The importance of progesterone
The importance of progesterone is in the origin of its name. Progesterone originates from the Latin word ‘Gestare’ which means ‘to bear or carry’. Such name has links to pregnancy and child birth and for this reason a lack of progesterone can cause serious problems.
In order to understand what a lack of progesterone is and what effect it has on the female body it is first necessary to understand what progesterone is. Progesterone is a steroid hormone found in women that is regarded as crucial to their health and well-being. Progesterone is an important hormone in relation to fertility. Progesterone itself is created during ovulation by the ovaries. The process is assisted by pregnenolone, which creates other steroid hormones such as cortisol, testosterone and estrogen. Progesterones primary role is to aid in pregnancy, for this reason identifying the symptoms of a lack of progesterone is of fundamental importance.
Progesterone and its links to fertility
Progesterone helps with fertility in a number of ways and these make a lack of progesterone a dangerous condition. The following benefits vary depending on what a woman wants. For women who are pregnant progesterone is capable of assisting a pregnancy by increasing blood vessel and tissue development. For women who are trying to delay pregnancy however progesterone is capable of delaying pregnancy by preventing ovulation. In addition to this it is capable of producing mucus which makes the reproductive track harder to traverse and subsequently stopping the passage of sperm.
What causes a lack of progesterone?
The consequences of a lack of estrogen
For pregnant women the risks of a lack of estrogen can be particularly grave. Progesterone is capable of shedding the endometrium layer where embryo implantation happens. When the levels of progesterone fall it can cause a miscarriage in the opening few weeks of pregnancy.
Many different factors could be responsible for a lack of progesterone in the body. The most prevalent can include:
- Resistance to insulin in the body.
- Chronic stress.
- Sugar rich diet that doesn’t include necessary nutrients.
- Complications with medications.
- Not enough physical exercise.
- Liver dysfunction.
- Dominance of estrogen.
Symptoms of a lack of progesterone
There are many different symptoms that could manifest in the event of a woman suffering from a lack of progesterone. Some of the can include:
- Panic Attacks.
- Irregular menstrual cycle.
- Blood clots during menstruation.
- Vaginal dryness.
How is a lack of progesterone detected in the body?
There are 3 methods doctors commonly use to detect any lack of progesterone in the human body. These are:
- Taking a blood test after ovulation.
- The presence of a luteal phase less than 10 days can often be a indicator of a lack of progesterone.
- Charting of the fertility cycle.
What are the alternative treatment methods for a lack of progesterone?
Using methods such as HRT or phytoestrogenic herbs entails a degree of risk that many women are not willing to take. To this end many turn to the use of non-estrogenic herbs, which contain many of the benefits of phytoestrogenic herbs but without many of the harmful effects.
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