Progesterone is a dominant hormone in women secreted by corpus luteum during the ovulation process. The adrenaline glands also secrete a minimal amount of progesterone, which is a steroid hormone that aids in the production of other steroidal hormones such as estrogen, cortisol and testosterone. It is also considered to be a major hormone in women, as it is an important component in regulating the menstrual cycle, thereby, also preparing the uterus for conception.
To elucidate the role of progesterone further, the hormone prepares the endometrium for implantation of the egg. As the egg is implanted, the placenta that is developing stimulates the body to produce progesterone, so that the egg is not rejected. Sufficient production is required for the egg to remain and not counter rejection. The embryo may shed in the form of menstruation if the progesterone levels are not maintained, and are thus not adequate to support the endometrium.
Symptoms of Low Progesterone in Women
One of the first low progesterone level symptom is an emotional downfall that makes women susceptible to irritability, vulnerable mood swings, and depression. You may feel disoriented and suffer from a disappointment of sorts with yourself. This is common and will unfortunately persist until your body becomes acclimatized to the hormonal changes.
A slight to moderate weight gain issue can cause severe stress and anxiety for women. However moderate the weight gain may be, it has the potential to transform into an important health risk if left untreated.
Acne and Hair Growth
Women may notice a severe bout of acne and excessive hair growth, especially on their face, chin and neck. Due to these changes, they go through stress and frequent panic attacks when they see their well-being hampered by acne and excessive hair growth.
You are likely to experience menstrual irregularities, the cycles being irregular and erratic in nature. You may also experience fewer period cycles or spotting between periods. On the other hand, a serious condition that requires immediate medical guidance, called menorrhagia, or excessively heavy menstrual bleeding, can also occur with a low progesterone level. If you are experiencing these troubles, consult your gynecologist without much delay.
A low progesterone level may result in breast tenderness. There are studies being conducted that are finding the correlation between menopause and progesterone levels being very low. Research suggests that women with low progesterone levels are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Causes of Low Progesterone in Women
There are times when the body is able to produce too much estrogen in certain cases, such as in cases of obesity and with hormone medication. Fat cells produce estrogen. Thus, we may conclude that the more body fat you have, the more estrogen is being produced in your body. When the estrogen levels are higher in terms of production, the progesterone levels produced reduces naturally.
Resistance to Insulin Hormone
When a person's body has a tolerance to insulin production, this can cause the hormones to become imbalanced, lowering the progesterone production in the body. Resistance to insulin all-together is a leading factor as well.
If you are leading a stressful lifestyle, you must know that this can affect the body's ability to create and produce progesterone. Strenuous physical stress, mental trauma, anxiety and disturbances could severely affect body's hormones and their productivity.
A sedentary lifestyle not involving any activity and putting up a lazy front when it comes to regular exercise can cause hormones to get dormant, inactivated or decrease production, causing trauma to the hormone producing gland and hindering the ability to release needed progesterone.
Malnutrition could be a cause of low progesterone as well. This condition will not only affect your internal organs, but your hormone production will also be hampered. For your body to produce progesterone in the body, proper nutrition is a mandatory requirement.
Treatment for Low Progesterone Levels in Women
Low progesterone can be treated with progesterone injections, administering progesterone capsules, and vaginal suppositories. Natural progesterone creams are also very useful as they prepare the uterus for healthy implantation.
P.S. - A word of Caution: Before you use any such product that may aid you in manifesting the increase in the production of progesterone, it is advisable to consult your gynecologist first. They could serve beneficial, however, the risk factors they may pose are still under scrutiny.