrual contractions, acts as a muscle relaxant, and helps to develop the uterine tissues. With so many functions, it’s clear that low levels or an absence of progesterone can cause serious problems in a woman’s body.
Progesterone and Menopause
The onset of menopause triggers a drop in progesterone levels. However, some women experience lower progesterone levels before menopause. When a woman’s progesterone levels fall there are many side effects, some of which have an effect on mood. The common side effects of low progesterone are severe migraines, irregular periods, unexplained anxiety, the feeling of malaise, hot flashes, poor sleep patterns, and vaginal dryness.
Each of these symptoms can have an effect on your mood; high anxiety coupled with poor sleeping patterns is a recipe for irritability.
How to Protect Myself Against Low Progesterone
It can be relatively easy for women to spot low progesterone levels. Regular doctor’s visits and routine check-ups are recommended for all women, because it can easily be established though blood tests whether they are experiencing a hormonal imbalance. There are numerous progesterone aids that are now available to help women regulate their progesterone levels. By balancing progesterone levels, women can fight their mood swings and the many other symptoms of menopause.
For further information regarding progesterone imbalance follow the link below.
Dr. Loretta Lanphier. Natural Progesterone-Just the Facts, Please. Oasis Advanced Wellness Inc. 2008