Progesterone is a type of steroid hormone, produced by both males and females. With respect to the secreted amount and functions, it is primarily considered as a female hormone. Along with estrogen, it is responsible for regulation of menstrual cycle in women.
But, there is more to talk about this hormone, other than just controlling menstruation. It plays an important role in conception, immunity, inflammatory responses, thyroid hormone production, strengthening bones, and blood clotting. Thus, its low level leads to several medical conditions, including infertility. Therefore, it is essential that you know about low progesterone treatment.
In some women, deficiency of this hormone is a leading cause for inability to conceive naturally. As the function of this hormone is related to reproductive health, it is classified under reproductive hormone group. The normal production reduces with aging and chronic smoking. Thus, its deficiency is a common incidence with elderly women, who are in their menopausal years. In fact, it is the reduced level of this steroid hormone that triggers menopause symptoms. Some of its other symptoms are given below.
- Increased fatigue
- Dry eyes
- Water retention and weight gain
- Muscle pain
- Acne and skin problems
- Hair thinning
- Breast tenderness
- Abdominal discomfort
- Bloating and constipation
- Elevated cholesterol
- Sleep disorders
- Anxiety and mood swings
- Panic attacks
This hormone acts as a precursor for secretion of other steroid hormones. Its level rises significantly prior to ovulation, which in turn increases the likeliness of conception. To be more precise, an elevated level brings about increased vaginal mucus and thickening of the uterine lining, thus preparing it for implantation of fertilized egg.
Thus, a woman in the childbearing age with this deficiency has reduced chances of conception. In such a case, the doctor will recommend an infertility treatment. Remedial measures are also suggested for women who experience hot flashes and associated menopause symptoms.
Needless to say, natural remedies are the most reliable options for combating this condition. These encompass making changes in the diet and lifestyle habits, along with managing stress. There are various food items, which indirectly help in restoring normal levels. They contain a chemical called phytoestrogen, which changes to progesterone inside the body.
Examples of phytoestrogen foods include whole grains, chasteberry, red raspberry, fresh fruits, vegetable, etc. Also, joining yoga and meditation classes, practicing mild exercises, socializing with people, and self motivation, all together aid in effective stress management.
Similar to phytoestrogen foods, there are herbs that contain the same chemical in high amounts. Examples of phytoestrogen herbs are dandelion leaves, hops, black cohosh, ginseng, and red clover. The herb, mecafem root, is a much touted remedy associated with menopause. It is a non-estrogen herb, but aids in inducing secretion of reproductive hormones. Another effectual herbal remedy is using Mexican yam, which contains diosgenin. While herbal remedies are effective, care should be taken in terms of dosage and drug interactions (if any).
Synthetic forms (known as progestins) are sometimes recommended to increase secretion of this steroid hormone. They are available as pills, vaginal suppositories, topical creams, and injections. While they show quick results, the medications are associated with certain adverse reactions, ranging from mild skin rashes to high blood pressure and heart attacks. Thus, any form of hormonal formulations should be taken under the strict guidance of a trusted physician. The doctor will prescribe the correct dosage and related information.
The man-made versions of this hormone are used for treating problems related to poor pregnancy outcomes, and also in formulation of medications for premenstrual syndrome and fertility. In some cases, women having infertility problems are diagnosed with vitamin deficiency. While there is no solid data that correlates vitamin deficiency with this condition, nutrient supplements along with progesterone therapy options are effective for addressing infertility problems.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.